Falcons vs. Cowboys NFL Picks: Both Defenses Will Stand Firm & Keep the Total 'Under' 44

Steven Suarez

Saturday, September 26, 2015 5:12 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 26, 2015 5:12 PM UTC

The Cowboys are incredibly beat up on the offensive side of the ball, making it hard to trust them offensively. Our top O/U NFL picks for this Week 3 encounter in Dallas can be found inside.

Odds Overview
Despite being shorthanded offensively (in a major way), the Cowboys are still being given a chance to compete against the undefeated Falcons this weekend. The line is at a pick'em at a lot of sportsbooks, while Atlanta is favored by either one or two points at a few different sites.

We're more focused on the game's total for Week 3, however, and right now the O/U is at 44 points on the NFL odds board. The number would surely be higher if both teams were fully healthy, but we're actually surprised the total isn't listed even lower in this matchup. 


Dallas Cowboys
Obstacles keep popping up for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've still found a way to win both of their first two games. First it was star wideout Dez Bryant that got injured -- he'll miss at least six more weeks -- and the following week we saw Tony Romo leave Week 2's win over the Giants early. He's been ruled out for this weekend, meaning Brandon Weeden will step into the starting role under center. Even tight end Jason Witten got banged up against New York, and his status is in question too.

Given what we've seen out of Weeden throughout his NFL career so far, how can we get excited about this Dallas offense? Once featuring Romo, Bryant and DeMarco Murray (last season), the Cowboys will now trot out Weeden at QB, a mixture of Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar at RB and Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley at WR.

We can expect Dallas to try and establish the run game early and often in hopes of grinding out another victory. Don't expect fireworks.


Atlanta Falcons
Neither of the Falcons' wins have been pretty, but they've done what they've needed to do. Hard-fought wins over the Eagles and Giants should have Atlanta well-prepared for this visit to Dallas.

Offensively, it's essentially been the Julio Jones show for Atlanta. He's already caught 22-of-26 targets for 276 yards and two receiving touchdowns, and QB Matt Ryan is going to keep force-feeding Jones and letting him do his thing. The likes of Roddy White, Jacob Tamme and Leonard Hankerson have been involved some, but it's Jones that will be the focal point whenever healthy.

The Falcons' biggest improvements this season have come on the defensive side of the ball, with new defensive coordinator Richard Smith already making a positive impact. This is a unit that should be able to keep things going against the shorthanded Cowboys in Week 3.


O/U Pick
We're finding it hard to see this game finishing above the posted total.

Obviously these Atlanta Falcons are a dangerous group, with Ryan and Jones leading the way. Jones has been arguably the most dominant receiver out there when healthy and has been a straight up beast through the first two weeks of the season, and you have to figure he'll be the focal point again this weekend.

Thing is, the Cowboys have been excelling defensively, which is why they find themselves at 2-0 on the year. Atlanta will score, sure, but it's unlikely they're going to rack up the points like they're used. They're also without starting running back Tevin Coleman. Then, on the other side, we can't put too much faith in the likes of Weeden, Randle, Williams, Beasley and the rest to do all that much either. Dallas has taken pride in controlling the clock and winning the time of possession battle, and they'll be trying to slow the game down as much as possible to keep Atlanta's offense off the field.

So, with our NFL picks, let's add the UNDER and back the defenses to stand firm and keep this final score relatively low. 

NFL Pick: UNDER 44 at Bookmaker

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