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Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys Pick & Prediction SEP 20TH 2020

FinishedTV: FOXAT&T Stadium Arlington

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The Atlanta Falcons added running back Todd Gurley in the offseason, but Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said the focus heading into their Sunday game in Arlington, Texas, is on slowing down the Falcons' passing game.

In a Week 1 loss to Seattle, Matt Ryan threw for 450 yards, with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley combining for 287 receiving yards. Atlanta had three receivers over 100 yards.

McCarthy said the focus will be on containing Jones and Ridley.

"Their ability to make big plays is all over the tape -- last year and obviously the Seattle game," McCarthy said. "They push the ball up top. It's a complete opposite challenge than we just faced this last week with the Rams."

Barring a tie, one team will reach a milestone it hasn't reached in quite awhile.

Neither team has started 0-2 for at least a decade. The Cowboys haven't lost their first two games since 2010, the season Jason Garrett replaced Wade Phillips as head coach following a 1-7 start. Garrett coached the Cowboys until this offseason, when McCarthy replaced him.

The Falcons haven't started 0-2 since 2007.

Sunday's game could be important for Dan Quinn's future with the Falcons, who have sputtered out of the gate in each of the last two seasons en route to back-to-back 7-9 campaigns.

Last week, the Falcons struggled to contain Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said Wednesday he went into the game focusing on clowning Seattle's run game instead of worrying much about Wilson.

With Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb at receiver for the Cowboys, Morris strives to find a better balance this week.

"When Zeke gets the ball in space, he's a problem. When all these receivers get the ball in space, they're a problem," Morris said. "You've got to limit space, get some tackles and get some population to the ball."

The Cowboys suffered a spate of long-term injuries in their opening loss. Tight end Blake Jarwin is out for the season after tearing his ACL while inside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch fractured his collarbone and backup offensive tackle Cam Erving sprained an MCL.

Vander Esch and Erving figure to return later this season. Erving is out four to six weeks while Vander Esch is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

The game figures to have the biggest crowd of at least the early part of this NFL season.

McCarthy said Wednesday that the Cowboys would have 25 percent attendance. Based on the listed capacity of AT&T Stadium, that would put the crowd at 20,000 or more.

The Cowboys are one of eight teams who have announced plans to have fans in attendance at some point this season.

McCarthy said it was strange playing in front of no fans in Week 1.

"It was an experience I don't think any of us ever was expecting," McCarthy said. "I knew it was going to be empty, I just didn't know it was going to be that quiet. I think it'll be a lot different at AT&T (Stadium) Sunday. We'll have some live energy in the building."

Gurley could help keep the crowd hushed. He had 14 carries for 56 yards and a touchdown in his Atlanta debut last week. The Falcons were forced to turn away from the running game in the second half.

"There's just an energy level that you feel from him when it's time to go," Ryan said. "The great players that I've been around in my career have that ability to do it. You see it. You feel it. He gives off that kind of vibe when you're around him."

--Field Level Media

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Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Player Position Lineup
Ricardo Allen primary: Safety Starter
James Carpenter primary: Left Guard Starter
Tyeler Davison primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Russell Gage primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Grady Jarrett primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Deion Jones primary: Defensive End Starter
Julio Jones primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Damontae Kazee primary: Safety Starter
Chris Lindstrom primary: Right Guard Starter
Alex Mack primary: Center Starter
Jake Matthews primary: Left Tackle Starter
Kaleb McGary primary: Right Tackle Starter
Takkarist McKinley primary: Defensive End Starter
Isaiah Oliver primary: Cornerback Starter
Foyesade Oluokun primary: Linebacker Starter
Calvin Ridley primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Matt Ryan primary: Quarterback Starter
Hayden Hurst primary: Tight End Starter
Dante Fowler Jr. primary: Defensive End Starter
Todd Gurley primary: Runningback Starter
A.J. Terrell primary: Safety Starter
Darqueze Dennard primary: Cornerback Starter
Allen Bailey primary: Defensive End Substitution
Christian Blake primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
John Cominsky primary: Defensive End Substitution
Matt Gono primary: Offensive Tackle Substitution
Jaeden Graham primary: Tight End Substitution
Josh Harris primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Brian Hill primary: Runningback Substitution
Younghoe Koo primary: Kicker Substitution
Steven Means primary: Defensive End Substitution
Keanu Neal primary: Safety Substitution
Brandon Powell primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Deadrin Senat primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Ito Smith primary: Runningback Substitution
Jacob Tuioti-Mariner primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Olamide Zaccheaus primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Keith Smith primary: Fullback Substitution
Sharrod Neasman primary: Safety Substitution
Blidi Wreh-Wilson primary: Cornerback Substitution
LaRoy Reynolds primary: Linebacker Substitution
Justin McCray primary: Guard Substitution
Matt Hennessy primary: Offensive Linesman Substitution
Mykal Walker primary: Linebacker Substitution
Jaylinn Hawkins primary: Safety Substitution
Sterling Hofrichter primary: Punter Substitution
Luke Stocker primary: Tight End Substitution
Qadree Ollison primary: Runningback Not active
Matt Schaub primary: Quarterback Did not play
Kendall Sheffield primary: Cornerback Not active
John Wetzel primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Marlon Davidson primary: Defensive Tackle Not active
Charles Harris primary: Defensive End Not active
Player Position Lineup
Chidobe Awuzie primary: Cornerback Starter
Amari Cooper primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Ezekiel Elliott primary: Runningback Starter
Michael Gallup primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Trysten Hill primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
Brandon Knight primary: Left Guard Starter
Demarcus Lawrence primary: Defensive End Starter
Jourdan Lewis primary: Cornerback Starter
Joe Looney primary: Right Guard Starter
Zack Martin primary: Right Tackle Starter
Tony Pollard primary: Tight End Starter
Dak Prescott primary: Quarterback Starter
Jaylon Smith primary: Weak Linebacker Starter
Connor Williams primary: Center Starter
Xavier Woods primary: Safety Starter
Darian Thompson primary: Safety Starter
Aldon Smith primary: Defensive End Starter
Dontari Poe primary: Defensive Tackle Starter
CeeDee Lamb primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Trevon Diggs primary: Cornerback Starter
Terence Steele primary: Wide Receiver Starter
Joe Thomas primary: Middle Linebacker Starter
Dorance Armstrong primary: Defensive End Substitution
Noah Brown primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Tyrone Crawford primary: Defensive Linesman Substitution
Luke Gifford primary: Linebacker Substitution
C.J. Goodwin primary: Cornerback Substitution
Chris Jones primary: Punter Substitution
Justin March-Lillard primary: Linebacker Substitution
Connor McGovern primary: Guard Substitution
Dalton Schultz primary: Tight End Substitution
Cedrick Wilson primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Donovan Wilson primary: Safety Substitution
Antwaun Woods primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
L.P. Ladouceur primary: Long Snapper Substitution
Greg Zuerlein primary: Kicker Substitution
Blake Bell primary: Tight End Substitution
Neville Gallimore primary: Defensive Tackle Substitution
Tyler Biadasz primary: Center Substitution
Bradlee Anae primary: Defensive End Substitution
Daryl Worley primary: Cornerback Substitution
Andy Dalton primary: Quarterback Substitution
Sean McKeon primary: Tight End Substitution
Everson Griffen primary: Defensive End Substitution
Malik Turner primary: Wide Receiver Substitution
Brandon Carr primary: Defensive Back Substitution
Tyron Smith primary: Offensive Tackle Not active
Reggie Robinson II primary: Defensive Back Not active
Ben Dinucci primary: Quarterback Not active
Rico Dowdle primary: Runningback Did not play
Eric Smith primary: Offensive Tackle Did not play
Rashad Smith primary: Linebacker Not active
Alex Light primary: Offensive Linesman Not active

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

  • Match Start
  • Period 1
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 27 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 42 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 42 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Hayden Hurst
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 10
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 22 Yards
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
    • Pass Receiver: Calvin Ridley
  • Period 2
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 41 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 33 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • MIN 5
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 3 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Calvin Ridley
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Ezekiel Elliott
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • Period 3
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
    • Rusher: Dak Prescott
  • MIN 12
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 2 Yards
    • Rusher: Dak Prescott
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • Period 4
  • MIN 0
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 46 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • MIN 1
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Rush
    • 1 Yards
    • Rusher: Dak Prescott
    • Conv Kicker: Greg Zuerlein
  • MIN 4
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 10 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Dalton Schultz
    • Passer: Dak Prescott
    • Conv Rusher: Ezekiel Elliott
  • MIN 7
    • scoring-play
    • Field Goal
    • 32 Yards
    • FG Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • MIN 14
    • scoring-play
    • Touchdown
    • Pass
    • 8 Yards
    • Pass Receiver: Russell Gage
    • Passer: Matt Ryan
    • Conv Kicker: Younghoe Koo
  • Match End


Last 10

W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • @New Orleans L 9 - 24
  • Denver W 27 - 34
  • @Carolina W 25 - 17
  • Detroit L 23 - 22
  • @Minnesota W 40 - 23
  • Carolina L 23 - 16
  • @Green Bay L 16 - 30
  • Chicago L 30 - 26
  • @Dallas L 39 - 40
  • Seattle L 38 - 25
W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • @Minnesota W 31 - 28
  • Pittsburgh L 24 - 19
  • @Philadelphia L 9 - 23
  • @Washington L 3 - 25
  • Arizona L 38 - 10
  • N.Y. Giants W 34 - 37
  • Cleveland L 49 - 38
  • @Seattle L 31 - 38
  • Atlanta W 39 - 40
  • @L.A. Rams L 17 - 20

Next Games

  • Las Vegas(10-14-12) W 20 - 23
  • New Orleans(11-28-19) L 26 - 18
  • @L.A. Chargers(09-23-12) W 27 - 3
  • Tampa Bay(11-24-19) L 35 - 22
  • @Kansas City(09-09-12) W 40 - 24
  • Washington(12-29-19) W 16 - 47
  • @Baltimore(10-14-12) L 29 - 31
  • @Cincinnati(12-09-12) W 20 - 19
  • San Francisco(09-07-14) L 28 - 17
  • Philadelphia(10-20-19) W 10 - 37

Last Meetings

  • Falcons @ Cowboys 39-40
  • Cowboys @ Falcons 22-19
  • Cowboys @ Falcons 7-27
  • Falcons @ Cowboys 39-28
  • Cowboys @ Falcons 13-19
  • Falcons @ Cowboys 21-37
  • Cowboys @ Falcons 38-28

American Football Conference

Buffalo Bills73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Miami Dolphins64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
New England Patriots46 0.4003.00.00.0 3-21-44-0-6
New York Jets010 0.0007.00.00.0 0-50-50-0-10
Pittsburgh Steelers100 01.0000.00.00.0 5-05-010-0-0
Cleveland Browns73 0.7003.00.00.0 5-12-27-0-3
Baltimore Ravens64 0.6004.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Cincinnati Bengals27 1.2227.50.00.0 2-20-52-1-7
Tennessee Titans73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-23-17-0-3
Indianapolis Colts73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-13-27-0-3
Houston Texans37 0.3004.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Jacksonville Jaguars19 0.1006.00.00.0 1-40-51-0-9
Kansas City Chiefs91 0.9000.00.00.0 4-15-09-0-1
Las Vegas Raiders64 0.6003.00.00.0 2-34-16-0-4
Denver Broncos46 0.4005.00.00.0 2-32-34-0-6
Los Angeles Chargers37 0.3006.00.00.0 2-31-43-0-7

National Football Conference

Philadelphia Eagles36 1.3330.00.00.0 2-21-43-1-6
Dallas Cowboys37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Washington Football Team37 0.3000.50.00.0 3-30-43-0-7
New York Giants37 0.3000.50.00.0 2-31-43-0-7
Green Bay Packers73 0.7000.00.00.0 3-14-27-0-3
Chicago Bears55 0.5002.00.00.0 2-33-25-0-5
Detroit Lions46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-33-34-0-6
Minnesota Vikings46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6
New Orleans Saints82 0.8000.00.00.0 5-13-18-0-2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers74 0.6361.50.00.0 3-24-27-0-3
Carolina Panthers47 0.3644.50.00.0 2-42-34-0-6
Atlanta Falcons37 0.3005.00.00.0 1-42-33-0-7
Los Angeles Rams73 0.7000.00.00.0 4-03-37-0-3
Seattle Seahawks73 0.7000.00.00.0 5-02-37-0-3
Arizona Cardinals64 0.6001.00.00.0 3-23-26-0-4
San Francisco 49ers46 0.4003.00.00.0 1-43-24-0-6

Last Injuries

Dallas Cowboys

  • Anthony Brown

    Doub Thurs | doubtful

    Brown is hindered by a rib injury, and he is not projected to be active Thursday versus the Washington Football Team.

  • Greg Zuerlein

    Prob Thurs | probable

    Zuerlein is bothered by a back injury, but it is projected that he will take the field Thursday versus the Washington Football Team.

  • Luke Gifford

    Elig Week 14 | out

    Gifford has been issued a two-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He will be eligible to return Week 14 against the Bengals.

  • Tyler Biadasz

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Biadasz has landed on the injured reserve list due to a hamstring injury, and it is unknown when he will get back on the field.

  • Blake Bell

    Prob Thurs | probable

    Bell is tending to a back injury, but he is expected to line up against the Washington Football Team on Thursday.

  • Trevon Diggs

    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Diggs has been assigned to the injured reserve list with a fractured bone in his foot, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Joe Thomas

    Prob Sun | probable

    Thomas was held out of the last game due to a wrist injury, but it is expected that he will line up against the Vikings on Sunday.

  • Zack Martin

    Prob Sun | probable

    Martin is hindered by a calf injury, but he is anticipated to take on the Vikings on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons

  • Julio Jones

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Jones exited the previous game due to left hamstring tightness, and it is unknown if he will draw back into the lineup on Sunday versus the Raiders.

  • Grady Jarrett

    Prob Sun | probable

    Jarrett is projected to take on the Raiders on Sunday despite a knee injury.

  • Foyesade Oluokun

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Oluokun is hindered by a knee injury, and it is unknown if he will be a participant Sunday versus the Raiders.

  • Calvin Ridley

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Ridley is tending to a foot injury, leaving his status against the Raiders on Sunday unknown.

  • Mykal Walker

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Walker left the last game due to a hamstring injury, and it is uncertain if he will line up on Sunday against the Raiders.

  • Todd Gurley

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Gurley is managing a knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will take the field against the Raiders on Sunday.

  • Dante Fowler Jr.

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Fowler Jr. is nursing a hamstring injury, leaving his availability for Sunday's clash with the Raiders unknown.

  • Hayden Hurst

    Ques Sun | questionable

    Hurst has an injured ankle, and it has yet to be established if he will dress for Sunday's battle with the Raiders.

Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott threw for 450 yards and a touchdown and ran for three scores and the Dallas Cowboys pulled off an improbable comeback with a 40-39 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.

Greg Zuerlein's 46-yard field goal on the game's final play completed a wild comeback after the Cowboys trailed by 20 points in the first half, by 15 in the fourth quarter and by nine with two minutes left.

But the Cowboys scored with 1:49 left to pull within two, then recovered an onside kick to give them one more chance to complete the rally.

The kick rolled slowly, giving the Falcons plenty of time to recover before it went 10 yards, but Atlanta didn't make a play for the ball and as soon as it hit the 10-yard mark, C.J. Goodwin jumped on it to give Dallas the ball.

Prescott's 24-yard pass to rookie CeeDee Lamb on the second play of the drive put the Cowboys in field-goal position and four plays later Zuerlein split the uprights.

Lamb had six catches for 106 yards and Amari Cooper added 100 yards on six receptions. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown.

Dallas (1-1) avoided their first 0-2 start since 2010. Atlanta is 0-2 for the first time since 2007.

It was Prescott's third-highest passing output of his career.

It was a crushing loss for the Falcons, who jumped ahead 20-0 in the first quarter and had several chances in the second half to put the game away.

Atlanta linebacker Foye Oluokun forced three Dallas fumbles in the first quarter, each turnover leading to points.

Oluokun, who later in the first half suffered a hamstring injury that kept him out for the rest of the game, became the first player with three forced fumbles in a quarter since Green Bay's Vonnie Holliday in 2002.

The Falcons' Matt Ryan threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns. Calvin Ridley caught seven passes for 109 yards and two scores.

Dallas had not allowed 39 or more points since early in the 2017 season and hadn't allowed that many at home since a 2015 loss to Atlanta.

--Field Level Media