THE BRANCH — For the second week in a row, the Falcons will face a team coming off a bye week.
A quick start will likely be necessary against the Dallas Cowboys, who appear to be losing confidence in Tony Romo’s passing ability. A big early lead will force the Cowboys to go away from their talented fleet of running backs – Felix Jones, Marion Barber and Georgia Tech and Lovejoy High’s own Tashard Choice.
The Cowboys have rushed for at least 150 yards in three games this season.
When Romo does pass, it will be off of play action and he only seems to find tight end Jason Witten. However, wide receiver Roy Williams (ribs) also returned to good health over the bye week.
(Aside — FILM STUDY: Brian over at Georgia Tech sent me a link to this hot Falcons video. Check it out.)
Our good buddy Keith Brooking, who some of you all wanted to run out of town, is leading the Cowboys in tackles from his inside linebacker position. He could play a key role in the game if he remembers the Falcons no-huddle signals.
Now, the Falcons have been having trouble in the quick start department. Look for offensive Mike Mularkey to change some things up. The likely scenario would be to open the game in the no-huddle offense, but if Brooking remembers the calls, that might not be helpful. The Falcons will have to change up some things and throw the Cowboys some curve balls.
The quick start has been missing. That was the Falcons specialty last season when they led the league with 114 first-quarter points. They’ve scored only 24 points in the first quarter this season.
They have not scored a touchdown on the opening drive this season.
OPENING DRIVE CHART
Miami 42-yard field goal
Carolina punt, after one first down
New England 26-yard field
San Francisco Three-and-out
All-time regular season results: Cowboys lead series, 13-8
All-time postseason results: Cowboys lead postseason, 2-0
Falcon’s regular season road record vs. Cowboys: 3-7
Last regular season meeting: 2006, Cowboys 38 – Falcons 28 (Atl).
* * * The Falcons still owe the Cowboys for the 1980 Divisional Playoff round game when they coughed up that 24-10 lead, only to lose 30-27.
Should the Falcons open in the no-huddle against the Cowboys? How important will it be getting off to a fast start? Will the defense be able to stop the trio of Barber, Jones and Choice? Do you wish Romo was still dating Jessica Simpson?