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Cowboys at Falcons
Posted By David Willow On Nov 2 2012 @ 4:26 pm In Dallas Cowboys | 1 Comment
So far this season the Cowboys have lingered around .500, and they have really played like they are a .500 team. On offense the team is ranked 3rd in passing yards with 297.3 Yds/G, but 28th in rushing yards with 86 Yds/G and 23rd in points scored at 19.6 Pts/G. Defensively, they are 3rd against the pass, only allowing 187.7 Yds/G through the air, but have fallen to 13th against the run with 104.7 Yds/G and allowing 23.1 Pts/G. Tony Romo leads the league with 13 interceptions, and all this shows is what has been the team’s MO for awhile now. So can they beat the Falcons this week. Yes, actually.
The Cowboys were in the same situation a few years back when they played the undefeated New Orleans Saints in New Orleans in 2009. The Cowboys can still defend well against the pass as they showed last week against the Giants. The Falcons strength is passing and they are not the rushing team that they used to be. The Cowboys defense showed that it could keep the team in the game late, and the team did come within a finger of beating the Giants for the second time this season last week. So there is reason to believe that this will be a competitive game that the Cowboys can win.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves as the Cowboys will face the Falcons trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez led by MVP candidate Matt Ryan and sporting a 28.7 Pts/G average over 7 games. The Falcons have a big play threat in second year wide out Julio Jones and two very good route running pass catchers in White and Gonzalez. Matt Ryan has been surgical averaging 26 completions a game with a 68.7 passer rating. Defensively Dallas will have to account for John Abraham, who has 7 sacks on the season, is still a disruptive force at 34 years old and will look to pressure Romo all game long. The CB duo of Daunta Robinson and Asante Samuel will give Dez Bryant and Miles Austin all they can handle as well.
Atlanta has been susceptible to the the run defensively this season, and the Cowboys have improved their run blocking on the offensive line, though they are currently set to rely on Felix Jones to run through those holes. Despite the interceptions, the Cowboys have been very successful throwing the ball as well. Dez Bryant should continue to improve as long as his hip holds up, Miles Austin has been consistent as has Jason Witten, who had 18 receptions last week. The Cowboys defense should be able to keep them in the game throughout, and if the team can rally the way they did when they scored 24 unanswered points against New York last week, this will be an interesting game throughout.
Dallas will be without DeMarco Murray for another week, but it’s clear the impact that Murray has on the offense without him. There have been talks about seeing what Phillip Tanner and Lance Dunbar can do as the team is contemplating life without Felix next season. Tanner’s a hard runner and would likely be an upgrade from Jones, though he lacks the speed that Jones brings.
The Falcons have the edge in the game, but this is a game the Cowboys could very much win.
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