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:
— 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.
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)
— 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.
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)