Looking to even their record at 1-1, here is how the Dallas Cowboys can rebound with a Week 2 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
In the world of football, you may commonly hear coaches and players speak about a “24-hour” rule. Once 24 hours have passed, whatever the results from the prior week, it’s time to move on to the next week. For the Dallas Cowboys, that could not be more necessary.
In all honesty, a 20-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams should not be the end of the world. The Rams are a solid team. They played at home. It was a three-point loss that included a late controversial call. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
In the social media world, however, the sky is already falling. Never mind that it was not only just one game but also the first game of a 16-game schedule. Expectations of a high-powered offense fell drastically short. Anticipated changes seemingly were missing. Just like last season, this team failed to close the deal in a close game.
Sunday morning is exactly what is needed for all involved. A win over the Falcons would go a long way towards easing those on the ledge off of it. An explosive, high scoring Dallas Cowboys day would likely make forgetting last week all the easier.
Can the Dallas Cowboys rebound at home versus the Atlanta Falcons? Here are a couple of reasons to believe that will be the outcome in Week 2.
Limit the Falcons time of possession
Atlanta has the capability of putting up lots of points. The Dallas Cowboys have a few key injuries on the defensive side of the ball, namely linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and cornerback Anthony Brown. It would be in their best interest to limit the Falcons time of possession.
Even though it was “garbage time,” Atlanta scored two touchdowns in the final nine minutes of their game last week. Clearly, in games that are close or when the Dallas Cowboys find themselves behind, this team struggles to win.
Obtaining an early lead and letting running back Ezekiel Elliott to punish the defense would serve the Cowboys well. Elliott looked good last week falling just four yards short of 100+ yards. Sprinkle in some extra doses of Tony Pollard and this should serve two masters.
Firstly, it will keep the Falcons offense off the field. It will also limit the exposure of a banged-up offensive line by allowing them to be aggressive and lean on the Falcons defense which is built to rush the passer.
The Cowboys are built to put games away. In order to do so, they need to get an early lead. Given the Falcons propensity to fall behind (they’ve been behind ten times including all of 2019 and last week), this is a likely outcome that could come into fruition.
Attack the quarterback
Lost in all of the uproars of how disappointing the Dallas Cowboys offense turned out, was the lack of a pass rush from the Dallas defensive line. This has to improve. What better time than now?
DeMarcus Lawrence has not had a full sack since November 4, 2019. Everson Griffen came up with a goose egg last week as well. In fact, only Aldon Smith was able to get even remotely close to Rams quarterback Jared Goff last week.
Part of that was due to the Rams’ quick pass scheme. Part of it was how well their offensive line played. Ultimately, it simply comes down to the need for these three to be better.
In their last four losses, Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked 19 times. The ability to disrupt the Falcons offense will be key to victory. What better way to do so than to put the quarterback on his back.
If Lawrence, Griffen, and Smith are unable to do so, the Cowboys could be in for a long day. The ability is there. The results need to be as well. Look for Dallas to sack Ryan three or more times today.
Is this a “must-win” situation for the Dallas Cowboys? Absolutely not. There is no such thing as a must-win in the second week of September. With that being said, it’s probably as close as it gets.
Since 2007, 98 teams have started 0-2, with just 12 making the playoffs. One of those teams did so by sneaking in with an 8-8 record. Even with an additional playoff spot up for grabs, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which 8-8 gets that spot.
I firmly believe you will see a much more polished Dallas Cowboys team today. We will find out if Mike McCarthy is capable of making changes to limit losing streaks. Look for an unexpected, not as close as you might think win from your Dallas Cowboys.
Prediction: Falcons 17, Cowboys 28