3 key matchups: Cowboys vs. Falcons

DeMarcus Ware inflicting some pain on Jay Cutler. (Associated Press)

DeMarcus Ware inflicting some pain on Jay Cutler. (Associated Press)

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.

cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

cornerback Asante Samuel (left) and wide receiver Harry Douglas practice some celebratory moves on the sidelines during training camp. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

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 nose tackle Jay Ratliff works to bring down Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman during the first half Sunday. Photo: PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS, ASSOCIATED PRESS / SA  Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/cowboys/article/Ryan-calls-nastiness-of-Ratliff-exceptional-2283462.php#ixzz2B4KudZRx

Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff works to bring down Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman during the first half Sunday. Photo: PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS, ASSOCIATED PRESS / SA Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/cowboys/article/Ryan-calls-nastiness-of-Ratliff-exceptional-2283462.php#ixzz2B4KudZRx

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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32 comments Add your comment

Buddy Landel

November 2nd, 2012
9:40 am

Pass the lemonade. I’m firsty.

Al Bruce

November 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

Julio Jones vs. Morris Claiborne will be another interesting matchup to keep an eye on. Julio drew Patrick Peterson most of the time in college when Bama played LSU, but there are those who have argued that Claiborne is a better cover corner than Peterson was. Dallas moved up to get Claiborne precisely for this kind of matchup.

New York Giants

November 2nd, 2012
10:11 am

We are not the 1-7 Chiefs…..we own you!

Stephen A. Smith

November 2nd, 2012
10:15 am

The Falcons are an elite regular season team. The Falcons are a joke in the playoffs.

Skip Bayless

November 2nd, 2012
10:16 am

The Falcons are the most irrevelent 7-0 team in NFL history.

falCANS

November 2nd, 2012
10:18 am

Lol @ firsty. Hope we cum out RUN FIRST mentality. Get Turner and screen game going early….FALCONS FOOTBALL

Innocent Bystander

November 2nd, 2012
11:03 am

So much hate from early posters… smells like JEALOUSY!

7-0

Pat

November 2nd, 2012
11:04 am

kd

November 2nd, 2012
11:40 am

did anybody else hear keyshawn johnson talk about the falcons on Audible??? Really gave us no respect, falcons lets go beat the cowboys ass

Billy

November 2nd, 2012
11:41 am

are those aint’s fans switching teams?

Wonderlust

November 2nd, 2012
11:51 am

Ok, we know the COWs are going to come out swinging – since they lost a close one to the Giants last week.

If the Falcons remain focused and don’t underestimate the COWs – they will pull this one out 7-0 FALS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

BobDawg

November 2nd, 2012
11:54 am

The Boys have to running attack and Romo will pass all game long… Surely he throws more passes to us than his Boys???

BobDawg

November 2nd, 2012
11:55 am

I am interested in seeing how our “lines” hold up against the “Boys”…. This gives us a sense of how we fare against the Giants also this year….

North FLA Falcon

November 2nd, 2012
11:55 am

Long drives, convert on 3rd down, let Matt dictate the game. Good special teams. Contain Romo, limit big plays, get a turnover or 2. Show the nation and the world what we are all about!!!

BobDawg

November 2nd, 2012
11:56 am

…meant “no running attack” in above post

Ed

November 2nd, 2012
11:56 am

The biggest thing the Falcons need to do is getting off the field on 3rd down, I think the difference is going to be our passing attack. Ryan to Roddy and Julio is going to get rolling down the track.

Dallas Cowboys

November 2nd, 2012
12:09 pm

We are more than another mediocre overrated Falcon opponent.

Playoff Wins

November 2nd, 2012
12:11 pm

Matt why do you hate me?

Tony Gonzalez

November 2nd, 2012
12:27 pm

I like whining on Profootballtalk about why we don’t get respect even though we have never won a playoff game.

Buddy Landel

November 2nd, 2012
1:10 pm

D-Led- Any way to get rid of the troll using umpteen different names?

Opt

November 2nd, 2012
1:41 pm

Ratliff will lay wood on Ryan

Go Dallas !

Matt Ryan

November 2nd, 2012
2:30 pm

I wish I could win a playoff game but I’m just looking for a new deal.

Plan

November 2nd, 2012
2:35 pm

Another laugher Falcoons 38 Boys 20

I usually just read but...

November 2nd, 2012
2:38 pm

Romeo is spending the week with a Jessica Simpson look alike hired by Akeem Dent and Asante Samuel.

Edd too tall

November 2nd, 2012
3:00 pm

The birds will control both sides of the ball and are at home too, And For the few Dallas fanz its not a playoff game so the Falcons win.

Gamer

November 2nd, 2012
3:14 pm

Falcons’s test Sunday night is much bigger than facing the Cowboys. It is about establishing themselves as a winning football team under high pressure games…….Something that Falcons have failed to do in playoffs appearances under Smitty & Ryan’s regime………

Thriving under high intense pressure starts Sunday Night against America’s team? Cough…I cough because the Dallas Cowboys of today is a long ways off from the mark of their predecessors(legendary coaches and players) that help built the Cowboys’ star-powered legacy….

However, the Cowboys is such a vaunted team with all of its high paid talented players offensively and defensively…….It is obvious that the Cowboys is the NFL’ darling team……

.Falcons haven’t been pleasured with such honorable adorement…And that’s COOL….

Of course, Weatherspoon will be greatly missed but the Falcons have the talent and skillset on defense to stifle the Cowboys offense to get a win….

Offensively, the Falcons have shown their capabilities when Matt Ryan is seeing the game and his offensive weapons are on the same page…..

I expect a good hard fought game…….but it is hard to bet against the Falcons at the Georgia’s Dome………Home Sweet Home at the Georgia’s Dome…..

Falcons on three, Dominate!!!

TheAintsDefenseSuk

November 2nd, 2012
4:30 pm

These Haters are so funny….They keep hating….Dirty Birds keep winning…. GO FALCONS!!!!

8-0 Baby!!!

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Mikey

November 3rd, 2012
9:28 am

How the Falcons have changed, in spite of the fact that most felt the Falcons did nothing to bolster their team during the off season:
1. Sam Baker was hated by many but the Falcons stuck with him and he is having the year of his life. He will contain DeMarcus Ware and that is saying something. GO SAM!
2. Last year, we were cooked when Grimes went down… this year we have a really tough secondary that can cover the best. Its not just Asante (although he is a great addition); it is better schemes, lots of man coverage, lots of trickery and significantly better play from our front 7.
3. Jay Ratliff is one of the best in the NFL… Todd McClure is amazing too and now has a much better offensive line around him. Peter Konz can help but just makes a difference by handling his blocks better than we have seen with other linemen. This reduces the opportunities for Ratliff and makes him much more predictable for McClure.

We have great matchups all over the place in this game. I’m going to be watch Jason Witten to see if he keeps the chains moving again this week. I’m also anxious to see the evolution of the Falcons screen attack against a real good defense. I am hoping to see even better blocking and even more success as our Falcons realize that these plays really work if they hustle. Not only do they get yardage, but they are the best medicine in helping neutralize folks like Ratliff and Ware. GO FALCONS! YOU ARE RISING UP!

meme

November 4th, 2012
10:50 am

4th key matchup Matt Ryan vs Phony Homo the most important matchup not even close falcons win & still get no love and just go sharpen their claws for their next Kill Im good with that

These haters are classless

November 4th, 2012
5:14 pm

@Innocent Bystandard; Agree Totally; That’s why they gotta come on a falcons blog to get in on some action. They are wishin’ alot & ain’t gotta clue. New Breed of Bird in A-Town that’s mysterious to them.

Koetter Nolan

November 4th, 2012
5:23 pm

This 2 – headed offensive,defensive coordinator & new special ass’t. to Coach Smith has caused the Red&Black Birds to soar in A-Town. Cool name for a coach Huh?