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Cowboys may face Bengals’ Geno Atkins with a starting guard out

Geno+Atkins+Cleveland+Browns+v+Cincinnati+3HV1o-eMzYMl Getty Images

The Cowboys’ offensive line will have a tough task protecting quarterback Tony Romo from Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins on Sunday. And that task will get even tougher if they’re down a starting guard.

But with starting guard Nate Livings out of practice with a knee injury today, there are concerns that Livings will miss his first start of the season on Sunday at Cincinnati, where Livings played the first six years of his career. That would force the Cowboys to put backup Derrick Dockery in the starting lineup.

And that would be a mismatch against Atkins. For that matter, almost every guard in the league is mismatched against Atkins. Although Atkins doesn’t get as much attention as the league-leading pass-rush trio of San Francisco’s Aldon Smith, Houston’s J.J. Watt and Denver’s Von Miller, he’s having an excellent season bringing pressure from the defensive tackle position.

Atkins leads all NFL defensive tackles with 9.5 sacks, and if he gets one more sack he’ll have the most for any defensive tackle since Atlanta’s Rod Coleman had 11 in 2004. It’s going to be tough for the Cowboys’ line to prevent that one more sack from coming at Romo’s expense.

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47 Responses to “Cowboys may face Bengals’ Geno Atkins with a starting guard out”
  1. gtorlone says: Dec 6, 2012 5:05 PM

    I’m not even a Bengals fan, but Geno Atkins is probably THE most underrated defensive player in the NFL.

  2. heyguru1969 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:09 PM

    GAMEPLAN: Roll right. Keep rolling.

  3. bharr170 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:10 PM

    #1 Nate Livings will be assigned to Peko.
    #2 Every Bengals fan LOLed when they thought of Nate Livings actually benefiting an OL.

  4. Steeley McBeam says: Dec 6, 2012 5:13 PM

    Steelers fan… Atkins is a beast.

  5. bengalsucker says: Dec 6, 2012 5:15 PM

    Not to mention, Domata Peko, Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap. And the Bengals have a steady rotation of d lineman ready to come in fresh at all times. Dallas O-line better pack a lunch Sunday. They’re going to need it.

  6. supremekingz says: Dec 6, 2012 5:19 PM

    Wow. Had no idea Atkins was such a beast. Gonna have to watch more Bengals games on Sundays

  7. bengalsucker says: Dec 6, 2012 5:23 PM

    Dallas linemen are going to be gasping hard after each offensive series. This D line is going to tear them up. Romo should be concerned

  8. spytdi says: Dec 6, 2012 5:25 PM

    ‘Boys fan here: My fingernails are shot. Romo may have both collarbones broken. If he was smart, he would preemptively break them with a hammer and let Orton get knocked around.

  9. ravensfansc says: Dec 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    As a Ravens fan, Atkins is a true three down force to be reckoned with. Underrated player who deserves a lot more attention.

  10. mikebrownfaux says: Dec 6, 2012 5:36 PM

    Atkins is hands down the best player on the Bengals roster.

  11. jcioffi1485 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:39 PM

    Tony Romo is in for a lot of moments running fir his life

  12. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:43 PM

    Love Geno even though I knew he would (and did) embarrass us — especially with Dave Diehl out there — there’s a reason I fought to draft him early in fantasy this year.

  13. itsmammoth says: Dec 6, 2012 5:45 PM

    I guess this would matter if anyone on the Cowboys Offense line was good in the first place. Who are you kidding? Every time Romo hikes the ball the Offense line drops into the fetal position.

    Oh, and I see you skipped right over Ware when naming the league leading pass rushers. Keep the hate coming.

    Because everyone knows that the Bengals are nothing more than Andy Dalton, Aj Green, and Dallas has-beens.

  14. beef39 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:50 PM

    I wouldn’t exactly say that being without Nate Livings is a loss.

  15. udontknowjacku says: Dec 6, 2012 5:53 PM

    Geno is a BEAST!!!

    signed: RG3

  16. changeup39 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    mikebrownfaux — hands down? Ever heard of AJ Green?

  17. mazblast says: Dec 6, 2012 6:00 PM

    He’s a rarity on the Bengals roster, a player who’s actually any good.

  18. mikebrownfaux says: Dec 6, 2012 6:00 PM

    changeup39 says: Dec 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    mikebrownfaux — hands down? Ever heard of AJ Green?

    ________

    Yea, A.J. is not the best player in the league at his position now is his he? Geno has been last season and this one so far with almost no debate….

  19. angrycorgi says: Dec 6, 2012 6:01 PM

    As a Cowboy fan I have to be honest…We are going to get destroyed on Sunday. I knew it was gonna be bad anyway, but now its gonna be over in the 1st quarter.

  20. t8ertot says: Dec 6, 2012 6:03 PM

    Bengals wild card chances get better and better. Now we need the Steelers and Colts to choke

  21. soobster says: Dec 6, 2012 6:09 PM

    Great to see another former Georgia player do good things in the NFL! Goooooooo DAWGS!

  22. 303bengalguy says: Dec 6, 2012 6:12 PM

    I’m getting jinxed feelings here with all this Bengal love! Cut it out guys!

    Robert Geathers is the weak link on this D Line (in terms of heavy rotation guys) and he’d start most anywhere else. Wallace Gilberry has been playing solid ball since he came over as a FA, although who knows if that’s because M Johnson and Dunlap and Atkins require double teams. Devon Still is a guy I’m really excited to see get some run too.

  23. bengalskuta82 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:14 PM

    I think the Bengals have the best D-line in the NFL..Tony Romo, run for your life!.
    About Geno not getting much attention is just not accurate..Last year he didnt get much attention; today, everybody talks about “Geno sacks”..

  24. warewolf94 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:15 PM

    Even though Romo has escapability, he’ll still have a hard time getting away from Atkins…our line is terrible

  25. cowboysspurs88 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:31 PM

    I’m a die hard Cowboys fan, but they will not win this game. I have Geno in my IDP fantasy league so I have been following him closely, and he has quickly become my favorite defensive player in the league. This dude is a monster and will kill my team (but dominate on my fantasy team) on Sunday.

  26. mercurialcj says: Dec 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    This could be an interesting game. Both offenses can open it up when they want to, but both defenses have the potential to change the game as well; problem is, they never seem to come together.

    As for Geno, there is absolutely no blocking this guy. He’s the top rated DT according to PFF, and he has a grade of 50.0 or something which is twice as good as the next best DT. Complete monster.

  27. 1buckeye76 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:40 PM

    heyguru1969 says:
    Dec 6, 2012 5:09 PM
    GAMEPLAN: Roll right. Keep rolling.

    ————-

    Yeah, right to Carlos Dunlap!

  28. swaggyy says: Dec 6, 2012 6:50 PM

    The Cowboys are such a joke. I dont understand the hype at all. Americas team? Yeah i guess theyre about as good as America, which is average. Starting guard or not the Bengals will destroy the Cowgirls.

  29. speedlimit41 says: Dec 6, 2012 6:53 PM

    Geno who?

  30. wabbitslayer says: Dec 6, 2012 7:02 PM

    Marvin Lewis luvs him some UGA defensive talent. Shame Pollack got hurt and Thurman had to throw his career away….all those dawgs-turned-bengals together would be unbelievable.

  31. raiderapologist says: Dec 6, 2012 7:11 PM

    Not a Bengals fan, but Atkins is a force to be reckoned with. Romo better put on his fast sneakers and avoid those five step drops.

  32. CowboyErik says: Dec 6, 2012 8:03 PM

    Cowboys play better overall on the road; terrible at home; I am not sure why Eagles were pounding Romo in the first half last week, then it slowed down; hard to say for sure how Cowboys O-line will hangle things, if Romo gets the ball out fast and accurately early it won’t matter and Bengals have to think about Demarco Murray ripping them up if they just target the QB, it was the Eagles un-doing last week even with a lead most of the game!

  33. moerawn says: Dec 6, 2012 8:05 PM

    Romo is used to running for his life.

  34. drgreenstreak says: Dec 6, 2012 8:06 PM

    From looking at these posts you would never believe the Bengals had never lost to the Browns and the Dolphins and squeaked by the Raiders.
    Their secondary will get burned because Romo will not get sacked every play and the second-hand CB’s cannot handle Dez or Miles.

  35. tswan16 says: Dec 6, 2012 8:19 PM

    drgreenstreak says:
    Dec 6, 2012 8:06 PM
    From looking at these posts you would never believe the Bengals had never lost to the Browns and the Dolphins and squeaked by the Raiders.

    ________________________________

    The browns took Dallas to OT and should’ve won and that game was in Dallas. Cincinnati beat Oakland by 24, but I suppose you could call that squeaking by. With that being said this should be a good game and could go either way.

  36. sellout3871 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:33 PM

    Haters keep hating, Bengals keep winning! who dey!

  37. wgray981 says: Dec 6, 2012 9:47 PM

    Being a Cowboys fan and watching most of their games this season I can point out their two biggest problems- Offensive line is the first (they commit a ton of penalties and Romo gets pressured almost every play) and their LBs (I know S.Lee is out but still…they play a lot of zone D and often leave people wide open in the middle of the field- maybe this is just Rob Ryan’s fault though…)

  38. vincentbojackson says: Dec 6, 2012 10:15 PM

    Bengal fans sure talking a lot of smack. Now if they could just locate the ticket office at Paul Brown Stadium they could avoid a blackout without help from the opposing team’s fans.

  39. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 6, 2012 10:42 PM

    Livings was with the Bengals last year and knows better than anyone that this would be a good week to miss.

  40. bluebongzilla says: Dec 6, 2012 11:40 PM

    I know this is going to bruise some Almost Football Conference egos but the Cowboys have faced better DL’s.

  41. johnnyb1976 says: Dec 7, 2012 12:44 AM

    Not to mention the bengals beat the giants 31-13. When was the last time the cowboys beat the giants?

  42. vex24 says: Dec 7, 2012 7:39 AM

    I say that the NFL should combine the cowboys and eagles into this Sunday’s game against the Bengals. That way Cincy can finish them both and move on to the real games…. pittsburgh and clevel…er, baltimore.

  43. jwil007 says: Dec 7, 2012 1:02 PM

    This game can go either way….Cincy better be ready for Dallas Wr’s… They generate good YAC… Hopefully Zimmer, Newman and Pacman have the game of their lives…. and We come out with the win.. THIS WILL NOT BE AN EASY GAME!

    Thx for the luv on Geno Sacks and AJ Green…We just want to experience success CONSISTENTLY like the NE’s, NYG’s, GB’s, Pitt & Bmore’s of the NFL get to experience…

  44. Grulks says: Dec 7, 2012 1:11 PM

    johnnyb1976 says:
    Dec 7, 2012 12:44 AM
    Not to mention the bengals beat the giants 31-13. When was the last time the cowboys beat the giants?
    ————––——–
    Oh, I don’t know, how about the first game of this season dummy. You know, the opening night of football, on national TV.

  45. torontofalcon says: Dec 7, 2012 1:27 PM

    Im a falcon fan but not a uga fan so you know im not biased when I say Geno is the best defensive player in the NFL. Calais Campbell, john babineaux highlight the other underrated Dline men

  46. Mr. Wright 212 says: Dec 7, 2012 3:18 PM

    mercurialcj says: Dec 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    This could be an interesting game. Both offenses can open it up when they want to, but both defenses have the potential to change the game as well; problem is, they never seem to come together.

    As for Geno, there is absolutely no blocking this guy. He’s the top rated DT according to PFF, and he has a grade of 50.0 or something which is twice as good as the next best DT. Complete monster.
    ————

    Dallas’ defense has fallen off in recent weeks with the injuries.

  47. axespray says: Dec 7, 2012 9:24 PM

    I love the job Ted Thompson’s done…. but taking Mike Friggin Neal over Geno Atkins – smh.

    Could you imagine – Geno/Raji/Cullen as your 3-4 Defensive line – Clay would average 20 sacks a year with that trio.

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