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Scouting Report: Falcons at Cowboys

Last Meeting:

Atlanta and Dallas last met in 2012 where QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones carried the Falcons to a 19-13 victory at the Georgia Dome.

Key Stat: Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards and Julio Jones finished the game with 129 receiving yards in the last meeting between these clubs.

Coaching Matchup:

Falcons: Dan Quinn

With an impressive start to his first season as head coach, Dan Quinn enters Sunday's matchup 2-0, following two thrilling victories over the Eagles and the Giants.

Cowboys: Jason Garrett

In his fifth year as the Dallas Cowboys head coach, Garrett's team sits at 2-0, with a recent win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Key Quote: "It comes down to us each week,'' Quinn said. ''We never determine by who we're playing how we get ready. They've got a terrific team. All across the league, people get injured and other people step up. It's no different with them. We expect a heck of a fight.''

The Breakdown:

Falcons Offense vs. Cowboys Defense

  • Matt Ryan will look to continue his hot start to the season, after finishing his most recent game with 363 passing yards, one touchdown and a 96.6 passer rating.
  • Ryan extended his streak of games with at least 250 passing yards to nine games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.

  • Atlanta's offense will be tested by a tough Dallas defense that ranks in the top 10 in several categories: yards per game, points per game, pass yards per game and rush yards per game. 

  • Julio Jones currently has the second most receiving yards in the league, with 276, and will most likely be matched up with Dallas' best cornerback, Brandon Carr.
  • The Cowboys pass defense and Carr have not allowed a receiver to record over 80 receiving yards in either of their first two games.
  • The Falcons' offensive line will have to account for Cowboys' LB, Sean Lee, who after two games is tied for the NFL lead in tackles (23). 

  • WR Roddy White will attempt to go for his second 100-yard game in a row versus Dallas, in a matchup that will likely feature Cowboys' CB Morris Claiborne.

Falcons Defense vs. Cowboys Offense

  • Atlanta's defense ranks ninth in rushing defense after two games, and has yet to allow a team to rush for more than 100 yards. 

  • Dallas will be without QB Tony Romo (clavicle) and Brandon Weeden will get the start. After Romo went down against the Eagles, Weeden entered the game and completed all seven passes for 73 yards with a 42-yard touchdown pass to WR Terrance Williams.
  • The Falcons' safeties and linebackers have gone up against two strong tight ends in the first two weeks of the season, but the upcoming assignment of 10-time Pro Bowler TE Jason Witten will easily be the toughest test to date. In two games, Atlanta's defense has allowed eight catches for 80 yards with one score to opposing tight ends.
  • Former Dallas Cowboys LB and current Atlanta Falcons LB, Justin Durant, will go up against an offense that he is very familiar with. Durant led the charge for Atlanta last week against the Giants with 10 tackles.
  • The Falcons' pass rush will have to go through a talented Dallas offensive line that features three former first-round picks in LT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick and RG Zack Martin. 
  • Joseph Randle, a third-year running back out of Oklahoma State, spearheads Dallas' rushing attack. Randle has been tasked with replacing the NFL's leading rusher last season, DeMarco Murray, and Randle has posted 116 rushing yards on 34 carries in the first two games of the season.
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