ATL-DAL Grades: Ryan leads the charge, Falcons foil Cowboys

The top takeaways from Sunday’s Falcons-Cowboys game, including the highest graded players for each team.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

ATL-DAL Grades: Ryan leads the charge, Falcons foil Cowboys


Here are the top takeaways from Sunday’s Falcons-Cowboys game, including the highest graded players for each team:

Atlanta Falcons

— Matt Ryan was in control and never committed a big mistake. He got on a roll in the second half as the Cowboys couldn’t stop the Falcons offense. Ryan was particularly strong outside the numbers where he went 12-of-14.

— It was a quiet day for Vic Beasley. He notched a sack, but that was more a result of Brandon Weeden flushed from the pocket by Jonathan Babineaux than him turning the corner on Tyron Smith. There’s no shame in struggling against a tackle like Smith and there will be easier tests ahead. Outside of his sack, Beasley managed zero pressures on 26 pass rushing attempts.

— Jake Matthews graded positively for the third straight game. Outside of being called for a holding penalty and some suspect cut blocking on short passes, he produced a near flawless effort. This is the player the Falcons hoped they drafted in 2014 with Matthews flagged for just one penalty through three games and having allowed just one hurry.

Top Performers:

QB Matt Ryan (+6.0)
WR Julio Jones (+3.9)
DT Jonathan Babineaux (+3.4)
FB Patrick DiMarco (+3.1)
LT Jake Matthews (+2.8)

Dallas Cowboys

— It wasn’t so much that Brandon Weeden played poor, It was that he didn’t make plays to keep the Falcons defense honest when they started shutting down the run. He completed only two passes all game that traveled over 10 yards in the air, with 18 of his completions being between the numbers and traveling nine or fewer yards in the air.

— Neither Morris Claiborne nor Brandon Carr were up to the task of stopping Julio Jones. The imposing Jones picked up 41 yards on Claiborne and 54 on Carr as they struggled to prevent him from moving the chains.

— On the positive side, Lance Dunbar is reveling in his role as a third down back. 19 of his snaps came on passing plays where he was the check down of choice for Weeden. Look for him to continue to be a major target as long as Tony Romo is on the sideline.

Top Performers:

HB Lance Dunbar (+3.0)
LB Sean Lee (+2.4)
RG Zack Martin (+2.2)
TE Jason Witten (+1.9)
DE DeMarcus Lawrence (+1.5)

  • crosseyedlemon

    The Falcon coaches made some good in game adjustments and the Cowboys were not able to find any big plays late in the game when they needed them.

    • Lukas Szepesi

      I don’t think it was really the gameplan that was the problem for the Falcons in the first half, the defense just didn’t come to play. They missed tackles everywhere and didn’t shut down the run like they were supposed to. On that 40 yard run for a touchdown they actually had him in the backfield but couldn’t tackle and let him slip away. They should have never given up 28 points to the pretty simple offense that the Cowboys have at the moment. They cleaned it up in the second half but it’s no coincidence that there’s only 1 defensive player on the list for the Falcons.

  • NP_Truth

    Looking at the film, I don’t feel Lee played that great. Hopefully Ryan and Jones both received a negative grade for that Slant route Mo jumped. That should have been an Interception. Ryan also had a number of bad throws in the 1st half, his grades must have been off the charts in the 2nd half. Watching the game it would make sense.