Atlanta Falcons: Five things we learned in win over Cowboys

2 of 6

5) The defense is better than the numbers show

Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) is sacked by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Vic Beasley (44) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (95) in the fourth quarter in at AT&T Stadium. Atlanta won 39-28. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons’ defense was shredded by the Dallas Cowboys’ running game and short passes in the first half, but threw a shut out in the second half. At the break, Dallas had 131 yards rushing and scored all four of their touchdowns via the ground. By game’s end, the Cowboys finished with 127 yards rushing. The defense forced Dallas into -4 yards rushing over the final two quarters.

After 232 yards through the air in the first half, Brandon Weeden completed 9 of his 12 passes for just 68 yards. As a team, the Falcons’ defense gave up just 64 yards of total offense in the second half. The Falcons struggled in throws under 10 yards on defense, but was impenetrable in passes over 10 yards.

Atlanta allowed just three completions of 10 or more yards in the game and did not allow a single completion over 20 yards. The team forced another interception and sacked Weeden twice, once by rookie Vic Beasley on third down and another from Adrian Clayborn late in the fourth quarter.

Justin Durant led the team in tackles once again and helped the Falcons to five tackles for a loss and three quarterback hits. While the total yards allowed weren’t a bright spot (359) the second half was an absolute destruction for the Falcons’ defense.