Soaring Falcons leave Dallas in a flap

Mon Nov 5, 2012 1:53am EST
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(Reuters) - The Atlanta Falcons continued their franchise-best start to a season and marched to an 8-0 record with a gritty 19-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards and no scores but was mistake-free as his running game and defense backed him up to hold off the visiting Cowboys (3-5).

"It sounds great," wide receiver Roddy White told reporters after becoming the Atlanta's all-time reception leader and being asked how it felt.

"It just speaks to consistency over the years."

White passed Terance Mathis with his fourth catch of the evening with 574 receptions as a Falcon.

"We're starting to beat good football teams," added White. "You need these kinds of wins so when you get in the playoffs in those tight games you can win."

With a seven-yard catch in the fourth quarter, Jason Witten became the Dallas's all-time leading receiver, though the record was to be merely a footnote in another tough loss.

Witten had seven catches for 51 yards, making it 754 for his career and surpassing Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, who had 750 catches from 1988-99.

After the teams exchanged a pair of field goals each in the first half, the Falcons took charge in the second when they got their running game moving.   Continued...

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82), gets hit by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert McClain (27), and linebacker Stephen Nicholas in the second half of their NFL football game in Atlanta, Georgia November 4, 2012. REUTERS/Tami Chappell