Just two weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys were coming off a disappointing home loss against the Titans. The defeat sank the team to 3-5, pushing Jason Garrett and Co. to the brink of elimination. Just a few weeks later, the Dallas Cowboys are in control of their own destiny. At 5-5, The team can move into a tie for 1st place in the division with a win against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving. Let’s take a look at how Dallas can take control of the NFC East on Thursday:
Disrupt the Hometown Kid:
With the gruesome injury to Alex Smith, Washington will be without their starting QB for the rest of the season. This development seems to give the Cowboys the upper hand. However, Dallas will still need to prepare long and hard for Colt McCoy, who is the next man up in D.C. McCoy made his name at the University of Texas and will look to show out in his home state. The Cowboys need to contain McCoy in the pocket and force McCoy to play a perfect game.
Give Zeke a Thanksgiving Sized Feast:
Ezekiel Elliott had a signature performance in the Cowboys’ win over Atlanta on Sunday. The young running back accumulated 201 yards from scrimmage, scored a touchdown, and found new life behind an improved offensive line. What made his performance more impressive is that he didn’t have any huge plays, but consistently churned out positive yardage. Against an underrated Washington defense, the Cowboys must get Zeke the ball early and often and keep the defense of Washington on their toes.
How Dallas Gets Piece of the (NFC East) Pie:
While Dallas isn’t necessarily out of the race if they lose, a win on Thanksgiving puts the Cowboys in position to determine their fate. Dallas must give the ball to Zeke deliberately, while limiting opportunities for the Washington offense to control the tempo. If Dallas shuts down McCoy, Adrian Peterson and the Washington offense, they stand a good chance of claiming a share of the NFC East division lead.