Dak Prescott Cowboys Falcons
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles on a pass play during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on November 12, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons have to be nearly perfect for the remainder of the 2018 NFL season if they hope to make the playoffs. One of them is just about guaranteed to lose in Week 11 since they are set to face off in Atlanta Sunday afternoon.

The early betting odds indicate that the Cowboys and Falcons are even on a neutral field. Atlanta is favored by three points at home, according to OddsShark, and the over/under is 48.

Dallas and Atlanta could ultimately be competing for the same playoff spot. They share the same 4-5 record and sit 1.5 games behind the Minnesota Vikings for the conference’s No.6 seed. The Cowboys are still alive in the NFC East race, even though they trail the Washington Redskins by two games and have already been beaten once by the division leader. The Falcons have almost no chance to catch the 8-1 New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.

The Cowboys have been up and down all year. After upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 10, Dallas will try to win consecutive games for the first time in 2018. The Cowboys alternated wins and losses for the first seven contests of the season.

Atlanta dug themselves an early hole with four losses in five games, but they rebounded with a three-game winning streak to get back to .500. With a chance to earn a winning record in Week 10, the Falcons were embarrassed on the road against the Cleveland Browns in a 28-16 defeat.

Maybe the Falcons can right the ship when they return home. The Cowboys hadn’t won on the road all season before topping Philadelphia. It was just a year ago that Atlanta blew out Dallas 27-7 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Ezekiel Elliott was serving a suspension when the Falcons manhandled the Cowboys in 2017. The running back was terrific in Week 10, totaling 151 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. He added six catches for 36 yards and a score to complete a standout performance.

Moving the ball against Atlanta has proven to be fairly easy since the unit lost a couple of Pro Bowlers in the season opener. Only the Oakland Raiders have allowed more yards per play than the Falcons this season. Atlanta is 29th in points allowed.

Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones has been activated from injured reserve, though it’s unknown if he’ll play Sunday.

Will Dallas’ offense continue to roll in Atlanta? Considering the way the unit has performed all season, that isn’t likely, even with the addition of Amari Cooper.

Before giving up 28 points to Cleveland, the Falcons did limit the Redskins and New York Giants to 34 combined points in the previous two weeks. The Cowboys rank in the bottom nine in total offense, points per game and yards per play.

Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s offense has been largely unstoppable at home, where the quarterback has an incredible 130.7 passer rating with 14 touchdowns and one interception. Even Dallas’ defense, which is third in points allowed, will have a difficult time keeping the Falcons in check. Atlanta is fifth in yards per play.

Dak Prescott threw for 270 yards in Week 10. He hasn’t had two consecutive 270-yard performances since Week 10 and Week 11 of the 2016 season. The Cowboys haven’t scored at least 27 points in back-to-back games since Week 13 and Week 14 last year.

If Atlanta can put up points early, they’ve got a chance to win this one comfortably.

Prediction: Atlanta over Dallas, 30-20