After a discouraging season opener against the Carolina Panthers, the Dallas Cowboys have questions to answer. A dismal offensive showing filled with questionable play calling and execution led to a 16-8 defeat in Charlotte. Now, the Cowboys play host to their division rival New York Giants in primetime on Sunday Night Football. Let’s take a closer look at the upcoming matchup:
Injury Bug Striking Early:
The Cowboys have been dealing with injuries to Travis Frederick and Xavier Woods going back to the preseason. Both have already been ruled out, as well as Datone Jones, who has missed several weeks. Joining those guys is Randy Gregory. Gregory was in the news last weekend with a potential suspension rumored to be looming. While no suspension has been levied against Gregory, he is doubtful to play Sunday night with a concussion. Look for Taco Charlton to play more snaps rotating opposite Demarcus Lawrence.
Offense Under Fire:
Put simply, the Dallas Cowboys offense against the Panthers was abysmal. With just 170 passing yards, 8 points, and a combined 2-12 performance on 3rd/4th down, the team has several areas to improve. While the players are at fault for not executing, blame also lies on the coaching staff. Too often, the team ran into stacked boxes, failed to adjust to game flow and didn’t put the players in position to succeed. I personally want to see more freedom for Dak Prescott on offense. Running more spread formations where Prescott can run the run/pass option play with Zeke and keep the defense spread out can play to Prescott’s athletic strengths.
I am curious to see if the team ventures out from their vanilla offensive formations and puts their players in the best position to succeed.
You Play to Win the Game:
While the season certainly is never over after just two weeks, the pressure is mounting on these Dallas Cowboys. A win in primetime against a division rival can be the spark that fuels this season in the right direction. Otherwise, an 0-2 hole may put Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Dak Prescott among others on notice.
All the scrutiny coupled with the national stage reminds me of a Sunday Night beatdown against Green Bay in Wade Phillips’ last game as Cowboys’ head coach. This time feels different, though. I think this offense gets Zeke and Dak back on track, at least for a week, as Dallas gets a much-needed victory.
Prediction: Dallas 27 New York 20
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