Jason Witten

Dallas Cowboys Face Another Tough Test Against Atlanta Falcons

The Dallas Cowboys season of disappointment continued Sunday with a gut-wrenching 29-24 defeat to the New York Giants. Now, the 3-4 Cowboys must regroup for a tough road match-up against the  undefeated Atlanta Falcons.

Dallas is pegged as a 4-point underdog against the Falcons with the over/under listed at 47.5, according to this week’s NFL odds. Atlanta, which sports a 5-2 record against the spread this season, is coming off a sharp 30-17 win over the Eagles as 3-point road underdogs.

Dallas has seemingly found a new way to lose in each of their four losses and Sunday was no exception. This time it was a flurry of early turnovers that dug the Cowboys into a 23-0 hole that they could never overcome.

Except for the turnovers, the Cowboys may have outplayed their division rival Sunday. The Giants were limited to just 11 first downs and 293 yards by a stout Cowboys defense, while Dallas mustered 28 first downs and 434 total yards.

The Cowboys should be encouraged by the continued improvement of Rob Ryan’s defensive unit as well as the increased production of pass-catchers Jason Witten and Miles Austin. Witten had a career day against the Giants. He set a new NFL record for tight ends with 18 receptions, which accounted for 167 yards.

For the Cowboys to be successful against the Falcons, their No. 3-ranked pass-coverage unit will have to play like it and slow down quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons aerial attack. Additionally, the Cowboys may need to run the ball more to take advantage of a Falcons rush defense that is highly suspect at this point.

It would be a big boost if No. 1 running back DeMarco Murray returns from injury for the Cowboys, but as of mid-week his status remained uncertain for the Falcons.

This marks the halfway point of the season for the Cowboys and another loss would be a huge blow to their playoff chances. There are some potentially good match-ups for the Cowboys in this one, but it is still difficult as a bettor to support a team that continues to be so mistake prone.