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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Cowboys can cope without their star running back

Atlanta not hitting the heights of last year

Dallas running back Alfred Morris
1 of 1

Sky Sports Action, 9.25pm Sunday

Dallas have been waiting for when they would have to cope without running back Ezekiel Elliott and the time has arrived after he failed to gain an injunction on his six-match suspension on Thursday.

The Cowboys head to Atlanta without him and while their most dynamic player will inevitably be a loss, they should be able to cope without him in a game against struggling opponents.

The points line moved from 53 to 48.5 on the news of his absence but there is still potential for the Cowboys offence to be dynamic with seasoned performer Alfred Morris ready to step up and see plenty of the ball.

Dallas head into Week Ten with the fourth-highest points average in the league - 28.2 is a decent figure - and they face a Falcons outfit who have looked a shadow of the team who should have won the Super Bowl in February.

Atlanta possessed the league's best offence last season but they have just not got it together and they face an epic task to make the playoffs.

Having started the campaign with three successes, they have lost four of their last five and their 25-20 success over the New York Jets could not be described as convincing.

They have proved to the the scourge of punters as well having covered the handicap in just two of their outings.

Dallas look a decent bet in receipt of 3.5 points. Three straight victories have put them back on track after defeats to the Los Angeles rams and Green Bay and with two games against Philadelphia to come, they still have eyes on the NFC East title. 

Recommendation
Dallas +3.5
2pts 5-6 Betfair, Paddy Power


The lowdown
Venue Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Surface Artificial
Weather Cloudy, 9C (retractable roof)
Vegas handicap Dallas +3
Vegas points line 48.5

Team news
Dallas
Ezekiel Elliott was not granted another injunction against his six-match suspension for a domestic-violence violation so will not play. Wide receiver Dez Bryant has been struggling with knee and ankle injuries this week and the Cowboys hope left tackle Tyron Smith will be available after he picked up a groin strain.

Atlanta
Star wide receiver Julio Jones will play after recovering from an ankle problem. Kick Matt Bryant is also fit after a leg injury.

Key stat
The points total has gone over the line in 12 of Atlanta's last 14 home matches.


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Atlanta possessed the league's best offence last season but they have just not got it together and they face an epic task to make the playoffs
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