Ezekiel Elliott is suspended. Dan Bailey remains injured. Sean Lee left with a hamstring issue. Each player's absence played a big role in the Dallas Cowboys' 27-7 loss in Atlanta. But none was missed more than All-Pro lineman Tyron Smith.
Without the stud left tackle, Dak Prescott was under siege, and there were few holes in the run game. Falcons defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn set a single-game Falcons franchise record with six sacks against the Cowboys on Sunday, torturing Smith's replacement, Chaz Green, most of the night.
Green took ownership of his struggles after the game.
"I mean, it's unfortunate," Green said, via ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "You have some good days. You have some bad days. This obviously wasn't my best day. I take this on my shoulders and look at myself in the mirror. Just need to fix the things I need to fix. I'm going to get it fixed."
Clayborn's six sacks are tied for second-most in a game since individual sacks became an official statistic in 1982 (only Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, with seven, had more sacks in a single game). What's worse: Clayborn conceded he only has "one move and it worked" versus Green and eventual replacement Byron Bell.
Prescott predictably didn't point fingers at Green and the rest of his struggling line (even Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin got badly burned by Dontari Poe once for a sack).
"We're not going to leave somebody out to dry, for the most part," Prescott said. "We're not going to point fingers and say it's Chaz. It's whatever it is. We'll go back and look. I probably could have gotten the ball out faster sometimes. We'll go back and look at it and get better from it."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones laid blame partly on the Falcons playing a "wide nine" technique on the defensive line, which Dallas hasn't faced that much this season (if that's truly to blame, the Cowboys are in big trouble facing Jim Schwartz's Eagles defense next week).
"I think that any time you get (beat) as thoroughly you show some of the soft spots that we showed out there," Jones added. "If you show that, then that's a concern, but again, the game that we have and if you get real vulnerable, which we were, we weren't capable of really blocking their rush. I thought Dak did a real good job. I don't think it was his pocket issues that helped (decide this one)."