Falcons vs. Cowboys: NFL Week 9 Preview

By Ken Grace
Howard Smith–US Presswire

The Atlanta Falcons look to stay perfect as the struggling Dallas Cowboys make their way to the Georgia Dome.

Atlanta, the only undefeated team in the NFL at 7-0, looks to pick up their eighth straight win. Meanwhile, Jerry Jones and the ‘Boys look to get back on the right track after a disappointing loss to the New York Giants. Much like last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, there are some who think Dallas can ruin the Falcons perfect season.

It might be a stretch but if opponents want a chance to beat the Falcons, their best bet is to try to beat them in Atlanta. Yes, the falcons are undefeated but they have only won their home games by a combined 11 points. Two of those wins, against the Carolina Panthers and Oakland Raiders were virtually undecided until the last few minutes of the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, the Falcons are coming off an impressive 30-17 demolishing of the Eagles; a game where they scored on their first 6 possessions. The Cowboy defense is not as bad as the Eagles. Against the pass, the Cowboys only give up 187.7 yards per game; good enough to be ranked third in the NFL. Their rushing defense is allowing 104.7 yards per game, which is formidable, making them the 13th best in the league. That stat would make somewhat of a difference if the Falcons were bruising teams with their running games as they have in the past. Ultimately, this game will come down to a battle between the Atlanta receiving corps vs. the Cowboys secondary. Can Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez get open enough for Matt Ryan to get them the ball?

Another factor that could decide this game and probably will is the play of Tony Romo at the quarterback position for Dallas. Romo has become the new Jay Cutler in a way. When Romo is on his game, he is easily one of the best in the business but when Romo is bad, he is really bad. Romo has been bad enough this season to be the league leader in interceptions with 13. And to think everyone has been giving Michael Vick a hard time. However, some of these interceptions have not been his fault. Some of them have gone right through wide receiver, Dez Bryant’s hands. With a Falcons secondary featuring Asante Samuel and Thomas DeCoud, this could be a big problem for Dallas. It could also lead to another loss as well, something the Cowboys can ill afford.

If the Atlanta Falcons play at the level they did against Philadelphia, they should win this game. As to how close it is, that will depend on Tony Romo and Cowboys ability to move the ball against a defense that is getting better every game. Not only that, but if the Falcons can get something cooking on special teams, particularly some solid return yards, Dallas will be in for a really long day.

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