After the Falcons play a tough Seahawks team at home to open the season, things do not get any easier as they travel to Dallas in Week 2. Right now, Vegas has Atlanta listed as a seven-point underdog in Jerry World. Although it’s worth noting, Cowboys lines are usually inflated due to their rabid fan base, especially early in the season. Regardless, it is going to take a team clicking on all cylinders to squeak out a win in their first road game of the year.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
I didn’t mean to be negative in my Week 1 prediction, but the Falcons track record to start the season is not very inspiring. They may be viewed as much bigger underdogs against the Cowboys, but I like the matchup better. It should also be viewed as a must-win if they do indeed lose to Seattle, because the past data for teams that start the year 0-2 suggests the Falcons would be toast, especially considering how tough their schedule is to end the season.
I think Atlanta’s offense can find a groove against Dallas, running up around 30 points, and while I like the Cowboys offense, the Falcons should be able to come up with some stops against Dak Prescott, who isn’t the same caliber of QB as Russell Wilson. I have a lot of confidence in Atlanta’s rush defense this season, with guys like Marlon Davidson and Dante Fowler in the fold, and as long as they can keep Ezekial Elliot from running wild, I like their chances on the road against the Cowboys.
Falcons 30, Cowboys 23
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
This is a tricky matchup; I think it favors Atlanta in some areas but is very questionable in others. Dallas just lost Robert Quinn but gained Aldon Smith, who is a MASSIVE question mark. They also could not re-sign Byron Jones, which will allow Atlanta to exploit matchups in the pass-game (pending they don’t trade for Jamal Adams before this game). Travis Frederick, arguably their best player, is retired. However, Ezekiel Elliot could spell problems for the Falcons. CeeDee Lamb joins an already stacked receiving corps with Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper, but the X Factor here is Prescott. He’s not Russell Wilson, and it will be up to the Falcons to control the run game, eat up some clock, and make him beat them. Elliott ran for 200 yards on Atlanta last time these teams met — that can’t happen again. If Todd Gurley and Co. can keep Atlanta’s offense chugging on the ground, Atlanta has an excellent opportunity to steal a road win.
Falcons – 28 Cowboys – 17