Clayborn began his assault at the 10:03 mark in the first quarter. He sprinted around left tackle Chaz Green before grabbing Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott for sack No. 1.
His next quarterback takedown came with 12:20 remaining in the second quarter. On that play, the 6 foot 3, 281 pound pass rusher dropped back into coverage. Prescott escaped the pocket and ran toward the line of scrimmage, but was brought down by Clayborn before getting there.
Clayborn returned with 14 seconds remaining in the first half. On that play, he spun around Green and grabbed Prescott for his third sack of the game.
He terrorized the Cowboys' typically stout defensive line once more with 4:37 left in the third stanza. Clayborn raced around Green again on that play, before leaping into Prescott's back from the blindside.
Adrian Clayborn, you are a MONSTER.— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 13, 2017
A franchise-record SIX sacks in one game! pic.twitter.com/YlBIrNmCYh
His fifth sack came with about 13 minutes left in the game. He ran around the Cowboys' fill-in lineman once more for that quarterback takedown. Clayborn also forced two fumbles in the game, including one for his sixth sack and fumble with just 3:23 remaining in the contest.
"It just hurts because I feel like this was on my shoulders," Green told reporters after the game. "I feel like I let the team down."
Green was filling in at tackle for All-Pro Tyron Smith, who is out with a groin injury.
Clayborn's six sacks are a Falcons record. Derrick Thomas had seven in 1990 against the Seattle Seahawks and six in 1998 against the Oakland Raiders. New York Giants legend Osi Umenyiora had six sacks in 2007 against the Philadelphia Eagles, as did San Francisco 49ers' Fred Dean in 1983 against the New Orleans Saints.
"I didn't know at one point," Clayborn told reporters, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I didn't know if they count certain ones for half sacks, but I'm just happy for the win. It has been a tough season for us, but we are back on the right track. I feel like these last couple weeks our whole d-line is playing a lot better. We've been playing together. It's a long time coming but it's finally here."
Former Falcons defensive end Chuck Smith commented on Clayborn's performance on Twitter, hoping he would get a seventh sack.
"Loving watching @AJaClay using the cross Chop. It's like poetry in motion, wanna see him get 3 more! #BreakTheRecord #Falcons #DrRush #RiseUp #ATLvsDAL," Smith tweeted.
"Thank you sir for the pass rush wisdom and teaching me the good stuff!" Clayborn responded.
Clayborn, 29, was a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He now has eight sacks this season, the third-highest total in the NFC.