The Cowboys were stunned by the Broncos last Sunday, getting dominated in all aspects at home. Is that the start of a trend or just a one-game thing?
We're about to find out with the surging Falcons coming to town, winners of three of the last four games to get to 4-4.
The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 10 matchup between the Falcons and Cowboys.
Rob Phillips: I've said all week that the Denver game looks like an aberration based on how well Dallas has played this season overall. That said, pass protection and run defense were problems against the Broncos, and that can't continue against a Falcons team that has played much better over the past month. Atlanta doesn't run the ball a whole lot, but they present two major matchup problems in do-everything running back Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie tight-end-who's-more-like-a-receiver Kyle Pitts. The Cowboys will have to find ways to get pressure on Matt Ryan without their top two defensive ends in the game. Ultimately, I just expect Dak Prescott and the offense to be sharper. Prescott didn't use the word "rust" on Thursday, but he did say poor footwork impacted his throws last Sunday. With Tyron Smith out another game, the Cowboys have to do a better job of stopping a four-man rush. But I think the offense hits some of the plays they missed against Denver and gets back on track, something like 27-21.
David Helman: Give me the over in this bad boy. That's what I see when I look at this matchup: points. Atlanta has scored 27 or more points in four of their last five games, and the Dallas defense has been susceptible to big plays. On the flip side, I just can't imagine the Cowboys' offense playing so poorly two weeks in a row — especially not with Michael Gallup returning to the lineup. So what we've got here is two strong offenses led by great quarterbacks, and I'm simply picking the better quarterback and the better offense to get the job done. Dak Prescott responds to last week by playing one of his best games of the year, and the Cowboys chalk up a 38-27 win off the strength of a big day from Amari Cooper. Let me get a late-game takeaway by the Dallas pass rush to help make the difference, as well.
Nick Eatman: It's rare that I pick a game so early in the week. But I got back to the press box last Sunday and told Derek Eagleton that Atlanta is about to get beat down next week. Nothing has changed my tune with that, even the injury to Randy Gregory. I think the Cowboys will be motivated, focused and everything else needed to play better football. If they play their best, which I'm predicting, they'll have little problems with the Falcons. If the Cowboys score first, it'll go a long way in this one. My bold prediction – all the guys that had big drops will score TDs. That means Cooper, CeeDee and even Tony Pollard. I'm picking the Cowboys to bounce back in a major way, winning 35-13.
Kyle Youmans: Good teams have a down stretch, great teams however, rebound quickly. We're going to find out which of the two the Cowboys are this week as Atlanta comes to town riding high after winning three of their last four. The Randy Gregory news hits hard, but Dallas still needs to manufacture pressure to make Matt Ryan uncomfortable. I think this week, we'll see the emergence of a reenergized defense from Dan Quinn and a couple different looks from his scheme than before. Give me the Cowboys 34-23
Mickey Spagnola: Just seen this team do too many good things over nearly the first half of the season to panic, to think differently of its quality. So, the Cowboys get back on track Sunday with the offense, defeating the Falcons, like 30-27. Just remember, nothing comes easy in the NFL, not even within a six-game winning streak if you figure the Cowboys won one of those with a walk-off field goal, one in overtime and one with a last-minute touchdown. And don't forget they were trailing Carolina at halftime and tied with the Giants with 2:51 until halftime. Just got to keep battling away.