Atlanta Falcons Vs. Dallas Cowboys Game Preview
After disappointing 2019 campaigns, both the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys were hoping Week 1 in 2020 would've gone better.
Atlanta fell victim to a cooking Russell Wilson, while Dallas lost to a rejuvenated Los Angeles Rams squad led by wunderkind 34-year-old head coach Sean McVay.
Both teams will be looking for their first wins of the season on Sunday, although the situations surrounding the teams are different in many ways.
Dallas is in its first year under head coach Mike McCarthy, who took last season off after coaching 13 seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
While McCarthy's certainly under pressure to take the Cowboys to greater heights than his predecessor Jason Garrett, he'll have a longer leash than Dan Quinn and his staff in Atlanta.
After losing seven of their first eight games in 2019, the Falcons roared back with a 6-2 second half, which undoubtedly saved the jobs of Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff.
If Atlanta gets off to a similar slow start this season, team owner Arthur Blank could pull the plug on a staff that's been in place since 2015 and brought the Falcons closer than they've ever been to a Super Bowl win.
On the field, the Cowboys and Falcons should match up well.
Dallas has been one of the league's best teams in the trenches in recent years and boasts one of the game's top quarterback-running back duos in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Atlanta's offense can be dynamic as well when quarterback Matt Ryan is given time to throw to Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, but both sets of Falcon lines have been shaky throughout Ryan's tenure as starter.
The key to Sunday's game will be which young defense can get more stops in the red zone, as both teams are expected to score points in bunches. It's become cliché to say in matchups between two high-scoring offenses, but whichever team has the ball last on Sunday could be the team walking out with a 1-1 record heading into Week 3.
Atlanta - Out: DT Marlon Davidson; CB Kendall Sheffield; DE Charles Harris
Dallas - Out: T Tyron Smith; CB Anthony Brown
Week 1 Team Rankings
Atlanta – 4th
Dallas – 14th
Atlanta – 29th
Dallas – 10th
Offensive DVOA (Football Outsiders)
Atlanta – 10th
Dallas – 12th
Atlanta – 32nd
Seattle – 18th
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 20, 1 p.m. EDT
Location: AT&T Stadium
TV: FOX, NFL Sunday Ticket
Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)