Experts share their picks for the Cowboys week one game versus the Atlanta Falcons.
CBSSports (Will Brinson): Cowboys 31, Falcons 24
This could be America’s “game of the week” but the Falcons won’t stop sucking. I think Raheem Morris probably deserves a little more love than he gets, but he basically admitted this week he didn’t even plan for the Seahawks to come out passing. That’s fair on a historical level, but it’s kind of insulting to Brian Schottenheimer, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson. Also — sort of insulting to planning on defense. If you’re the Cowboys, you call up the analytics department, ask them what your biggest tendencies are, and you do the literal opposite. He’ll never know what hit him! This game should go way over but both teams are bungling enough where I would pass if you don’t like the number. Cowboys will cover and Jerry Jones will brag about Mike McCarthy after the game (-325 parlay).
ProFootballTalk (Mike Florio): Cowboys 24, Falcons 17
The Cowboys are in various respects a work in progress. But they should be able to move the ball better against a defense that doesn’t have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, and with fans in the stands cheering them on.
ProFootballTalk (Michael Smith): Cowboys 31, Falcons 21
Matt Ryan will put up plenty of yards, but I don’t see the Falcons’ defense getting many stops. Dallas wins this one.
Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer): Cowboys 31, Falcons 27
The Cowboys have three great wide receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and now CeeDee Lamb. The Falcons have two great wide receivers in Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and have shown a promising No. 3, Russell Gage. Dak Prescott and Matt Ryan should have no issues spreading the field and lighting it up. The question comes down who will get better three-down support from a back. Advantage Ezekiel Elliott over Todd Gurley.
NFL.com (Gregg Rosenthal): Falcons 36, Cowboys 35
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff was criticized on draft day for passing on CeeDee Lamb, the best player on the board, in order to take cornerback A.J. Terrell, who mans a position of greater need. Terrell had a miserable opener along with the rest of Atlanta’s corners, and now he has to match up with an even better receiver group in Dallas that also includes Lamb. The Falcons are well-suited, however, to hold up in a shootout. This is an “everyone in the pool” game for fantasy leaguers, because Dallas’ secondary is equally unlikely to show well on Sunday. Matt Ryan played very well in Week 1, and the Falcons’ offensive line may be better than its banged-up Dallas counterpart. 2020, y’all!
SportingNews (Tadd Haislop): Cowboys 34, Falcons 27
This is another matchup of teams trying to avoid the dreaded 0-2 hole. The Cowboys, though, have many more positives to take away from their Week 1 loss than the Falcons do. Matt Ryan should be able to exploit some favorable matchups again, but Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense this week don’t have to deal with the game-wrecker that is Aaron Donald.
ESPN (Todd Archer): Cowboys 30, Falcons 27
When these teams met in 2018, running back Ezekiel Elliott had 201 scrimmage yards in the Cowboys’ win. Elliott had 122 yards on the ground and another 79 as a pass-catcher. Seattle’s Russell Wilson threw four touchdown passes against the Falcons last week, so you should see some course correction in turns of pass defense, which means Elliott is in for a big day.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco): Cowboys 33, Falcons 30
The Cowboys are playing their home opener after a tough loss to the Rams. The Falcons looked bad in losing to the Seahawks. The defense was terrible. That will help the Dallas offense get rolling. Dak Prescott has a big day, but so does Matt Ryan. It’s close.