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Recap: Cowboys defeat Bengals 30-7, capitalize on early turnovers

Three first half fumbles by Cincinnati resulted in a field goal and two touchdowns for Dallas.
Credit: AP Photo/Aaron Doster
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith (58) returns a fumble for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.

This story will be updated throughout the game. 

Andy Dalton returned to Cincinnati for the first time since the Bengals released him last spring, this time as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. 

The 33-year-old Dalton signed with the Cowboys and expected to be backing up franchise QB Dak Prescott. But Prescott was lost to an ankle injury in October and Dalton started in his visit Sunday to Paul Brown Stadium.

RELATED: Keys for Cowboys to come away with win against Bengals in Week 14

The Cowboys have struggled this season and have just a 3-9 record and have had injuries to a number of key players, including Prescott and Dalton. But they're going up against a team with its own issues and a 2-9-1 record.

The team is coming off a short week after their game against Baltimore was pushed back due to COVID-19 cases for the Bengals.

Read on for updates on the game:

First quarter

The Cowboys came up with a big play early when Tank Lawrence forced a fumble. The drive ended when Dalton was sacked and Dallas settled for a field goal.

Another big play from the defense as Aldon Smith scoops up a second Bengals fumbles and runs it 78-yards for a touchdown. Cowboys up 10-0.

Second quarter

Another Bengals fumble in the second quarter and another Cowboys score. Dalton passed to Amari Cooper for the touchdown, as Dallas lead 17-0.

With just seconds remaining in the half, Cincinnati finally got on the board with a touchdown. The Bengals completed a 16-play, 77-yard drive to narrow the Cowboys' lead to 17-7.

Third quarter

Just over three minutes into the second half, the Cowboys added points on the board with another field goal. Dallas leads 20-7.

Fourth quarter

Dallas scored their third field goal of the with just over five minutes left. Greg Zuerlein hit the 55-yard kick to put the Cowboys up 23-7.

Dalton hits Tony Pollard for the touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. Dallas up 30-7 over Cincinnati. 

Final score: 30-7. The Cowboys are now 4-9 on the season.

RELATED: Cowboys 100: Facts and stats for Week 14 matchup against Cincinnati