Dak Prescott leads the Dallas Cowboys against the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons are coming off a big win against the New Orleans Saints while the Cowboys are reeling from a tough loss. Dallas was outmatched against Denver last week in every facet of the football game. If the Cowboys wish to extend their Super Bowl hopes, they will have to right the ship, starting Sunday.
Dak Prescott Leads Cowboys in Important Bounce-Back Game
Underwhelming Performance Against Denver
Dak Prescott played very poorly last week against Denver, completing only 19/39 pass attempts for 232 yards. This marked one of Prescott’s worst games of his career. Prescott did most of his damage in garbage time in the fourth quarter once the game was out of reach, passing for two touchdowns.
Denver loaded the box against Dallas to control the run game. The Broncos were able to take advantage of the offensive line as Dallas was missing Tyron Smith. The Broncos regularly rushed four and were still able to force Prescott to vacate the pocket or get rid of the ball prematurely. This pressure caused ill-timed passes and numerous mistakes. The Broncos were able to blank the Cowboys until late in the 4th quarter with this defensive approach.
Blueprint Out on Big D?
The Atlanta Falcons will undoubtedly attempt to replicate the Broncos defensive scheme from last week. The Falcons are not as skilled defensively as the Broncos, but are more capable on the offensive of the ball. If the Falcons are able to slow down this Dallas offense, the Cowboys could struggle against another underdog.
The Cowboys also struggled defensively last week. Denver outgained Dallas 407 to 290 in yardage en route to a 30-16 victory. Dallas will have to improve their defensive approach in order to win against Atlanta. The Falcons offense has been better as of late with the emergence of both Kyle Pitts and Cordarrelle Patterson. The rookie tight end and former kick returner turned star running back, are in line for a big day against this Dallas defense. Matt Ryan commands this offense like a veteran superstar and would love to solidify the Falcons into playoff contention.
Tell the ice cubes that their dad is a Sunday Star!#DirtyBirds | @AtlantaFalcons | @M_Ryan02 pic.twitter.com/awxWElhFOo
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) November 7, 2021
Revenge Game Potential
The Cowboys defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, has extra motivation playing against his former team. The Cowboys defense has been a controversial unit forcing a high number of turnovers and stops while giving up a lot of points and yards. The defense has adopted a bend-don’t-break mentality, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the opposing teams’ mistakes for the first half of the season.
Cowboys DC Dan Quinn on Falcons reunion: "There isn't no time to take a stroll down memory lane, like we got some s— to fix."https://t.co/j8R1xPE2c6 pic.twitter.com/z7IvGoqSjA
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) November 8, 2021
Dallas Needs to Win the Trenches
The offensive line will look to get back on track in this game. The Cowboys are best when the offensive line opens up running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott is then able to hit big plays off play-action. Prescott must force teams out of loaded boxes for the run game to succeed. Denver was able to load the box and win one-on-one against the Dallas receivers. Dallas needs to force Atlanta to sell out to stop the run, then gash the secondary on play-action for big plays with Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
Bounce-Back For Dallas
Dallas has a host of holes that need to be plugged in order to get ready for the Falcons. This game serves as a get-right game for Prescott and the offensive line. It’s also a great opportunity for Dan Quinn to get revenge against his former team. Dallas will rely heavily on Prescott’s ability to pass into coverage and improve from last week’s debacle against the Broncos. The game plan for the Falcons will be to stop the run and win one on one matchups in coverage. With Patterson, Pitts, and Ryan, the Cowboys defense and Dan Quinn will have their hands full. Prescott and the offense will have to be sharp on Sunday to secure a victory against this NFC rival.
Embed from Getty Images