With quarterback Tony Romo on the sideline, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott upstaged heralded first overall pick Jared Goff, but Goff was also overshadowed by Sean Mannion, who led the Los Angeles Rams on a second-half comeback to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 28-24 in their first game after returning to California.
A crowd of 89,140, many of them Cowboys fans, made it the largest attendance in the history of the NFL for a preseason game.
The Cowboys jolted the fans in attendance immediately when Lucky Whitehead returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 Dallas lead after just 13 seconds. Later in the quarter, fourth-round pick Prescott hit wide receiver Dez Bryant for a 10-yard touchdown, extending the lead to 14-0.
The Rams, with quarterback Case Keenum getting the start, led the team on a drive that culminated with a 14-yard touchdown run by Benny Cunningham with 1:33 left in the first quarter. Todd Gurley did not play for the Rams.
Prescott answered quickly, connecting with Terrance Williams on a 32-yard touchdown 1:32 into the second quarter. The Cowboys closed the first-half scoring when Dan Bailey hit a 44-yard field goal for a 24-7 halftime lead. In his one half of action, Prescott completed 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards.
Goff made his pro debut with 9:45 remaining in the second quarter, and although head coach Jeff Fisher had indicated he would play into the second half, Mannion replaced Goff to start the third quarter.
Goff's third pass attempt was intercepted by linebacker Mark Nzeocha after being hit by linebacker Derek Akunne. He completed 4 of 9 passes for 38 yards.
Mannion, a third-round pick last year, completed 18 of 25 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter in the victory. He hit running back Chase Reynolds on a 14-yard play, wide receiver Nelson Spruce on a 7-yard touchdown and running back Aaron Green on a 9-yard scoring pass to win the game with 1:54 remaining.