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Ford Escape stalls out when put in gear

I have a 2001 Ford Escape with 190K miles. Recently it has begun stalling. Sometimes it runs well in the morning driving to work, but when trying to drive home it starts up but stalls out as soon as I shift to reverse or drive. The engine stays running if the car is in park or neutral. Also, when I shift it in gear and it does stay running, I can hear what sound like metallic popcorn coming from the engine compartment. And at stop signs/lights It feels like it wants to stall so I shift to neutral to prevent that.

I’ve replaced the spark plugs, EGR valve, EGR sensor, cleaned the IAC valve (but not replaced it) but no avail.

Does this sound like the torque converter going bad or would completely replacing the IAC help?

Thanks for any answers.