The Cowboys (4-5) are coming off a big win against the Eagles on Sunday Night Football and have positioned themselves to stay in the hunt in the NFC East.
For the Cowboys to have any shot at making the playoffs, they will need to pick up a win in Atlanta and another on Thanksgiving Day over Washington.
For Dallas to make a run over the final seven games, it is the offense that is going to need to continue to improve.
Against the Eagles, Dallas’ offense started to come together as Amari Cooper has been everything the team wanted from their No.1 receiver. His presence has opened up lanes in the run game for Ezekiel Elliott and gives Dallas a legit weapon on the outside.
Ultimately, everything comes back to Dak Prescott, who has played better over the last six weeks. Dallas will need him to continue to improve if the team wants to compete for a playoff spot this season.
Much like the Cowboys, the Falcons (4-5) are hoping to stay alive in the NFC wild-card hunt with a win over Dallas. With the New Orleans Saints dominating this season, the Falcons only hope is that they can get hot over the final seven games of the season and steal a wild-card spot.
Coming off a tough loss to the Browns on the road, the Falcons are hoping that they can get back on track at home, where their offense has been lights out, averaging 32.2 points per game. Matt Ryan has been fantastic once again as he has carried the Falcons to relevancy.
For Atlanta, their defense has been the biggest problem of the season. After losing leaders Deion Jones and Keanu Neal to injury, their defense hasn't looked the same. To make matters worse, pass-rushers Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley haven’t played well this season.
Cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford have also struggled, as teams have had no problems moving the ball up and down the field on Atlanta. Until Jones is 100 percent healthy, this is still going to be a mediocre unit.
Dallas is dealing with significant injuries on both sides of the ball. Starting left guard Connor Williams (knee) isn’t expected to play. Left Tackle Tyron Smith (back) and Zack Martin (knee) both missed practice on Wednesday, but are expected to play on Sunday.
On defense, four defensive tackles for Dallas could miss Sunday’s game (David Irving, Daniel Ross, Antwuan Woods, and Maliek Collins). Starting defensive end Taco Charlton (shoulder) isn't expected to play, and linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) will not be available, either.
For the Falcons, the big story will be whether or not All-Pro linebacker Deion Jones will play. After injuring his foot in Week 1, the Falcons have activated Jones off of the injured reserve list.
He was a limited participant in practice all week, and the Falcons have been vague about his status in this game. Expect him to be a game-time decision. Defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) did not practice on Wednesday, and his status for Sunday is questionable, at best.
Here are some things for NFL betting fans to consider in this matchup:
The Falcons enter Week 11 as just a three-point favorite at home, according to 888Sport. On the season, they are 3-2 at home and against the spread. With the number of injuries the Cowboys have on both sides of the ball, and with Dallas playing in back-to-back road games, I expect Atlanta to cover at home.
Expect this game to be close, but for Atlanta's offense to take over in the second half as they have just too many weapons at receiver and a quarterback who is playing at an elite level. Bet Atlanta -3 with 888Sport.
The over/under for this matchup is at 48.5 with Karamba, and my initial reaction was to take the under.
However, with both defenses missing several talented players, I expect this to be a game where each team nearly reaches 30 points. Bet the over with Karamba.
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