After a miraculous 20-point come from behind victory in Week 2 vs the Atlanta Falcons, the Dallas Cowboys face a much tougher test Sunday vs the Seattle Seahawks. Not only are they currently undefeated, but their signal-caller, Russell Wilson, leads the MVP odds through the first few weeks.
Looking to stay atop the NFC East and avoid a 1-2 start, the Cowboys will need key contributions for this difficult challenge on the road. Here are three key players to watch for America’s Team.
When Griffen was added to the Cowboys pass rush last month, the idea was for him to lineup opposite DeMarcus Lawrence to form a formidable duo coming off the edge. However, Aldon Smith, who joined the team in April, has gotten the start in each of the first two games.
Griffen has struggled in his transition to a two-point stance instead of his traditional three-point stance. The veteran plans to go back to his old ways, though, as he explained to the media earlier this week.
“I was trying to work it in and out and seeing where my comfortability was, trying to see, ‘Do I like the two-point? Do I like the three-point?’ And I’m a three-point man,” Griffen said. “I’m going to make sure I get down in my three-point where I can be more powerful with my hands and then my feet, and I can get on guys quicker and be able to attack and move my feet better.”
Facing a quarterback like Wilson, the Cowboys will need to pressure him early and often. Hopefully, with this switch back to a three-point stance, Griffen can be a huge contributor in making that happen.
Gallup catapulted up the wide receiver food chain last season with 66 receptions for 1,107 yards and six touchdowns in just 14 games, doubling his output from his rookie campaign.
So far in 2020, though, he hasn’t yet had that breakout performance, but he’s still showing how effective he can be. He beat All-Pro Cornerback Jalen Ramsey multiple times in Week 1, including a deep pass late in the fourth quarter that he was controversially flagged for offensive pass interference. Also, he caught a huge 38-yard pass down the sideline just before the two-minute warning vs the Falcons last week that set up a Dak Prescott touchdown run.
He may only have five receptions so far but he’s averaging an amazing 21.6 yards per catch. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb have each had a 100-yard performance this season. With the Seahawks defense currently allowing a league-worst 415.5 passing yards per game, a recipe for a huge game for Gallup could be on the horizon.
Zeke is still Zeke, period. He hasn’t hit the 100-yard mark yet, but he looks more explosive when he sees holes open up by his offensive line. Currently, he’s averaging 92.5 yards per game which has him on a 1,480-yard pace for the season. If that continues, it would be the second-highest rushing total of his career.
This week vs the Seahawks presents a tough challenge for Zeke and the Cowboys offensive line. Even though their defense is allowing the most yards per game (485) in the league they only give up 69.5 rushing yards every contest (second-fewest in the NFL). Also, with multiple injuries on the offensive line for the Cowboys, the task of running the ball successfully becomes that much harder.
However, if Elliott can find a way to keep the chains moving on the ground with his physical and methodical running style it can set up the play-action passing game with Dak Prescott, which he thrives in.
This game could be a springboard to a winning streak for the Cowboys. These three players having productive performances on Sunday will go a long way in making that a reality.