First it was Dez Bryant and now Tony Romo. The Cowboys host the Falcons in a battle of undefeated teams but the NFL odds makers have this game as a coin flip.
Cowboys Trail of Tears
After a full weekend slate of college and professional football still jumbling my mind on a Tuesday morning I noticed that the NFL odds makers had made Sunday's matchup between the Falcons and Cowboys a pick. What's even stranger than that is when I realized Dallas was actually undefeated. Yes, as my mind was busy categorizing and sorting teams based on the first two weeks of the season I, for a split second, believed the Cowboys to be winless and not undefeated. After all, many of us were already asleep by the time their Sunday night opener with the Giants was finished and I for one knew Big Blue would cover the number before I drifted off shortly before the fourth quarter. The Giants held a 10-point lead so in my mind that was not only a cover for New York but an outright loss for Dallas. I conveniently forgot they made a miraculous comeback courtesy of...Tony Romo.
In addition to what I perceived as a loss was the actual loss of Dez Bryant for four to six weeks due to a broken bone in his foot. Fast forward to the Cowboys' Week 2 and the only thing I gleaned from that game was the potentially season-ending injury to Tony Romo. Sure they beat the Eagles 20-10 on the road but it was a Pyrrhic victory to say the least. Without Tony Romo the future looks bleak when you have Brandon Weeden as your backup. The NFL is a league led by men who can throw the ball quickly, accurately and powerfully. It's about reading defenses, making adjustments and thinking quickly. Playing quarterback in the NFL is not for the faint of heart and there are only a handful of players who do it very well. Tony Romo is in that elite club. Brandon Weeden is not.
Battle of the Undefeated
The Dirty Birds soar into Dallas as the proud owners of a 2-0 record with victories over Philadelphia and the Giants. Funny, I could swear those are the same two teams that the Cowboys beat as well to open their season. Well, look at that will you? Yes, the opponents are the same and the results quite similar with Atlanta outscoring the Giants and Eagles 50-44 while the Cowboys outscoring the pair 47-36.
But now we have a game between the two clubs where Dallas has lost their two best players while the Falcons' two best players, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, appear to be unstoppable. Yet we all know how huge home field advantage is in the NFL. The Cowboys still possess a dynamic offensive line that protects quarterbacks better than the secret service guards the president. Could Weeden get enough time to be effective against the Falcons? That will be the key to the Cowboys' success as well as their ability to use the run to set up the pass.
The line is a pick for a reason and this is one game that we are reluctant to include in our NFL picks for Week 3. If Brandon Weeden shows up and can connect then the Cowboys will most likely win this game. However the Browns' former first-round pick is a wildcard in this equation. What we do know is that Matty Ice and Julio Jones are one of the best pass-catch tandems in the league and if we are forced to put a few bucks on this one then we will have to go with the visitors here.
Free NFL Pick: Play the Falcons at a pick at 5Dimes.com.