Tonight the Cowboys will find their true identity. Whether it’d be the team that clearly needs work, or the team that seems to step up to any challenge and overcome it. Philadelphia offers Dallas no easy road to victory and ultimately redemption from that 44-6 loss last year.
However, I see plenty of chances for the Cowboys to dominate this matchup and take sole possession of 1st place in the NFC East. In order to do that, they will have to successfully achieve this weeks Keys to the Game.
1. Shut down DeSean Jackson: I know, I know… Easier said then done. This speedy receiver has quickly become one of the most dangerous weapons in the NFL. I do, however, believe that with proper scheming they can shut him down. It’ll be up to the secondary to always keep him in front of them.
2. Keep Donovan from Getting Comfortable: We all know that there are two Donovan McNabbs in the world. One very consistent, game changer. One an inconsistent mess. The key to that is pressure, make Mcnabb uncomfortable by giving him defenses that confuse him. He isn’t a fast thinker and can be beaten by his own mental lapses.
3. Shut down the Run: We must eliminate the play-action. In order to do that we must shut down any running game that they have. LeSean McCoy offers a decent threat, but can be easily stopped if the LB’s play properly. Stopping the run will allow for the defense to more closely watch TE Brent Celek.
4. Attack the Middle of the Field- This could be a big day for Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. We know that Asante Samuel will cause headaches if he is consistently attacked, so we want to make it up to Philadelphia’s depleted linebacker corps to handle our passing game. If we can make that work, expect to see Miles Austin open a couple times for a long one.
5. Rush the Ball: We must get all 3 backs into the game early. We need to take control of the game and control the game clock. We need to limit this from being a high scoring affair.
Predicted Gameballs and Notables
Jason Witten– I expect Witten to look, statistically, in the 7 catches for 72 yards and TD area. This won’t lead the Cowboys in yardage but his impact will be felt.
Jay Ratliff/Demarcus Ware- I expect these fella’s to spearhead control of the running game. A sack each sounds about right.
Notable: I believe that Miles Austin will have about 80 yards and a touchdown, Marion Barber and Felix Jones will both get 1 TD, and Mike Jenkins gets a Pick.
Giving the events, where it’s at, and the level of play… I expect this to be a close one
PHI 31DAL 28 – I hope that I’m wrong though