Every week, we'll grade the Cowboys on the three phases of the weekend's game.
There were several encouraging signs about this performance, but it quickly proved to be the true definition of being a tale of two halves. Brandon Weeden was efficient, other than what proved to be a key interception late in the first half that led to Falcons points before halftime. Joseph Randle rushed for 85 yards and three scores early and then struggled for the remainder of the game, and Lance Dunbar had 100 receiving yards. But Weeden didn't complete a pass to an outside receiver, and the unit fell flat in the second half racking up just more than 50 total yards over the final 30 minutes.
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The Cowboys had no answer for Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. That isn't too surprising in itself, but it was discouraging after seeing how good the unit had been against the Giants and the Eagles. Ryan and Jones had a field day, but the most alarming part of the day was the huge rushing totals put up by Falcons backup running back Devonta Freeman. That's the stat that ultimately lost the Cowboys the game.
Special teams: B
Chris Jones punted really great again, downing three of his four punts inside the Falcons' 20-yard line. Dan Bailey hit all of his extra point tries but had no attempts at a field goal and the Cowboys' coverage units weren't really standing out in a good or bad way.