Here are five things to know before today’s Cowboys (4-5) at Falcons (4-5) kickoff at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
1. Injury report: The only player ruled out against the Cowboys was kicker Matt Bryant, who kicked in practice Thursday. He strained his right hamstring Oct. 14 against the Buccaneers and will misst his fourth consecutive contest. Giorgio Tavecchio will continue to handle place-kicking duties.
2. The Irivn plan. Recently signed veteran defensive end Bruce Irvin played 14 snaps against the Browns and had two tackles. Look for his snaps to increase against the Cowboys. The Falcons just 17 sacks and Takk McKinley, who leads the team with 5.5 on the season, has just one sack over the past five games. Vic Beasley has just one sack on the season.
3. Series history. » This will be the 26th regular-season meeting between the Falcons and the Cowboys. The Cowboys lead the series 14-11. The Falcons have won the last three meetings including last season’s 27-7 victory when defensive end Adrian Clayborn had six sacks. The teams meet twice in the playoffs with Dallas winning both times, including the dramatic 30-27 victory when Danny White tossed a touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 42 seconds to play. The Falcons blew a 24-10 lead in that game.
4. Where to watch, listen and stream. The game will be on Fox Sports with Kevin Burkhardt handling the play-by-play, Charles Davis as analysis and Pam Oliver as the field reporter.
5. Stopping Zeke. Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott is coming to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the first time.
The hurdler is on the minds of Falcons defenders, too, because if the Falcons (4-5) are going to beat Dallas (4-5) on Sunday, they probably will have to slow the Cowboys’ running back.
The Falcons were strafed for 211 rushing yards Sunday in a 28-16 loss in Cleveland.
Elliott led the NFL in rushing as a rookie despite not playing the final game of the season in 2016, and he was rolling last season before he was suspended for six games and missed the game in Atlanta. He ranks second in the NFL in rushing now, with 831 yards in nine games to 988 for the Rams’ Todd Gurley in 10 games.