Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 things to know before today's Falcons at Cowboys kickoff

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ARLINGTON, Tex. – Here are five things to mull over before today’s 1 p.m. kickoff between the Falcons (2-0) and the Cowboys (2-0) at AT&T Stadium:

1. Matt Ryan vs. Sean Lee. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is adapt at exploiting mismatches. Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is a film study maven and will know all of the Falcons moves. He was calling out the Eagles plays before they ran them to his teammates last week when he had 14 tackles, an interception and recovered an onsides kick.

2. Roddy White vs. Morris Claiborne. With Orlando Scandrick out, the Cowboys have had to start Claiborne at cornerback. After being selected with the sixth overall pick in 2012, Claiborne has been a disappointment. White after not catching a pass for the first time in 130 games will be ready to contribute in a major way. Claiborne has played well over the first two games.

3. Dallas’ depleted defensive line. Starting defensive end Jeremy Mincey was ruled out with a concussion on Friday. The Cowboys learned earlier this week that defensive tackle Terrell McClain (sprained big toe) was lost for the season. Rookie defensive end Randy Gregory (ankle) and defensive end Greg Hardy (suspension) are also out.

4. Collins to start. Former LSU standout La’el Collins will get his first start at left guard, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones announced on the team’s radio station on Friday.

5. Witten’s streak. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, despite two sprained ankles and a sprained knee, is expected to play and extend his consecutive games played streak to 190 games.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter tells CineSport’s Brian Clark how the Falcons scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the Giants 24-20 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

GIANTS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 24, Giants 20

Falcons 24, Giants 20 -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from Falcons' 24-20 win over the Giants

Mark Bradley column -- Don't stop believin': Dan Quinn's men are 2-0

A record day for Julio Jones: 13 receptions

Kroy Biermann: 'We're a ball-attacking team'


Chester, Levitre arrive to bolster Falcons' offensive line

Jake Long signed for $1.1 million

Jones' ailing hamstring kept him out of practice

Moore fined $23,152 for hit on Eagles WR Jordan Matthews

Matt Ryan, Jake Long's friendship rooted in pre-draft desert workouts

7 questions with Giants coach Tom Coughlin

5 questions with Giants quarterback Eli Manning

Beasley, Flowers to face in prime rookie battle

Julio Jones named NFC offensive player of the week

Quinn reflects in aftermath of first win


5 things we learned from Falcons' upset win over Eagles

Matt Ryan leads Falcons to 26-24 win over the Eagles

Jeff Schultz column: An impressive debut by Quinn's new Falcons

Mark Bradley column: A new year: The Falcons dig deep and hang on

Julio Jones moves into fifth on Falcons' all-time receiving list

Tevin Coleman powers new rushing attack

Ricardo Allen seals victory in first start at free safety

4 questions with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after the game

Falcons rookies Beasley, Jarrett make impact

Falcons' revamped offensive line shows positive signs

Falcons quotes after their victory over the Eagles

Falcons-Eagles: By The Numbers


COVER 9@9: Where does Jake Long fit?

Falcons' report card: Allen saves day in first NFL start

VIDEO: Where does Jake Long fit?

4-point plan to stop Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

Desmond Trufant on the keys to stopping Odell Beckham Jr.


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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.