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NFL: Marcus Mariota recovers to lead Titans

NFL: Marcus Mariota recovers to lead Titans
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) scores on a 9-yard touchdown run past Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) during the fourth quarter on Nov. 5. (Shaban Athuman / Dallas Morning News)

Kevin Byard pulled in a crucial interception, Marcus Mariota accounted for three touchdowns and the Tennessee Titans spoiled Amari Cooper’s Dallas debut with a 28-14 victory Monday night.

The end-zone pick of a pass by Dak Prescott came after Mariota fumbled on the first two Tennessee possessions. Byard ran to midfield at AT&T Stadium and spread his arms.

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“It was huge,” Mariota said of Byard, while adding that he didn’t see the celebration. “The defense has done an unbelievable job throughout the year in building us up. They found ways to give us plays, to get turnovers.”

Tennessee (4-4) ended a losing streak at three games and handed the Cowboys (3-5) their first loss in four home games.

The Cowboys led only 7-0 because of Brett Maher’s missed 38-yard field-goal try and Prescott’s ill-advised throw into double coverage.

“That was the difference. Simple as that,” Prescott said.

Cooper scored the first Dallas touchdown and finished with five catches for 58 yards after being acquired from Oakland in a trade for a first-round pick.

Mariota led an 80-yard drive capped by Derrick Henry’s one-yard plunge for a 7-7 tie.

Tennessee took control in the second half, converting 11 of 14 third downs.

Mariota was 21 for 29 for 240 yards without an interception and had 32 yards rushing.

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott finished with 61 yards.

Prescott was 21 for 31 for 243 yards and two touchdowns, one of four yards to Cooper and one of 23 yards to Allen Hurns.

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