The Cowboys need a win in the worst way. Starting 0-2 and heading to Seattle would be an uphill climb that this team needs to avoid. However, the Falcons will be desperate to win and avoid losing both games as well.
This could be an exciting matchup of two offenses that have the ability to put up some points. However, injuries could be affecting the Cowboys on both sides of the ball.
The DallasCowboys.com staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 2 matchup:
Rob Phillips: Huge early-season game for two teams trying to avoid 0-2. I know the Cowboys have confidence in their offensive line, but you always feel better about the overall functionality of the offense when Tyron Smith is at left tackle. The Cowboys were compromised to some degree up front last year against the Jets when Smith and La'el Collins were both sidelined, and it didn't help that Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb (now with Houston) were both sidelined for most of that road loss, too. Cooper (foot) looks set to start Sunday against the Falcons. As of Friday, Smith's availability for Week 2 is a toss-up. If he plays, I like the Cowboys to rebound because I think the offense was much closer to approaching 30 points last week than you might think. If not, then you have to wonder if offensively the Cowboys can be as effective. But I'll bank on the Cowboys' depth in that scenario and predict a better showing from the defense in their second game playing live football in a new scheme.
David Helman: I feel dumb even typing this out. Looking over the list of injuries the Cowboys are dealing with, it feels very stupid to think they're capable of pulling this out. At the same time, I'm kind of sick of some people acting as if the Cowboys are the only team that deals with injuries. The San Francisco 49ers played an extended period of time without either starting offensive tackle last season, and it didn't prevent them from reeling off a 13-3 record. So basically what I'm saying is: if the Cowboys are as talented as I think they are, and if the coaching staff is as smart and experienced as their resumes suggest, they should be able to figure this out. The L.A. Rams designed an entire game plan around getting the ball out of Jared Goff's hand quickly just last week. With Dak Prescott and the skill players on hand, the Cowboys should be capable of something similar. The Falcons are obviously going to put up some points, but I'm putting some faith in this coaching staff to think outside the box. If they can manage to grab a second half lead, they can lean on Ezekiel Elliott to close the door in a 31-30 win.
Kyle Youmans: With the uncertainty surrounding a banged-up offensive line, the linebackers, and the overall health of the Cowboys entering Week 2, things look grim against a high-powered Atlanta attack. However, I think Dallas' coaching staff will flip the script and make the necessary adjustments, with the injuries in mind, to have success on both sides of the ball. During his time in Green Bay, there were very few coaches better than Mike McCarthy with early season adjustments as he was 3-1 in Week 2 games following a loss. After an abbreviated offseason under a new coaching staff, last week understandably served as a learning point for both the players and coaches. Sunday will look closer to the Cowboys team that we all expected to see in the opener, despite the injuries involved. I believe Dak Prescott will have a better game through the air, the defensive line will take advantage of a sub-par Atlanta front, and the Cowboys open the home slate with a win, 41-21.
Nick Eatman: Earlier in the week, I got asked on a radio show to pick the score of the game. It was like Wednesday and to me, that was a little earlier than I wanted to do it, and for good reason. On Wednesday, we really didn't much about Tyron Smith's neck injury that kept him out two days. Also didn't know about Aldon Smith missing two practices either. So my pick of Cowboys 38-28 seemed better on Wednesday than it does here at the end of week. So guess what? I'm not changing anything. I've been burned in overthinking things over the years. Then again, the Cowboys have been burned in under-thinking things when it comes to Tyron Smith playing the Falcons. But I trust this staff will get the problems fixed up front and the offense can still function well enough to put up some points. I see both teams scoring a lot and opening up the game. I'm going to say that the Cowboys will have a lot new wrinkles on offense and special teams this week. Let's have some fun with this game. Dallas gets to 1-1 with a 38-28 win over the Falcons.
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