National Football League
Preview
Dallas at Atlanta
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 18, 2018
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

The Dallas Cowboys still are in the mix in the mediocre NFC East, but they’ll need to snap a three-game skid against the host Atlanta Falcons on Sunday to avoid losing ground. The Cowboys are two games behind first-place Washington in the division while the Falcons, who have a matching 4-5 record, trail NFC South-leading New Orleands by four contests.



The Falcons dominated the Cowboys 27-7 at home last season, sacking Dak Prescott eight times. “It’s one of those ones you watch and speed through watching it,” Prescott told reporters. “You watch it because it’s the same people we’re going to play, but it’s a new team from our standpoint. We’ve got our running back. We’ve got some players healthy and didn’t play healthy. And it’s a different team from their standpoint.” The running back in question is Ezekiel Elliott, who began a six-game suspension from the league against Atlanta. Elliott is coming off one of the best games of his young career as he recorded 187 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns in last week’s 27-20 win at Philadelphia.

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Falcons -3. O/U: 48.5



ABOUT THE COWBOYS (4-5): The defense has been solid in every aspect except forcing turnovers, as the Cowboys have only nine takeaways. The offense has been too one-dimensional as Elliott (831 yards, four touchdowns) leads a strong ground attack while the passing game has been ineffective, although that could be changing. Amari Cooper has begun to settle into the offense and led the team with six catches for 75 yards last week, giving Prescott the solid first option he has been missing since Dez Bryant’s departure.

ABOUT THE FALCONS (4-5): The Falcons are the opposite of the Cowboys in that their offense has performed well, but the defense hasn’t held up its end. Matt Ryan again is putting up huge numbers, ranking third in the NFL in passing (3,015 yards), and Julio Jones - the league leader with 1,040 receiving yards - has found the end zone in consecutive games after being shut out over his first seven contests. The Falcons need to get some kind of ground game going, however, as they’ve been plagued by Devonta Freeman’s absence and rank 30th in the league in rushing.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Ryan is 3-0 with 842 passing yards, four touchdowns and one interception against the Cowboys.

2. Cowboys LB Leighton Vander Esch made 13 tackles last week and ranks third among NFL rookies with 74 stops.

3. Jones has registered 45 career performances with at least 100 receiving yards, tying Randy Moss for the most by a player in his first eight seasons.



PREDICTION: Falcons 23, Cowboys 20


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Dallas 4-5 W1 20.1 19.0 3-1 1-4 1-2 0-0 - - 3-3
Atlanta 4-5 L1 27.1 28.2 3-2 1-3 4-5 0-0 - - 4-2
Last Meeting
Dallas Atlanta
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/12/17 DAL 7 ATL 27 233 107 126 336 132 204
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Dallas D. Prescott 66.7 176 0 0
Atlanta M. Ryan 75.9 215 2 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Dallas A. Morris 11 53 4.8 0
Atlanta T. Coleman 20 83 4.2 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Dallas J. Witten 7 59 8.4 0
Atlanta T. Gabriel 3 58 19.3 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Dallas D. Prescott 1
Atlanta T. Coleman 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Dallas D. Prescott 64.1 1930 11 5
Atlanta M. Ryan 71.1 3015 21 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Dallas E. Elliott 168 831 4.9 4
Atlanta T. Coleman 106 442 4.2 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Dallas C. Beasley 40 403 10.1 2
Atlanta J. Jones 67 1040 15.5 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Dallas E. Elliott 6
Atlanta C. Ridley 7