Josh Allen completed 19 of 24 passes for 231 yards and one touchdown, and added 43 yards and one score on the ground in an impressive display.
Meanwhile, the Bills forced two turnovers of Dak Prescott and took the ball away twice on downs as they clamped down on the NFL’s No 1-ranked offense.
The Bills now have an even stronger grasp on the top AFC wild card seed at 9-3, while Dallas fall to 6-6 but hold their top spot in the NFC East ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Cowboys struck early, as after quick first-down gains to both Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott rolled right and found tight end Jason Witten from eight yards out for an easy touchdown to open the game.
After keeping the Bills quiet in the first quarter, head coach Jason Garrett wanted to prove he wasn’t ‘coaching scared’ after last week’s defeat to New England when he went for it on a fourth-and-one from his own 19-yard line.
The bold call paid off as Prescott converted with a QB sneak, but from that moment onwards, Dallas lost all momentum. That drive ended with a punt, and the Bills tied the game on the ensuing one.
Starting from their own 15, Allen led an eight-play drive – helped by a big Devin Singletary 26-yard run – which was capped by a 25-yard strike to former Cowboy Cole Beasley. Allen bought time and threw back across his body as Beasley broke free and sprinted up the middle to the end zone to make it 7-7.
On their next drive, disaster struck for Dallas as Prescott back-pedalled and threw an ill-advised pass right into the arms of Bills defensive tackle Star Lotulelei. Although Buffalo took over from the opposing 29-yard line, a sack pushed them back and Stephen Hauschka’s missed field goal from 50 yards prevented them from taking the lead.
After getting the ball back, Prescott turned it right back over again. Rookie Ed Oliver looped around to the QB’s blindside and swiped the ball away, allowing Trent Murphy to recover – again in Dallas territory.
This time, Buffalo succeeded in getting points from the turnover – through a well-executed trick play. A pair of hand-offs in the backfield put the ball in the hands of receiver John Brown, while Singletary was left open on the right sideline. Brown threw a perfect spiral and took the rookie back who strolled in untouched from 28 yards out to make it 13-7 after Hauschka missed the XP.
Prescott was spared a third straight turnover as Micah Hyde’s interception was cancelled out by a hands to the face penalty, but the Cowboys again came up empty-handed as despite driving into field goal range, Brett Maher’s 35-yard attempt was blocked to end the first half.
A Haushka 41-yard kick made it through the uprights to make it 16-7 Buffalo after half-time, but Dallas’s kicking woes continued. A 35-yard Michael Gallup catch had moved them across midfield, but faced with a 47-yard attempt, Maher this time sliced the ball wide to the right.
In response, Allen came up with a perfect scoring drive to put the game away. He passed his way to the red zone, then from 15 yards out, evaded the Dallas pass rush and powered to the right pylon for his eighth rushing touchdown of the season and a 23-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Dallas were twice deep in Buffalo territory with a chance to keep it close, but on both occasions, they turned the ball over on downs. First, Prescott fired at the feet of Elliott at the goal line, and second, Murphy forced a fumble that the Cowboys jumped on behind the line of scrimmage.
Buffalo put together an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock and resulted in a 26-yard Hauschka field goal to make it 26-7, and all that was left was a late 15-yard consolation touchdown from Prescott to Ventell Bryant.
Next up, the Bills face a tough test as they host the Baltimore Ravens next week, before closing out their season facing the Steelers, Patriots and Jets.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys face a trip to the Bears, then host the Rams before their all-important showdown with the Eagles in Philadelphia in Week 16. They will finish the year at home to the Redskins.