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Cowboys vs. Falcons, Week 9 preview: Atlanta looks to improve to 8-0

The Atlanta Falcons host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, looking to improve their record to 8-0.

Rob Carr

The Atlanta Falcons host the Dallas Cowboys at the Georgia Dome, looking to improve to 8-0 midway through the regular season schedule. Considering how well the Falcons play at home, particularly quarterback Matt Ryan, and the Cowboys' tendency to get in their own way, Atlanta is the favorite here.

The matchup features one of the league's worst rushing defenses in the Falcons against the Cowboys' hobbled running game. Dallas is uncertain if running back DeMarco Murray will play on Sunday, and Dallas has the league's 28th-ranked rush attack. Atlanta's run defense ranks 26th in the NFL, giving up 136 yards per game.

This could be a big game for the Falcons' secondary, playing against Tony Romo and a group of receivers that have watched 13 of Romo's passes go to the other team this season.

With Sunday's 30-17 win against the Philadelphia Eagles, Falcons head coach Mike Smith became the franchise's all-time wins leader with 50. The 7-0 start is by far the best start to a season in Falcons history.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.