Eight games up, eight games down. The Atlanta Falcons are halfway to a perfect regular season after outlasting the Dallas Cowboys, 19-13, on Sunday night. The Falcons are in the enviable position of holding a four-game lead in the NFC South as they reach the halfway point of their season, so they can now focus on locking down home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Atlanta's main competition for the No. 1 seed in the NFC is the Chicago Bears, who sit just one game behind at 7-1.
The Falcons got four field goals from Matt Bryant and a touchdown from Michael Turner, which were just enough to hold off Dallas, thanks to a solid night defensively. Turner finished with 102 yards on 20 carries in addition to his touchdown. Julio Jones and Roddy White were each over 100 yards receiving, while White became the Falcons' all-time leading receiver with seven catches for 118 yards:
It's quite an honor for White, who turned an disappointing start to his career into an eye-popping string of seasons. White is easily a top ten receiver in the NFL right now because of his ability to get separation from the coverage blanketing him, and he flashed those skills several times against the Cowboys tonight. That propelled him over over 573 receptions and into new record territory.
Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards.