The Dallas Cowboys were mere inches away from beating the defending Champion New York Giants for a second time this season, but they predictably found a way to lose. Tony Romo and the offense didn’t start well, but they showed a ton of fight to get back into the game and almost pull out the impossible. This week they face the 7-0 Atlanta Falcons (the only undefeated team left in the NFL). The Falcons have been a potent offensive force all season as Matt Ryan has finally matured into the QB everyone thought he would be when he was taken #1 overall. The Dallas Cowboys have a tough road ahead if they are to beat one of the best teams in the NFL. The SportDFW staff gives their take on this week’s game:
Dallas suffered a heartbreaking loss last week to the New York Giants. It just seems like they find ways creative ways to lose way more often than they do ways to win. The Falcons are the lone undefeated team in the NFL, and they better be ready for this game because the Cowboys will be coming in here a little mad after last week. But, I don’t think I can go against Matt Ryan in front of what should be a loud crowd at the Georgia Dome.
Atlanta Falcons 27 – Dallas Cowboys 20
Last week the Cowboys looked so bad, then somehow stuck around and sent fans on a rollercoaster ride that ultimately ended in a loss. The Falcons are a fantastic team that I believe is the best in the NFL. Matt Ryan has targets everywhere with Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez; even with a running game that’s been hit or miss with Michael Turner, they have been great. The last 2 games for ATL haven’t been easy, but I believe they will dismantle the Cowboys this week. This one could get ugly, so everyone head to the Victoria’s Secret store.
Atlanta Falcons 38 – Dallas Cowboys 17
I feel very fortunate to have missed the second half of last week’s game because I probably would have destroyed something pretty after the Dallas Cowboys found an excruciating new way to cause their fans to develop sudden onset Tourrettes Syndrome. I don’t have any insightful analysis for this game because my eyes keep telling me that this team is actually pretty good, yet they keep coming up on the short end of the scoreboard. I do know one thing; if they lose this game, they can kiss the playoffs goodbye unless they run the table in the 2nd half of the season. The way the NFC is shaping up, 10-6 may not get you in this the playoffs this year. Beating an undefeated team on the road, however, is the kind of confidence booster that can start a team on the sort of run the Cowboys need to go on to have any shot of making the playoffs.
I say they do it.
Dallas Cowboys 31 – Atlanta Falcons 30. (In my defense, I was on my fifth Maker’s and Coke when I made this prediction).
C. Joseph Wright:
The Dallas Cowboys defense is good enough defending the run and the pass to contain the potent offensive attack of Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. Rob Ryan’s defense is good enough to win this game. The question is: what kind of support will the defense get from Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense? If the offense commits less than 2 turnovers and avoids consecutive ‘3-and-outs’, then the defense should be able to keep the Falcon offense in check. The key to avoiding turnovers and ‘3-and-outs’ is establishing some semblance of a running game. The Cowboys’ ability to run the ball is contingent upon the ability of the offensive line to open running lanes.
It is the offensive line that will likely determine the outcome of the game against the Falcons (and the Cowboys’ season). The problem with the Dallas Cowboys offensive line is you never know which line it will play: will it be one that allowed both Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray rush for almost a hundred yards, or the one that allows blitzers to repeatedly get in Romo’s face before he has secured the snap?
I will give Bill Callahan the benefit of the doubt this week. The group of young lineman should continue to improve. The offense will continue on with its impersonation of Jekyll and Hyde, but the defense will only get better and better.
Dallas Cowboys 21 – Atlanta Falcons 17
Based on last week’s poor performance, the Dallas Cowboys will continue to get exposed. With no running game, Romo will be forced to throw for over 50 attempts. That is bad news for Dallas Cowboys fans and music to the ears of the Atlanta Falcons fans.
Dallas Cowboys 17 – Atlanta Falcons 31