Mention the Dallas Cowboys to Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews and you get a dismissive sneer.
“I was never a Dallas fan ever,” Matthews said. “I was with Houston with my Dad being there. Growing up in Houston, obviously you lean toward being a fan of that area. I was never really a (Cowboys) fan at all.”
The Falcons (4-4) are set to face the Cowboys (5-3) at 4:25 p.m. on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Matthews’ father, Bruce Matthews, started his career with the Houston Oilers and went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
Matthews never brought that America’s team Cowboys’ hype.
“No, I don’t think it really affected me that much,” Matthews said.
Matthews believes the offense can get untracked against the Cowboys.
“You can move the ball up and down the field all day, but if you don’t score in doesn’t amount to a whole lot,” Matthews said. “We just have to continue to work on executing and finishing in the red zone. It just comes from working hard and getting it done during the week.”
Matthews said that unit won’t start pressing after a disappointing start to the season.
“It just goes with the culture that we set up,” Matthews said. “Work hard, prepare and cut it loose. (Coach Dan Quinn) always says that he doesn’t want anybody playing tight. We have to do that and find a way to execute.”
He believes the Falcons can get their rushing attack rolling.
“Fine tune a couple things and execute a little better and I think we’ll like the results,” Matthews said.
Also, the Falcons want to cut down on their penalties.
“The easiest way to get rid of that is to be on top of the plan,” Matthews said. “If you know what you’re doing, you are less likely to have that stuff to happen. It’s just something that you have to will your way through.”