Falcons vs Cowboys Week 10: History, players to watch, gut prediction

Dallas Cowboys (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /

Atlanta Falcons vs Dallas Cowboys Gut Prediction

Prediction: Cowboys 30, Falcons 23

Before the prediction, let me talk about wide receiver, Malik Turner. Little picture shoutout for a guy that, in a game that was ugly in all other areas, did a lot of good things that showed heart. Fighting for two late touchdowns and being the one to block the punt, even with how that turned out, earned Turner respect, a place on this team, and some quality film for teams to view. Good for him.

This game is going to be a little bit closer than most Cowboys fans would like. The Falcons won’t roll over and have a bit of confidence coming in off a win last week. They will certainly be a test for a Cowboys team looking to answer a lot of newfound questions facing them.

The Falcons’ offense is reliant on the passing game. While they are 20th in the league in yards per game, this comes from being 12th in passing yards per game and 29th in rushing yards per game averaging only 80 yards on the ground.

The Cowboys’ defense is going to need their pass defense to return to the form we saw earlier in the year. We have seen the turnovers dry up and it has been evident. The defense needs to play with a lead and an opportunistic attitude in knowing the opposing offense has to play catch-up.

If the Cowboys can come out of the gates better than last week, the defense could look to play aggressively and jump some routes. If the Falcons somehow find luck in a previously non-existent run game, it could be a long day. With the Falcons in the bottom half of passing yards per attempt and yards per completion, Dan Quinn sprinkling in some more zone could help his defense.

Offensively, I am led to believe last week is much more of an anomaly than anything else. The Broncos played well but the Cowboys missed a lot of chances with uncharacteristic overthrows from Prescott, drops from sure-handed targets, and short-yardage blunders. If they hit on even a couple of those, that game doesn’t get out of hand as it did.

I think the Cowboys come in this week with a sense of urgency on offense to execute and get the ball out quickly. With some struggles in protection last week, Prescott would be suited to trust the likes of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Tony Pollard in the short game and utilize their run-after-the-catch ability. If the Cowboys do desire deep shots, they may be alright as the falcons have the second-lowest pressure percentage (18.6%) in the league and third-most passing touchdowns.

I fully expect Dak Prescott to bounce back from last week’s performance, which no way around it, was poor and one of the worst outings we’ve seen from him. I like him to come back this week and spread it around with Elliott a little banged up and an increased dose of Pollard.

Give me just north of 300 and two touchdowns for him with balls to (deep breathe): Cooper, Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Pollard, Elliott, Schultz, and Michael Gallup (Welcome back, 13!). The whole gang will get involved this week in a game plan pulling out all the stops to get back on track.

Falcons vs Cowboys odds and prediction for Week 10. light. Trending

As we saw, the NFL is a parity-driven league and it’s what makes every week interesting. This game will stay within striking distance for most of it and get the heart rate going in the fourth quarter, but ultimately end in a Cowboys victory to right the ship. I think we see a much sharper team and leave Sunday with the Dallas Cowboys sitting at 7-2 providing evidence that this team can respond in a way good teams do.