The Dallas Cowboys got their biggest win of the 2019 season against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, stopping the bleeding from a three-game losing streak. With that victory, they now sit alone atop the NFC East having already defeated every team in the division in their first seven games. Now, the Cowboys have a chance to get some guys healthy for the second half of the season.
The month of November is the most critical of the 2019 season with several tough opponents coming up, and with three of their five games being on the road, that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.
The first test of the month will be on the road against the New York Giants. On paper, this looks like a complete mismatch, but in the NFC East, nothing is guaranteed. Yes, the Giants are currently 2-6 and on a four-game losing streak, similar to the Cowboys about a week ago, and we saw what happened when their backs were to the wall against a division rival, they had their best performance of 2019 so far. The Giants will be ready to disrupt the Cowboy’s momentum while gaining some for themselves. A win here would make the Cowboys 4-0 in the division and it could also start to really separate them from the rest of the pack.
Next, the Cowboys return home to face the Minnesota Vikings. Defensively, the Vikings are one of the NFL’s best ranking 5th overall and only allowing 16.5 points per game. On the other side of the ball, not only do they possess the league’s leading rusher in Dalvin Cook they also have one of the best wide receiver duos in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The Cowboys offensive line will need to win the battle in the trenches in order to let All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott move the chains and keep the Vikings three-headed monster on offense on the sidelines.
The first of back to back road games begin with the Detroit Lions. This team always plays the Cowboys tough seeing as four of their last five meetings have been decided by four points or less, including the 2014 NFC Wild Card Game that the Cowboys won 24-20. Matthew Stafford is having a very good year so far averaging 299 yards per game so the last thing the Cowboys want to do is let him get any rhythm and keep their offense on the sidelines. The Cowboys offense should take advantage of a defense that is currently ranked 31st overall by establishing the run which will allow Dak Prescott to carve them up in the play-action passing game.
The biggest test of the season will be against the defending Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots in Week 12. The Patriots defense is on a historic pace only allowing 234 yards and 7.6 points per game, while racking up an unreal 19 interceptions in their first eight games. Then, of course, there’s the Tom Brady factor. He’s the master of reading and manipulating defenses, and with newly acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu added to the mix, it makes the Patriots offense that much more formidable. There will be minimal if any margin for error if the Cowboys want to make it out of Foxboro with a win.
The Cowboys wrap up the month of November with a Thanksgiving showdown against the Buffalo Bills and recently departed wide receiver, Cole Beasley. The Bills are one of the surprise teams so far this season with a 5-2 record and the NFL’s 3rd ranked defense. This will be a huge test for the Cowboys top-ranked offense and it will be paramount for them to establish a rhythm early, while simultaneously keeping their defensive teammates fresh to feast on an offense that’s ranked in the bottom half of the league.
Will the Cowboys fall back into the inconsistent ways they displayed during their recent three-game losing streak? Only time will tell but the month of November is vital if the Cowboys want to make a second consecutive playoff appearance.