A Tale of Two Halfs

Yes, I put halfs. Yes, Dallas was demolished in the 2nd half of this game. Yes, Dallas was also up 21-7 in this game. Let’s recap our first loss of the year.

The Cowboys did a great job establishing the run in the first half and basically moved down the field at will. Atlanta had a hard time trying to stop the run along with our short passes. Weeden was hitting his targets well until he threw that awful interception in Dallas territory. From that point forward momentum shifted to the Falcons and they didn’t look back. The Cowboys passing game was non existent and that was kind of expected. Terrance Williams proved that he isn’t a strong #1 option, and could even be a weak #2 option. Cole Beasley and Jason Witten were strong and great security blankets for Weeden. The defense was stout until we hit the second half. Freeman ran strong in the second half and wore our defense down. I had several people tell me that the Cowboys made a mistake going away from the run.

I feel that the Cowboys tried to establish the run but also needed to sustain drives. What the team had to do since the runs they tried were going backwards was to pass. It seemed that the front lines of the Cowboys wore down quickly against the Falcons. I think a few more screens would’ve been beneficial for Weeden but he has to take some shots and stretch the field. Next week I hope to see the Cowboys try to take a shot down the field depending on field position. McFadden and Randle played well and it would’ve been nice to get McFadden the ball a little more if Randle started struggling in the second half. Dunbar’s stats were a little inflated, but he did play well. Next week we face the Saints and they will dial up the pressure. I expect Dallas to practice some quick plays and stretch plays to tire out the Saints D. The upcoming Sunday night match up could be without Brees and Romo.

Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are going to get a lot of opportunities this season. Julio was targeted 20 times today and that is insane. The Falcons force fed their priced WR and he made Dallas pay the price. What also was interesting is that the Falcons were able to establish a running game. It will be interesting to see what this Falcons team looks like if Freeman can consistently put pressure on defenses buy picking up 4-5 yards per carry.