Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. EST, September 27
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
Radio: 92.9 The Game
The Atlanta Falcons (2-0) look to continue their winning ways when they go up to Arlington, Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys (2-0). Both teams are undefeated, but Dallas has been decimated by injuries to their key players as of late. Starting quarterback Tony Romo broke his left collarbone in Week 2, while star receiver Dez Bryant is also out due to a foot injury. Let us not forget that the Cowboys defense looked great last week, and they will look to find ways to pressure Matt Ryan.
This is another road game that will test Atlanta. Some analysts believe that they will win, but this can easily be viewed as a trap game. Already having two wins against the NFC East, the Falcons look to continue to knock off another NFC East foe. The team needs to find a way to score early in order to pile up a lead, as Dallas does not have the offense to keep up. Look for Dan Quinn to motivate his players early and often, as he knows that a 3-0 start would be an incredible start for him and the organization.
NFL experts have said Atlanta has been lucky to win both games, but at the end of the day, they found a way to finish. Replacing Tony Romo will be Brandon Weeden, a medicare backup quarterback. Dallas will look to pound the rock with a combination of Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden, and Lance Dunbar will also see some looks. Atlanta’s front seven will have to play a great game Sunday. If they can find ways to limit the Cowboys running game, they can take on Brandon Weeden in the passing game.
While the Dallas offense has gone downhill, their defense is on the uprise. Led by linebacker Sean Lee, the Cowboys defense surrendered only 10 points to the high-powered offense in the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. The Falcons are down a key offensive player after losing running back Tevin Coleman due to cracked ribs. Devonta Freeman will get the start, with undrafted free agent Terron Ward playing in the backup role. Matt Ryan still has his receivers, most notably Julio Jones, a top-two wide receiver currently in the NFL. The offensive line has to find ways to create holes for Freeman, otherwise Atlanta might end up being one-dimensional. Look for Kyle Shanahan to use the passing game to open up the running game early.
Will the Atlanta Falcons continue their winning ways or will they lose in a trap game? Injuries will be a headline in this game. No defense should fear Brandon Weeden, and with the way Atlanta’s defense has been playing of late, I see no reason why the Falcons will falter. Can Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne contain Julio Jones and Roddy White? Not to mention that Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme will be a key player on the offense, and Sean Lee will have his hands full all day. If Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Greg Hardy, and a healthy Jason Witten are playing, I take Dallas. But that’s not the case, and that’s why I’m taking Atlanta.
The Pick: Atlanta Falcons 27, Dallas Cowboys 17
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire