NFL Week 2: Cowboys vs Falcons Game Preview

The Atlanta Falcons take to the field before the game against the Dallas Cowboys

Week one of the NFL season was a success. Unfortunately for some fans, depending on where your loyalty lies, your team may have ended up with a loss. As unpredictable as each year is, NFL betting is just as tricky. Sports betting is gaining popularity year after year, and with more information at your fingertips than ever before, many are loving the convenience of online sports betting. This NFL Week 2 game preview highlights the matchup of the Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons.  

What To Look For

With both the Cowboys and Falcons losing their first game, understandably fans of those respective teams have the right to be a bit disappointed. After all, it has been nine months since their last games, and fans spent all offseason hyping their teams up, hoping this could be their year.

The start of each NFL season allows each franchise to start with a clean slate. When your favorite team loses their first game, you can’t help but feel slightly deflated. Luckily for them, the next game is right around the corner. 

One game this early doesn’t mean much at the end of the year, with at least 15 more to go for each team, there will be plenty of opportunities to improve their record. The next test for the Cowboys and Falcons comes on Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Key Players To Watch

Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys throwing a ball

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back

Very talented in his own right, Ezekiel Elliott is one of the best running backs around. The potent combination of Zeke, Prescott and the rest of the offense should have the Cowboys built to win for several years.

In years past, the Falcons have had troubles on defense. If their first game is any indication, the Falcons may again struggle to contain potent offensive attacks in the 2020-2021 NFL season. Look for Elliott to see plenty of touches in his home stadium on Sunday.

Dak Prescott, Quarterback

All offseason, Dak Prescott was the talk of the town in Dallas. Mainly because the Cowboys and Prescott failed to agree on a long-term contract for the Pro Bowl quarterback to keep him in Dallas for the foreseeable future.

Those who watch Prescott play can’t deny the talent he displays when he has the football. His ability to launch the pigskin down the field, extend plays with his legs and break down the opponent’s defense is up there with the very best in the game today. With all the weapons the Cowboys have, I expect Prescott to have a big day on Sunday against the Falcons. 

Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver

Nearly every team in the National Football League looks on at the offensive talent the Dallas Cowboys have, with envy. Zeke Elliott, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper make up one of the most stacked offenses in the league when it comes to skill position players. The Falcons will have their hands full on Sunday as they try to contain all the offensive talent the Cowboys have in their arsenal.

Atlanta Falcons

Matt Ryan, Quarterback

Though he is 35 years old, Ryan is showing few signs of slowing down. Looking back at his performance last week, I wouldn’t expect him to drop off any time soon. With 450 passing yards against the Seahawks, Matty Ice looks ready to have another great season. Similar to the Cowboys, the Falcons are loaded with offensive talent at wide receiver.

The Cowboys will have their hands full as they attempt to contain the volatile passing attack of the Falcons. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst and unexpected Week 1 wonder Russell Gage, should receive plenty of opportunities through the air on Sunday.

Julio Jones, Wide Receiver

As one of the most impressive players in the league, from a physical standpoint, Julio Jones is as good as it gets. Coming in at a hard-to-handle 6 foot 3 and 220 pounds, Jones has a rare combination of size and speed. His hands are not lacking either.

Honestly, Julio Jones is still one of the best wideouts in the NFL – arguably number 1 – and he has maintained that status ever since coming into the league in the 2011 NFL Draft. Whoever draws the assignment to cover Jones on Sunday, will have their hands full.

Where Do They Stand?

The Atlanta Falcons stand during the National Anthem

Two franchises who came into the season with sky-high expectations fell flat on their faces in Week 1. Just three years ago, the Falcons found themselves in the Super Bowl, losing a close game to the New England Patriots. Ever since, they have struggled to get back on top, failing to make the playoffs the past two seasons.

This season, the Falcons are already 0-1. Not all is lost though, as they are in a three-way tie for second place in the NFC South division. A win against the Cowboys could be exactly what they need to get their momentum going in the right direction again.

The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a similar predicament. With Super Bowl expectations coming into each season, the Cowboys are always under the magnifying glass. With a billion dollar stadium built in 2009, the team known as America’s Team fired their previous head coach for the past nine years in Jason Garrett. This season, they have a new head coach with plenty of experience in Mike McCarthy.

Like the Falcons, the Cowboys did not find a way to win their first game of the year on Sunday night. With an 0-1 start to their season, the Cowboys find themselves in a three-way tie in the NFC East division. If Dak Prescott and the Cowboys want to play in the playoffs this year, they are going to have to find a way to come out ahead in close games. Sunday against the Falcons should be another good test.

Past Historical Matchups Between the Cowboys and Falcons

The last time these two teams played each other was in 2018. In that showdown, the Cowboys found a way to win a close game, 22-19. Of course, that was two years ago and both teams today are not the same as they were in 2018. Looking back at all the times these two teams faced each other, the Cowboys lead the series 17-11.

NFL Betting Picks and Predictions

Wide receiver Terry Glenn of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball past Allen Rossum  of the Atlanta Falcons, 2006

Looking at the early NFL betting lines, the Cowboys are favorites to win. A common phrase for underdogs to live by is “Any Given Sunday”. This essentially means that strange things can happen in any individual NFL game, on any Sunday. Why should this game be any different?

If the NFL has shown us one thing from past outcomes, anything can happen. Who honestly knew that the San Francisco 49ers would lose to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 after the 49ers played in the Super Bowl in February? Chances are, not many.

Expect this one to be a shootout. Of course both teams have good players on defense, but the loaded talent on the offensive side of the ball will likely prevail. Look for the Cowboys to beat the Falcons in a high-scoring game.

Final Score Prediction: Dallas Cowboys Win 37-30

As we have seen before, NFL odds can be a great starting point to gauge what most people think may happen before the game begins. NFL betting odds and NFL betting picks change from week to week. How do you feel about the upcoming NFL matchup between the Cowboys and Falcons? Which bets will you be placing? 

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