As for Dallas, things are looking good. The Cowboys are 2-0 for the first time since 1995, their last Super Bowl season, and their defense didn't look anything like the unit that got torched by Washington in their opener.
Then again, Dallas was stopping an Atlanta offense led by quarterback Tony Graziani and running back Byron Hanspard, third-year pros with empty resumes compared to those of Chandler and Anderson, a pair of Pro Bowl players.
"I'm embarrassed with the way we played, and everybody in our locker room is embarrassed," said Falcons coach Dan Reeves, whose team has already lost as many games as it did during the 1998 regular season.
Graziani went 7 for 16 for 90 yards. His second pass was intercepted, leading to a Dallas field goal, and he fumbled early in the third quarter, setting up the touchdown that put the Cowboys up by 17-0.
The lefthander's biggest highlight was making it to the third quarter - something he had failed to do in his previous two NFL starts. The thrill was short-lived, though, because Danny Kannell replaced him in mid-quarter.
Kannell, who beat Dallas twice with the New York Giants in 1997, was almost as ineffective as Graziani. He short-circuited one drive by throwing an interception, but he did rebound to throw a 45-yard touchdown pass to Tim Dwight with four minutes left. It was the first time in the game that the Falcons crossed the Dallas 30.
The Falcons threatened again, but on third and goal from the 4 with 1 minute, 1 second to play, defensive end Greg Ellis returned an interception 87 yards for the final Dallas touchdown.
"The ball just hit me right in the face ask," Ellis said. "I figured I better catch it or be on the bloopers film."
Anderson was lost six minutes into the game without even being hit. On his third carry, he planted his right foot and cut left before falling to the artificial turf of Texas Stadium. He grabbed his knee before he even landed.
"My knee just gave out," he said. "We really don't know the extent of the injury. We'll have to wait until we get back to Atlanta to really get it checked out."
After gaining 541 yards against Washington in a 41-35 overtime victory, the Cowboys picked up just 231 last night. Troy Aikman went from 355 yards passing to 109, his lowest total since the last game of the 1997 season. He went 10 for 22 and threw two interceptions, giving him five for the season, which matched last season's total.
Graziani's interception led to a 23-yard field goal by Richie Cunningham midway through the first quarter. A missed field-goal try by Atlanta's Morten Andersen in the second quarter turned into a 2-yard touchdown run by the Cowboys' Emmitt Smith.
Andersen's 49-yard miss was his third miss of the season. He had only five last year.
Smith scored again on a 7-yard run early in the third quarter, a few plays after Graziani's fumble.
Smith carried 29 times for 108 yards - his second straight 100-yard outing. He also passed Tony Dorsett to become fourth on the NFL's career rushing list at 12,783 yards.