Chaz Green looked like he had just seen a ghost.
Clayborn recorded a Falcons’ record six sacks, the most of any player in a game since the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora had six in 2007. Four of those came against Green, one against Byron Bell, who replaced him in the fourth quarter and one came courtesy of a scrambling Dak Prescott.
“I think a lot of the issues were self-inflicted,” said Green, who started twice in 2016, two Cowboys wins. “It just hurts because I feel like this was on my shoulders. I feel like I let the team down.”
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It wasn’t all on Green.
Prescott was scrambling for the most of the day. Atlanta had eight sacks, the most the Cowboys have allowed since the Eagles had 11 on Sept. 15, 1991.
Before Sunday, the Cowboys had only allowed 10 total sacks this season, and no more than two in any game.
“To say the least, I’m concerned about that. This was disappointing,” Jones said after the 27-7 loss dropped the Cowboys to 5-4. “I had hope initially, but the facts are we weren’t able to block them up front tonight.”
The Cowboys, without running back Ezekiel Elliott, fell behind when the Falcons took a 10-7 lead late in the first half.
“When you get off track it puts you in harder situations,” Cowboys center Travis Frederick said. “If you have a penalty or a lost-yardage play it puts you behind track and you’re not able to run those plays that you expect to be running. So when you’re in third and long, they dial it up and make it even harder for you.”
Clayborn certainly dialed it up a notch. He only had 4.5 sacks all last season. He came into Sunday with two sacks in eight games.
“Obviously, [Green] went against a pretty established player and didn’t answer the bell,” Cowboys offensive line coach Frank Pollack said. “I didn’t do a good enough job getting him ready to play.”
The Cowboys rushed for 107 yards, their fewest since collecting 99 against the Cardinals on Sept. 25.
“It’s tough. We experienced it in Denver,” Pollack said. “It’s not a good deal. It’s a bad situation. It snowballs. If you can’t run the ball, then you know it’s a bad deal. Snowball effect.”