The Falcons needed this win.
Sitting at 4-4 with their playoff hopes essentially on the line, Atlanta dominated the Dallas Cowboys in a 27-7 rout.
Who’s up and who’s down in the win?
Shocker, right? Clayborn had the most dominant performance in franchise history with a six-sack outing. Backup left tackle Chaz Green was no match as he surrendered five sacks, and Byron Bell came in late in the game and promptly gave up a sack, too. Clayborn also added two forced fumbles — one he recovered himself and the other that was recovered by Takk McKinley. Clayborn was unblockable the entire game. Masterful.
As has been the case all season, Ryan played a lot better than the numbers would lead you to believe. Against the Cowboys he completed 22 of 29 passes for 215 yards, two touchdowns and another interception that was tipped by a receiver — the sixth time that has happened all year. At one point in the second half, Ryan completed 11 consecutive passes.
Trufant allowed just one completion all game, and that was a 13-yard pass to Dez Bryant early in the first quarter. He was targeted four times total. It’s what he typically does: shuts down his side of the field and forces the opposing team’s quarterback to look elsewhere. He also could’ve added two interceptions if one wasn’t wiped out due to (another) defensive penalty and if he caught a pass he made a diving break on.
Roberts’ best play of the game was a Cowboys special teamer misjudging a punt and allowing the ball to fall into the end zone for a touchback. That’s all you need to know.
Credit Sanu with another tipped pass that resulted in an interception. Ryan’s first pass of the game was picked off and the Cowboys cashed in four plays later on a 11-yard scramble by Dak Prescott. Sanu was also responsible for a tipped interception back in Week 3 against the Detroit Lions. He finished with three catches for 29 yards and also added an ultimately inconsequential hold that nullified a 25-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman with two minutes left in the game.
It was a poorly called game no matter which side you were on. A flag was thrown and then picked up on a low hit that could’ve easily ended Matt Ryan’s season. At least one of Clayborn’s sacks should’ve been negated by an obvious facemask. A poor block in the back call eliminated a 13-yard catch and run by Austin Hooper. Brian Poole and Robert Alford both got away with two pass interference calls. Not a good showing for the zebras.