Like the first half of the season (rounding up), yesterday was a bummer. As I tweeted (using the website’s twitter account), only the Dallas Cowboys can come back from 23 points down and lose by a middle finger. Unbelievable. Still, at least they can look forward to the Atlanta Falcons who haven’t lost yet and play at home. Other than the fact that Matt Ryan has a 98.8 quarterback rating, fewer picks in seven games than Tony Romo has had in two and a defense that has forced 19 turnovers this game should be a pushover. Considering how well the Cowboys prevent turnovers, they really have this game, at least on paper, in the bag. I’m about as enthusiastic for this match up as I was with the Giants or Ravens, which means the Cowboys will put in a good performance against a good opponent and still find a depressing way to lose.
News and Notes:
The Cowboys find a way way to lose-twice. After Tony Romo’s Chicagoan performance in the first quarter, he lead them to a 23 point come back and almost won the game, but Dez Bryant’s fingers grazed the out of bounds marker in the back of the endzone, and the last two Hail Mary attempts fell incomplete, the last a pathetic attempt 10 yards out of play.
The Falcons win 30-17 at Philadelphia. Considering the Cowboys play the Eagles the week after next, how the Cowboys battle the Falcons might give a clue as to how they’ll play the Eagles. Since playing the Falcons will likely result in a loss, the Eagles game is really the one that matters. If the Cowboys beat them, they stay alive, but if they fall to 3-6 they’re cooked.
Jerry Jones “encouraged” about DeMarco Murray’s return. After this week’s experience with our “King Felix”, we all could use DeMarco Murray. I know Felix Jones rushed five times from the one-yard line, but how can a professional running back fail to score a touchdown, lose a fumble and rush for 2.38 yards per carry excluding the one yard rushes? I don’t know, but hopefully, Jerry’s injury prediction is right.
Matt Ryan throws two picks. I have no statistical or logical reason to say this. Matt Ryan has only thrown six interceptions all year and the Cowboys have only intercepted two passes, but for some reason I think the Falcons will struggle offensively. I know this is the least specific, least thought out “prediction” ever written and this is likely wishful thinking, but something tells me Matt Ryan will throw two picks.
DeMarco Murray returns and runs for 115 yards. One weakness for the Falcons has been their run defense, which surrenders 143.8 yards per game. That’s actually pretty odd, as most of the Falcons’ injuries have happened on the offensive, not defensive side. Our team has struggled because they simply can’t run the ball. The Cowboys rush for slightly less than 100 per game, which is in the lower half in the NFL, but with the Falcons’ struggles I’ll go in-between (though not evenly) and say 115.
The Falcons win 27-23. In my introduction, I said that this game felt like a Giants or Ravens game where no matter what effort was given the Cowboys would find some pathetic way to lose. In this game, I think it’ll be a mixture of fumbles and interceptions. With a ball hawking secondary that has forced nine turnovers already and considering Tony Romo’s predisposition to throwing an inordinate amount of interceptions spells a pick six or at least to two Falcons drives starting in Dallas territory. If DeMarco Murray starts, I’m not worried about fumbles, but if Felix Jones does, it could be a long afternoon. Note: Final score takes into account turnovers.