Atlanta hosts the Cowboys this Sunday in prime time. The Cowboys have been up and down all year. They have yet to win back to back games, and have only lost twice in a row once. They are coming off a devastating loss to their rival Giants. They had a chance to come away with a victory, but Dez Bryant couldn’t stay in bounds on a last minute TD pass. That game described how they have played all year. In the first half Romo played an absolutely miserable game. He was forcing throws that resulted in three first half interceptions. In the second half, however, he played outstanding. The Cowboys erased a huge halftime deficit to nearly win the game. Bryant was just a fingertip away from pulling in that TD, and the Cowboys ended up with another loss.
Basically, Dallas can hang with the best of them, or fall flat on their face. They currently stand at 3-4, but are 2-0 against the NFC South. Of course, Atlanta is the only team playing well in the South. The Cowboys offense is run almost exclusively through the pass. That isn’t by design though. DeMarco Murray has been sidelined for several weeks now, forcing Felix Jones into the starting lineup. Even with Murray playing, the rushing attack has been non existent. A far cry from last year when Murray took the league by storm. Romo has racked up the yards, leading the 3rd highest pass offense in the league thus far. The mistakes have been frequent, though, which explains the Cowboys losing record.
The defense for Dallas has been solid so far. The secondary has been very strong, lead by Brandon Carr and rookie Morris Claiborne. Ryan will have one of the biggest challenges he has faced this year. Then again, the Cowboys defense will also also be challenged greater than they have all year. I don’t expect them to shut down the Falcons, but slow them a bit for sure. Tony Gonzalez could see some more targets, as well as Harry Douglas if healthy. The rush defense has been around league average, but is likely to fall with ILB Sean Lee now out for the season. He has played an extremely high level this year, and lead the Cowboys run defense. Jay Ratliff is now healthy, but the leader of that defense was without a doubt Sean Lee. Turner has been a small part of this offense so far, and that isn’t likely to change much. This should be a game Atlanta wins, but as always, they can’t look ahead.