Kevin C. Cox
Your daily collection of Falcons and NFL news and notes from around the Web.
Good morning, everyone. As we slowly inch towards the weekend, the focus at Flowery Branch shifts from last week's victory over the Eagles to the upcoming matchup against the Cowboys. After beating a talented Philly club in the hostile environment of Lincoln Financial Field, Atlanta returns to the Georgia Dome: where they are 29-4 with Matt Ryan under center.
Yes, the Cowboys are having a disappointing season, but the Falcons should expect Tony Romo and Friends to come out in full force on Sunday—especially after such a heartbreaking loss to the Giants. While Atlanta is the clear favorite in this one, there's no reason to take Dallas lightly.
The Cowboys may be 23rd in the NFL in points per game (19.6), but they're also seventh in yards per game (383.3). Couple that offensive potential with a quality defense, and the Falcons have themselves a formidable opponent. Under the bright lights of the national stage, this contest figures to be a good one.
And with that, here is today's helping of Falcon-related news:
Falcons' Abraham Showing No Signs of Slowing Down
At the ripe age of 34, John Abraham continues to be a dominating force at defensive end. The 13-year veteran has seven sacks thus far—good for seventh in the NFL; he's also third in the league with three forced fumbles. Without Abe, who almost signed elsewhere in the offseason, it's hard to imagine Atlanta generating much of a pass rush (especially with the underwhelming play of Ray Edwards).
Konz Survived 80-Round Bout
Peter Konz had himself a solid game against the Eagles, and could be pushing his way to a bigger role. In his first NFL start, the Wisconsin alum played in all 75 offensive snaps at right guard, filling in for the injured Garrett Reynolds. Offensive line coach Pat Hill had Konz in somewhat of a fighter's mentality on Sunday, perhaps giving him the extra push he needed:
“I came out of the game looking like Rocky Balboa against Apollo Creed,” Konz said, referring to the fictional fights in the first two “Rocky” films. “I was just bleeding from everywhere a couple of times.”
Konz's early success is a promising sign for the future, as he figures to become a vital part of this team sooner rather than later. Given the Falcons' willingness to throw rookies into the fire, I wouldn't be surprised if he leapfrog's Reynolds on the depth chart at some point in 2012.
Falcons Take Fundamental Approach to Remain Unbeaten
The Falcons may be undefeated right now, but that doesn't mean they're content with how well they're playing. Coach Smith continues to make changes in practice, stating that the NFL goes on a week to week cycle. Said Smith:
"It really doesn't matter what happened the week before. It's all about the next game, and that's how you have to approach it."
Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray Miss Practice on Wednesday
It looks like Tony Romo could be without several of his top offensive weapons against the Falcons. Dallas' starting running back DeMarco Murray has missed the last two games with a sprained foot, and his status for Sunday remains uncertain. In addition to Murray, the Cowboys may be missing wide receiver Dez Bryant. The 23-year-old hurt his hip while
scoring the game-winning touchdown landing out of bounds last week in the waning seconds of a 29-24 loss to the G-Men. Bryant was held out of practice on Wednesday and is listed as questionable.
Jason Garrett's Words Get Scrambled
The Cowboys aren't exactly moving in the right direction of late, and a few more losses could put Jason Garrett on the hot seat. Remember when the Falcons offered him their head coaching job back in 2008? Thankfully that didn't work out. If Dallas falls to Atlanta on Sunday night, they will have lost nine of the last 13 games. With rumblings circulating out of Philadelphia regarding Andy Reid's job, the Falcons could be pushing two NFC East coaches on the brink of unemployment.