Rob Ryan: Cowboys will beat Falcons

With Rex Ryan’s Jets on a bye and reeling, there was a severe lack of bluster heading into Week 9.

Thankfully, his equally-loquacious brother, Rob, took the onus upon himself.

Heading into Sunday night’s matchup with the undefeated Falcons, the Cowboys’ defensive boss claims his unit will help hand Atlanta its first loss.

“We need to win now,” Ryan said Saturday, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That’s what we’re going to do. I know the record is not what we want it to be, but the ball is bouncing strange ways. When that thing starts evening out, we’re going to be great, and we’re going to keep playing. We’ve got to win this week, and we know it, and we’re going to.”

The Cowboys (3-4) do need a win in the worst way, if only to avoid the NFC East basement and keep their playoff chances afloat. It won’t be easy as four-point underdogs, going against the white-hot Falcons — led by MVP frontrunner Matt Ryan — in the hostile Georgia Dome.

Ryan has done his job, coaching up the league’s No. 2-ranked total defense. Despite not receiving much national acclaim — likely due to the slumping nature of the team — he’s proud of where they’re at.

“You know me, I like credit,” Ryan said. “Our guys, they deserve a ton of credit. Our players work their butts off. Our coaching staff, I’m fortunate and blessed to be around the best coaches. This is the best staff I’ve ever been on, and it’s not close. So good things are going to happen to those that work hard. If we just keep working, we’re going to get better. Despite losing, we’ve lost some really good players, but our guys keep going. We’ve got a whole team in there, not just a few individuals. This is really coming together, and I know we’re going to be special. I think we’re going to be special this week. I really do. I think we’re just starting to get that way, and I believe we’re going to have a special game this week.”

Big D will need nothing short of a special game; that entails all three phases executing, a brilliant gameplan, and little to no mistakes (turnovers, penalties, etc.). The Falcons are undefeated for a reason — and it’s not luck.

Both clubs should be fired up — Atlanta has some new bulletin board material to work with — making this primetime affair must-see TV, as if it wasn’t already.

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).