The Dallas Cowboys are on to their next opponent and division rival Eagles. Both needing a victory but the America’s Team can win if these things happen …
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t played their best football on either side of the ball over the past three games, we know it, and they know it.
Now with the Philadelphia Eagles coming to town and this game giving the winner the lead in the division, the Cowboys have a sense of urgency about them. But, if they want to win this game they need to have these things happen first.
First, the offensive resurrection of the Cowboys play-action passing game.
When the Dallas Cowboys were lighting up defenses over the first three games their best weapon was their play-action passing game. The Cowboys used play-action on 39.4% of his passes over the first three games and only 15.6% of the time over the last three games. Deciding instead to run the ball on first down once again. That is a drastic change in philosophy and they need to return to using it to attack defenses early in games to keep defenses guessing.
Play-action forces defensive linemen to slow their pass rush freezes linebackers and defensive backs for just enough time to give quarterback Dak Prescott the ability to find the open receiver. The time he will desperately need this week facing the aggressive defensive front of the Eagles. And with offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins dealing with injuries, if they don’t get back to this on offense they aren’t going to win this game.
Second, the defensive line makes Carson Wentz very uncomfortable early
I know I’ve been hard on the HotBoyz recently calling them the LostBoyz due to their recent play on the field but they can get back to work this weekend and change that narrative. This Philadelphia Eagles offensive line hasn’t been able to consistently protect quarterback Carson Wentz who has been sacked 10 times, hurried 23 times and taken 13 hits in six games this season according to Pro-Football-Reference. For the Cowboys to have any chance in this game they will need to attack Wentz but stay controlled.
Wentz’s ability to extend plays with his legs will help him escape the Cowboy’s initial pressure but his tendency to hold on to the ball until the last possible second will hurt him. If defensive end Robert Quinn is able to take advantage of his matchup against rookie Andre Dillard and get consistent pressure on Wentz the Cowboys can win this game. The rookie played well against the Vikings but wasn’t perfect and with DeMarcus Lawrence getting the double teams Quinn is the key to this game.
Oh, and one final thought, if DeSean Jackson steps on the field, I’m sending cornerback Jourdan Lewis to shadow him all game.