Biggest Game This Week:
Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons, 4:25pm ET Sunday on FOX.
At 5-3, the Cowboys have a tenuous handle on the sixth and final playoff berth, and nipping at their heels is the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons at 4-4. The ‘Boys got off to a bumpy start this season, but have won their last three games by an average of 18.3 points-per-game, thanks largely to sophomores quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliot regaining their form. This is in sharp contrast to the Falcons, who came roaring out of the gate at 3-0 only to lose four of their next five, though three of those loses were by a total of 12 points. Atlanta’s offense was sure to regress from last season’s torrid pace – teams can only maintain that level of play for so long. Matt Ryan has regressed more than anyone with his number down across the board except for interceptions, which he’s throwing twice as often as last season. Both teams desperately need this game.
The Cowboys’ Dez Bryant is dealing with a sprained ankle and bruised knee that caused him to miss practice Wednesday, making him questionable for Sunday. Similarly, All-World wide out Julio Jones of Atlanta is dealing with a bum ankle, but he seems more likely to suit up.
Tampa’s Jameis Winston has a sprained AC joint that’s expected to keep him on the sidelines for at least two weeks. And, by the way, he says he’s sorry about starting that fight last week.
Biggest Court Case
Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott was in court on Thursday for a hearing before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, but his appeal was denied, so barring yet more legal maneuvering, he’ll be out until Christmas Eve against the Seahawks. This, of course, is a huge blow to the Cowboys as Elliott was the second-leading rusher in the league and a major part of their offense.
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Mike Evans has been given the weekend off by the league office for an egregious case of unnecessary roughness, a cheap shot to the back of Marshon Lattimore. But somehow, neither AJ Green nor Jalen Ramsey got fined for their part in this nonsense.
For a full weekend schedule, check out our sports schedule here.