Defense dominated the quarter, and it was the Cowboys who took advantage of a big turnover by Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco. On the Ravens' first drive, Flacco was sacked inside the 5-yard line by Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. The ball was recovered by Greg Ellis at the Ravens' 4. Two runs by Tashard Choice sandwiched around an incompletion gave the Cowboys a 7-0 lead. Despite the inauspicious start, Flacco led the Ravens right back on a 10-play drive that resulted in a field goal by Matt Stover.
Cowboys: Choice 2 run (Folk kick), 11:08
Ravens: FG Stover 26, 6:17
Ravens 9 Cowboys 7
The defensive slugfest continued in the second quarter, but the Ravens showed signs of being able to move the ball on the Cowboys, and they took advantage of good field position. After a short punt near the end of the first quarter, the Ravens started at Dallas' 46 and were able to march to the 5 before Flacco was sacked on third-and-goal. The Ravens kicked a field goal to cut the deficit to one. After Ed Reed's second interception, which he returned to near midfield, the Ravens moved into Stover's range.
Ravens: FG Stover 29, 10:57
Ravens: FG Stover 37, 0:02
Ravens 16 Cowboys 7
The Ravens' special teams delivered in the third quarter. After Jim Leonhard returned a punt 23 yards to the Dallas 37, it took the Ravens seven plays to get into the end zone, but not without a few tricks on special teams. Facing fourth-and-six from the Dallas 22 and with Stover out to attempt his fourth field goal, holder Sam Koch took the snap and ran between left guard and tackle for a 9-yard gain. After no gain on a running play, Flacco hit Derrick Mason for a 13-yard touchdown.
Ravens: Mason 13 pass from Flacco (Stover kick), 2:58
Ravens 33 Cowboys 24
After both teams struggled to score for three quarters, they broke out for 17 points apiece in a wild fourth. With the Cowboys selling out on defense, the Ravens were able to break the game open with two long runs - 77 yards by Willis McGahee and 82 yards by Le'Ron McClain - and seal the victory. Every time the Cowboys got close, the Ravens came up with a big play.
Cowboys: FG Folk 35, 11:32
Ravens: FG Stover 35, 6:34
Cowboys: Owens 7 pass from Romo (Folk kick), 3:54
Ravens: McGahee 77 run (Stover kick), 3:42
Cowboys: Witten 21 pass from Romo (Folk kick), 1:41
Ravens: McClain 82 run (Stover kick), 1:33