A season full of promise is slowly going off the tracks for the Dallas Cowboys as they prepare to take on the undefeated Atlanta Falcons Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.
Dallas stormed back from a 23-0 deficit against the New York Giants on Sunday only two lose 29-24 at home.
Turnovers plagued the now 3-4 Cowboys yet again, with quarterback Tony Romo firing off four interceptions, including one brought back by Giants linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul 28 yards for a touchdown.
Dallas did take a 24-23 lead after John Phillips one-yard touchdown reception with 3:43 left in the third quarter, but failed to score in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys have only outscored opponents in the final period twice this season.
It was Romo’s second multi-pick game this season, but not his worst. He threw five interceptions in Dallas’ Week 4 loss to the Chicago Bears
Romo was forced to throw 62 times due to the Giants’ huge early lead, and the Cowboys only gained 19 rushing yards as a result.
The one constant in Romo's most difficult games this season is tight end Jason Witten, who racked up 18 catches for 167 yards against the Giants. Against Chicago, Witten had 13 receptions for 112 yards and his only touchdown of the season.
It is difficult to place much blame on a Dallas defense that held the potent New York offense to one touchdown and five field goals, as the team lost its top tackler in linebacker Sean Lee to season-ending toe surgery earlier in the week.
Things will only get harder as Dallas hits the road to face the high-flying Falcons.
Atlanta remained the sole unbeaten team in the NFL with a 30-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles last week.
Quarterback Matt Ryan continued his MVP campaign with 262 yards and three touchdowns, and receiver Julio Jones had five receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons are now 7-0 for the first time in team history, and their win over the Eagles was their first against a team with a .500 or better record this season.
Atlanta has done it on both sides of the ball, especially its secondary, which is 10th in the NFL allowing 216.9 yards per game. But Atlanta does lag behind against the run, surrendering 136 rushing yards per game.
Dallas should look to exploit the Falcons weak rush defense, but might do so without DeMarco Murray for the third straight game. Murray's sprained foot is healing, but Dallas has not said when he will return. Running back Felix Jones should start again in Murray's absence.
Betting Odds: Atlanta is favored by 4.5 points
Over/Under: 47.5 points
Prediction: A win over Falcons could put Dallas’ season back on track, but its a daunting task. The Falcons and Ryan have tons of confidence heading into this game, as they’ve proven they can win close games and keep up the pressure in blowouts. Look for the Falcons to win a close game.
Predicted Score: Atlanta 27, Dallas 24