By Charles Jay
The Dallas Cowboys are, all of a sudden, struggling to put together an offense. Of course, they already knew they were going to be without last year’s NFL leader in rushing, DeMarco Murray, because they lost him in free agency. But they perhaps never expected that they would also lose one of the league’s most effective passing combinations. On Sunday the Cowboys will be playing host to the Atlanta Falcons in a game that begins at 1 PM ET at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, VA. Once the contest kicks off, BetAnySports customers can keep the action going by plugging into Live Betting Extra, so that they can place wagers in real time while the game is in progress.
Once upon a time, the Cowboys had Tony Romo throwing passes to Dez Bryant. But that got upset early on. Bryant suffered a broken foot in the opening game against the New York Giants, before Romo rallied his team for a last-minute touchdown and a 27-26 win. Last week Romo was thrown to the turf and sustained a broken left clavicle, which will keep him out for eight to ten weeks. So in effect, this is a whole new cast out there for this team.
And leading the cast will be a man with some NFL experience. Brandon Weeden was a first-round draft choice and a former starter for the Cleveland Browns, and he has thrown 27 career TD passes. But he has also tossed 28 interceptions, and he has a 5-16 record as a starter, so perhaps we won’t get overly excited about his 7-for-7 effort against the Philadelphia Eagles in last week’s 20-10 win that brought Dallas to 2-0.
In the football odds that have been posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Falcons are the slight road favorite:
Atlanta Falcons -1
Dallas Cowboys +1
Over 44 points -110
Under 44 points -110
Weeden, who will be backed up by the recently-acquired Matt Cassel, will be facing an Atlanta defense that might not be vastly improved, but has a more aggressive attitude under new head coach Dan Quinn, who was the defensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks for two Super Bowl trips. The jury may be out on how proficient the Falcons are going to be there. They are around the middle of the pack in terms of yards allowed per drive, but that is encouraging, since they were right near the bottom last season. Kroy Bierman was disruptive for them last week as they came back from a ten-point deficit to beat the New York Giants, and they need more pressure from him, as well as first-round draft choice Vic Beasley.
BetAnySports patrons should know that the Cowboys are not the only team that has suffered an injury to a key offensive player. Rookie running back Tevin Coleman won the starting job during training camp, which perhaps wasn’t a major feat, since the Falcons didn’t have a ground attack last year. And he will be sitting out this game with rib injuries.
Does that matter? Atlanta still lives by the pass, and they have someone who is about as good as anyone in the business in Julio Jones, who is already putting up monster stats. Jones has caught 22 passes for 276 yards, burning the Giants’ and Eagles’ secondaries. Keep in mind that Dallas has lost top cornerback Orlando Scandrick for the season. It would help if Atlanta could balance that out a little more, although Leonard Hankerson and Roddy White can also be threatening.
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