• Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Patrick Queen (48) celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass from Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton during the first half of Tuesday night’s game in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton reacts after a play against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled by middle linebacker Jaylon Smith #54 of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, right, runs with the ball as Baltimore Ravens strong safety Chuck Clark tries to bring him down during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett, right, deflects a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper during the second half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Wide receiver Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys is tackled by inside linebacker Patrick Queen #48 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs with the ball while scoring a touchdown on a keeper against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball for a first half touchdown during an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams)

  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson heads for the end zone on a 37-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of Tuesday night’s game against the Cowboys in Baltimore, Md. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson pretends to throw the ball into the stands after scoring a touchdown on a keeper against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton throws a pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Running back Tony Pollard #20 of the Dallas Cowboys returns the opening kick-off as he is tackled by linebacker Chris Board #49 of the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Running back J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes past strong safety Darian Thompson #23 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Wide receiver Michael Gallup #13 of the Dallas Cowboys catches a touchdown in front of cornerback Marlon Humphrey #44 of the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup, front, makes a touchdown catch on a pass from quarterback Andy Dalton, not visible, against Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Running back Gus Edwards #35 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes past free safety Xavier Woods #25 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens throws a pass against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Wide receiver Marquise Brown #15 of the Baltimore Ravens catches a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 (L) celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to teammate Marquise Brown #15 of the Baltimore Ravens against the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Dallas Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein stands on the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Defensive tackle Brandon Williams #98 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammates after a missed field goal by the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Running back J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens stiff arms defensive tackle Neville Gallimore #96 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

  • Baltimore Ravens cornerback Davontae Harris, left, tugs at the jersey of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Running back J.K. Dobbins #27 of the Baltimore Ravens scores a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – DECEMBER 08: Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens rushes past defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 8, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin makes a catch on a pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) before running it in for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin, center, scores a touchdown on a pass from quarterback Lamar Jackson, not visible, as Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55), free safety Xavier Woods (25) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (24) try to stop him during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Miles Boykin, center, scores on a touchdown catch and run as Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (55), free safety Xavier Woods (25) and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (24) try to stop him during the first half of an NFL football game, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

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BALTIMORE — Back in action after a 15-day layoff, Lamar Jackson directed a relentless rushing attack that the Baltimore Ravens hope will be the first big step in a run to the playoffs.

Jackson ran for 94 yards and a touchdown, and the Ravens returned from a COVID-19 outbreak to amass 294 yards rushing in a 34-17 rout of the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday night.

Playing for the first time since Nov. 22 following a positive test for the potentially deadly virus, Jackson carried 13 times and threw for two scores. He was one of 23 Ravens to spend time on the reserve/COVID-19 list while four different strains of the virus swept through the organization.

“I still can’t really taste or smell, but I’m good,” Jackson said. “I feel good to be back with my guys. It was like two weeks I ain’t seen them.”

Although the Ravens still have a half-dozen players on the COVID-19 list, the team felt complete for the first time in weeks.

“It’s like when you go on a family vacation and one of your family members get sick and you can’t bring them,” rookie linebacker Patrick Queen said. “You’re down in the dumps.”

The game was played on Tuesday night because Baltimore’s previous game – against rival Pittsburgh last Wednesday – was pushed back three times while the Ravens had at least one player test positive for 10 consecutive days.

Gus Edwards ran for 101 yards on just seven carries and rookie J.K. Dobbins – who also missed time on the COVID-19 list – added 71 yards rushing and a touchdown to help Baltimore (7-5) end a three-game slide and stay alive in its quest to reach the postseason for a third consecutive season.

“It’s a win we really, really had to have. It was a must-win,” Coach John Harbaugh said. “Running game was excellent. That was the key on offense.”

Dallas came in with the worst rushing defense in the league, and it showed. The Ravens averaged 7.9 yards per carry and prevailed despite getting only 107 yards passing from Jackson.

“Today was obviously a different challenge than we’ve seen,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “This is a unique offense. A very physical offensive line and the dynamic of the combination of the running backs and Lamar.”

The last-place Cowboys (3-9) have lost six of seven. Andy Dalton went 31 for 48 for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 77 yards.

“I thought Andy managed the game very well,” McCarthy said. “We needed to throw some bigger punches there and we needed to get on the board with touchdowns and we didn’t get that done.”

Greg Zuerlein missed three field-goal attempts and Dallas yielded 20 consecutive points after taking an early 10-7 lead.

The game was supposed to feature Ravens receiver Dez Bryant going against his former team, but Bryant left during warmups and was scratched with what Baltimore termed “an illness.”

Bryant wrote on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 and later posted: “Yea I’m going to go ahead and call it a quit for the rest of the season… I can’t deal with this.”

He subsequently posted a series of tweets, including, “Yea I’m coming back… I’m being smart.”

Bryant scored 73 touchdowns with the Cowboys from 2010-17. He was signed by the Ravens in October and saw his first action in two years, catching four passes in three games.

On his first series following his unwanted week off, Jackson threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted. That led to a Dallas field goal, but Jackson answered with a 37-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 play.

Tony Pollard took the subsequent kickoff 66 yards to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Michael Gallup. It was the last time Dallas led.

An interception by Queen set up a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Miles Boykin for a 14-10 lead.

Jackson’s second touchdown pass of the game, a 20-yarder to Marquise Brown in the third quarter, made it 24-10.

If Jackson was rusty or stale after missing a game, it was tough to tell by his performance.

“The one thing you do know about Lamar: You’re going to get everything he’s got,” Harbaugh said. “That’s all you can ask for.”

RAVENS STREAKS

Baltimore’s Justin Tucker missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter, ending his NFL-record run of 70 consecutive successful field goals from inside 40 yards. … The Ravens have rushed for 100 yards or more in 35 consecutive games, the third-longest streak in NFL history. … Baltimore has won nine in a row over NFC foes, the longest active streak for one team against the other conference.

INJURIES

Cowboys left tackle Cameron Erving (knee) was inactive. … Ravens fullback Patrick Ricard left in the third quarter with a possible concussion but returned.

UP NEXT

The Cowboys have another road game against an AFC North foe, at Cincinnati on Sunday.

The Ravens play at the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, a rematch of a season opener that the Ravens won, 38-6.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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