Cowboys OLB DeMarcus Ware vs. Falcons LT Sam Baker: Ware has 5.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in his past five games and is one of the premier rushers in the NFL. He has eight sacks and is well on his way to posting double-digit sacks for the seventh consecutive season. Baker, who’s turning in a strong season, has struggled at times against more athletic rushers. He is coming off a solid game against Philadelphia’s Trent Cole.
Cowboys WR Miles Austin vs. Falcons CB Asante Samuel: Austin has a touchdown catch or 100-plus yards receiving in nine of the past 11 games. Austin is the second option after tight end Jason Witten and can be dangerous. Austin has 34 catches for 561 yards and four touchdowns. Samuel is coming off an emotional game against one of his former teams. Samuel, who has one interception, has not gambled much this season. Samuel has 25 tackles and four pass breakups.
Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff vs. Falcons C Todd McClure: Ratliff, a four-time Pro Bowler, is rounding into form after missing the first four games with a high ankle sprain. He is the anchor to the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme. He’s coming off a strong five-tackle effort against the Giants. McClure likely will get some help from guards Justin Blalock and Peter Konz or Garrett Reynolds. Ratliff won the battle in 2009, when the Cowboys were able to shut down the Falcons’ rushing attack.
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