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Adam Schefter answers questions about Dallas/Atlanta game.


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Q: What do you expect from the Cowboys coming off of their bye? This seems like the perfect time to look like a contender again and make a statement against a young Falcons team that, while good, still seems to be playing a bit over their heads.

-- Glen (Albuquerque, N.M.)

A: Agreed, Glen. Since the season opened at Tampa, Dallas followed a pattern of win, loss, win, loss. The Cowboys won their last game against the Chiefs, a big win, but now need to follow it up with the type of victory that makes a statement and gets them to 4-2. If they can get to 4-2, they then have a home game against Seattle with a chance to get to 5-2. And that's where it starts to get interesting. But this team needs to show it's better than it has been. So far it hasn't.

My take: While publicly, most media is praising the Falcons and the Falcons organization for the turn around over the last two years, it still seem like most still don't really believe it or are just still waiting for the Falcons to falter and fail to get back to back winning seasons for the first time. And they still expect Dallas to "wake up" and start playing like a superbowl caliber team they were in the 90's. Is it gonna take beating an overrated Dallas team on their home turf, in their spanking new stadium, with their overgrown scoreboard to final prove once and for all that this team and organization is for real?

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Q: The Falcons are 18th in the league in total offense, but their D is third in the league in points allowed. Do you have any idea why the Ryan-White-Gonzalez-Turner contingent gets all the praise?

-- Jason (Athens, Ga.)

A: Great question and point, Jason. Biggest reason is that the stars are on offense, and the defense, outside of maybe John Abraham, is a bunch of no-name, blue-collar, lunch-bucket guys who just go do their jobs. Plus, despite their performance, the Falcons' pass defense has struggled some and they've been vulnerable at cornerback -- and that was before losing Brian Williams to a season-ending knee injury. But you're on to something. If the defense keeps playing this well, it should be saluted and praised a lot more than it has.

My take: Sure, the Falcons offense hasn't functioned like the Colts or Saints. But a lot of that is a function of how we want to win. We dont want to win 48-35 each game. We want 24-10, where our offense controlled the ball and the clock and kept our defense off the field. That's why the defense is 3rd in points. The offense hasn't put them in bad spots with turnovers on our side of the field or bad special teams cover allowing the other team to flip the field. We've made most teams go the entire field to get points. And sometimes the threat of something happening is almost as being able to do it. The threat of Roddy scares teams, the threat of Tony G scares teams, the threat of paying to much attention to Roddy and Tony and have Turner gash the defense scares teams. You have to look beyond just the stats to determine why they are successful.

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The offense hasn't put them in bad spots with turnovers on our side of the field or bad special teams cover allowing the other team to flip the field. We've made most teams go the entire field to get points.

This is a good point. Part of the reason we're so good in point-scoring D is because of our:

1) Offense not turning over the ball much (knock wood)

2) Offense not giving up many sacks (knock wood)

3) Special teams (knock wood)

It's not our Defense that should get all the credit for holding opponents to low point totals. Of course, at the end of the day it doesn't matter who gets the credit if the whole TEAM is keeping opponents from scoring much. And our defense should get credit for:

1) Keeping scores low even though ATL is in the bottom half of the league in time of possession: 29:02 per game

2) Keeping scores low despite ATL being one of the worst teams in the league for penalty yards per game at 57.8/game (only 7 teams are worse than that).

3) Making us the #4 team in the NFL in creating turnovers per game.

4) The other big one: #3 in the league in opponents scoring percentage in the red zone at only 37.5% (the median is 53.3%)

Our offense and special teams has helped our defense out, but they're still getting it done, too.

Edited by Firstiary
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When I saw that the Cowgirls struggled against the hapless Chiefs, it made me fear this team much, much less. I mean, the Chiefs? And based off of that win, and the fact that we handled the Bears, and a better QB than Romo, in Jay Cutler, the guy answering questions, still doesn't give the Birds credit?

SHENANIGANS

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This is a good point. Part of the reason we're so good in point-scoring D is because of our:

1) Offense not turning over the ball much (knock wood)

2) Offense not giving up many sacks (knock wood)

3) Special teams (knock wood)

It's not our Defense that should get all the credit for holding opponents to low point totals. Of course, at the end of the day it doesn't matter who gets the credit if the whole TEAM is keeping opponents from scoring much. And our defense should get credit for:

1) Keeping scores low even though ATL is in the bottom half of the league in time of possession: 29:02 per game

2) Keeping scores low despite ATL being one of the worst teams in the league for penalty yards per game at 57.8/game (only 7 teams are worse than that).

3) Making us the #4 team in the NFL in creating turnovers per game.

4) The other big one: #3 in the league in opponents scoring percentage in the red zone at only 37.5% (the median is 53.3%)

Our offense and special teams has helped our defense out, but they're still getting it done, too.

I'm really not taking anything away from our defense. They've played better then advertised for most of this early season. But every defense players will tell you, that what they want to be doing most is chillin' on the side line, sucking down Gatorade, telling stories about the chick from last night and watching the offense control the clock.

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When I saw that the Cowgirls struggled against the hapless Chiefs, it made me fear this team much, much less. I mean, the Chiefs? And based off of that win, and the fact that we handled the Bears, and a better QB than Romo, in Jay Cutler, the guy answering questions, still doesn't give the Birds credit?

SHENANIGANS

Watching Dallas struggle did ease my concern, but maybe the media is giving Dallas credit cause KC went on to beat the Redskins and their top defense!! ;)

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My take: Sure, the Falcons offense hasn't functioned like the Colts or Saints. But a lot of that is a function of how we want to win. We dont want to win 48-35 each game. We want 24-10, where our offense controlled the ball and the clock and kept our defense off the field. That's why the defense is 3rd in points. The offense hasn't put them in bad spots with turnovers on our side of the field or bad special teams cover allowing the other team to flip the field. We've made most teams go the entire field to get points. And sometimes the threat of something happening is almost as being able to do it. The threat of Roddy scares teams, the threat of Tony G scares teams, the threat of paying to much attention to Roddy and Tony and have Turner gash the defense scares teams. You have to look beyond just the stats to determine why they are successful.

+1 for the post but I have to disagree with the above. The offense has not given up many turnovers but they have had a couple of 3 and outs that have put the defense in some less than favorable situations. We are 20th in TOP/G and this is a big reason why along with bend don't break defense. The offense has also benefited greatly from the turnovers our defense has come up with just look back at the Miami game. I still think if they could have put together some drives against the Pats that game would have been alot different. The 49er game is the model of how our offense, defense, and special teams should look when clicking. The Offense puts us up and we let our pass rushers tee off on there QB as they try to come back. No free passes for the offense just because they have stars they need to pick up there game. I am happy that we are top 10 in points per game but the 49er game helped a lot with that.

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So beating an 0-4 KC team in overtime is considered a "big win", but no mention of us beating 3-1 likely playoff teams in back to back weeks?

Sure sounds "fair" and "balanced" to me :rolleyes:

Exactly. Plus, to be accurate, their record is more like a pattern of win, loss, win, loss, win. That makes the next one in sequence a loss. But who is to say?

<My take: Sure, the Falcons offense hasn't functioned like the Colts or Saints.>

Let's hope not. Neither team has really played more than one strong team. The Saints' first 4 opponents have a combined 9 wins.

Colts have beaten JAX and TEN, which are not exactly rocketing into space.

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It's better being the dog it just pumps up the Falcons to play that much harder.

Let the cowboys keep patting themselves on the back after all they have had such a tuff schedule so far "sarcasm".By the way who are they kidding they beat Tampa, Carolina, KC, and lost to a team that got hammered by the Saints WOW!! that's gotta put them up there with the elites. :lol:

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When I saw that the Cowgirls struggled against the hapless Chiefs, it made me fear this team much, much less. I mean, the Chiefs? And based off of that win, and the fact that we handled the Bears, and a better QB than Romo, in Jay Cutler, the guy answering questions, still doesn't give the Birds credit?

SHENANIGANS

Bro, its like another poster said on here a few days back. If a team like the Steelers gets two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, its called great defense. If the Falcons do the same, its considered that the other team played poorly. We will never get real respect. The franchise has been pathetic for too long. It will take time for the respect thing to kick in. The Smith's ran this franchise into the ground. Arthur Blank is having to do all kinds of recovery. It will take years.

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Bro, its like another poster said on here a few days back. If a team like the Steelers gets two interceptions and two fumble recoveries, its called great defense. If the Falcons do the same, its considered that the other team played poorly. We will never get real respect. The franchise has been pathetic for too long. It will take time for the respect thing to kick in. The Smith's ran this franchise into the ground. Arthur Blank is having to do all kinds of recovery. It will take years.

Its funny that to help revive the franchise we have turned to another Smith.

Mike Smith - The White Wizard of Flowery Branch

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+1 for the post but I have to disagree with the above. The offense has not given up many turnovers but they have had a couple of 3 and outs that have put the defense in some less than favorable situations.

True, but a 3 and out and a 45 plus yard punt is still better then a fumble or pick in our own territory giving the other team a short field to work with. That's the point I was making.

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True, but a 3 and out and a 45 plus yard punt is still better then a fumble or pick in our own territory giving the other team a short field to work with. That's the point I was making.

Ok, but with regards to the "But a lot of that is a function of how we want to win" statement, I personally hope that Mularkey takes the "3 and out" play out of the playbook this week.

We ran it 5 times last week and it really wasn't working for me.

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Exactly. Plus, to be accurate, their record is more like a pattern of win, loss, win, loss, win. That makes the next one in sequence a loss. But who is to say?

Unfortunately, its a loss in our pattern as well....something will have to give this weekend though for 1 of the teams, GO FALCONS!!

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So beating an 0-4 KC team in overtime is considered a "big win", but no mention of us beating 3-1 likely playoff teams in back to back weeks?

Sure sounds "fair" and "balanced" to me :rolleyes:

The Annointed Cowboys could be 0-5 and the media would STILL be worshipping them, praising them, and making excuses for them.

They are the ULTIMATE..........ALL TIME...........UNMISTAKABLE...........example of over hyped, over rated, over EVERYTHING entity in the history of sports.

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