ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Falcons established offensive balance to go with the aerial attack featuring top target Julio Jones, who surpassed 100 yards receiving for the third consecutive game, and had a 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the Atlanta Falcons' 39-28 win over the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Running back Devonta Freeman's career effort, which included the first 100-yard rushing game of his young career to go with three rushing touchdowns, led the charge. No one was sure what to expect from the Falcons in the running game after rookie starter Tevin Coleman went down last week with a fractured rib. But Freeman showed he was more than capable of handling the load against a Dallas defense that entered the game ranked No. 1 in the league against the run after two games.
The Falcons had averaged 80.5 rushing yards per game before Sunday. The Falcons were miserable on defense in the first half and faced a 28-14 deficit at one point, but the defense tightened in the second half.
What it means: The Falcons are 3-0 for the first time since the 2012 season, when they went to the NFC Championship Game. The Falcons actually went to the NFC title game the past two times they started the season 3-0. Could this be a sign? You can bet new coach Dan Quinn isn't getting ahead of himself.
What were they thinking? The Cowboys are probably kicking themselves for letting Matt Ryan break loose on a 16-yard scramble on third-and-6 at the end of the third quarter. It kept the drive alive and led to a score.
One reason to get excited: The schedule. We knew going into the season the Falcons had, on paper, the easiest schedule in the league. That will continue next week against a below-average Houston Texans team, then against a New Orleans Saints team that could be without Drew Brees.
One reason to panic: Tackling is still an issue. The Falcons probably had double-digit missed tackles in the first half alone as the Cowboys scored four rushing touchdowns. Yes, the Cowboys' offensive line is one of the league's best, but there's no excuse for missed tackles.
Fantasy watch: What else can you say about Freeman and his three touchdowns? Maybe start him next week if you didn't this time around. Jones is a keeper every week.
Ouch: Tight end Jacob Tamme exited in the first half with a head injury and likely will go through the concussion protocol this week. Free safety Ricardo Allen missed a few plays with a knee injury but returned to action.