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Atlanta Falcons vs Dallas Cowboys - NFL Week 2
September 20, 2020
1:00 PM ET
About the Falcons
The Falcons didn’t have an answer for Russell Wilson as their defense allowed 4 TD passes. This week the Falcons will face QB Dak Prescott who has a multitude of weapons at WR and SS Keanu Neal and CB’s Isaiah Oliver, Darqueze Dennard and A.J. Terrell must be aware and on their toes against this lethal Cowboys passing attack. The Falcons secondary can’t allow WR Amari Cooper to get loose for big plays. The Falcons offensive line only allowed 2 sacks against the Seahawks and must protect QB Matt Ryan from a potent Cowboys pass rush. Ryan played great despite the loss as 3 of his WR’s had over 100 yards receiving. RB Todd Gurley couldn’t quite get going in his team debut with 56 yards rushing on 14 attempts and 2 catches for only 1 yard. After week 1, the Falcons have the #1 passing offense and the #2 ranked offense in the NFL. During their last meeting against the Cowboys, the Falcons lost 22-19.
About the Cowboys
The Cowboys lost a hard-fought battle against the Los Angeles Rams by a 3-point margin. QB Dak Prescott played well with 266 yards passing and a TD, and it appears that the Cowboys implemented more drop-back passing plays designed to keep Prescott in the pocket. Head coach Mike McCarthy must allow Prescott to play his style of football and allow him to do what he does best. The Cowboys are not a team built to play from behind because they depend on the running game to be successful. Changing their identity on offense could be a disaster because the offense was built around RB Ezekiel Elliott’s ability to pound the ball behind their elite offensive line and allowing Prescott to use play-action to keep defenses off balance. Elliott finished with 96 yards rushing with a TD, but they might have difficulty running against the Falcons defense that only allowed 84 yards rushing against the Seahawks. The Cowboys will be without LB Leighton Vander Esch for 6-8 weeks due to a broken collarbone. Vander Esch recorded 212 tackles over 25 games for the Cowboys. TE Blake Jarwin is out for the season after suffering a torn ACL.
Players to Watch
Julio Jones (Falcons): Just imagine the impact Jones can have against the Cowboys secondary, especially after they allowed WR Robert Woods 105 yards on 6 catches. Expect Jones to see plenty of press coverage and double teams.
Ezekiel Elliott (Cowboys): Can Elliott get going against the Falcons stout run defense? Will he still get touches if the Cowboys fall behind on the scoreboard?
Mykal Walker (Falcons): Walker had 1 tackle in his NFL debut and should see an increase in his playing time as the season progresses.
Trevon Diggs (Cowboys): Diggs could be assigned to cover Jones on some plays due to his size and length in an attempt to limit any potential game-changing plays.
Key Statistic: The Cowboys are 1-7 in 1 score games since the start of the 2019 season.
The Cowboys get on the scoreboard early and feed Elliott the ball to control the time of possession. Ryan will once again spread the ball to multiple WR’s once again playing from behind but coming up short.
Final Score: Falcons 24 / Cowboys 37