As the Dallas Cowboys host the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium, they’ll be looking for their seventh win of the year and their first against a team with a winning record. Both teams haven’t been what they were expected to back in September, but both have life when it comes to making the playoffs in January.
Welcome to this week’s edition of Cowboys Wishlist!
Wish #1: Just Tackle!
The Cowboys defense might be trying to do too much due to their lack of takeaways. Last week, the Bears were able to look like a super offense despite being a bad unit all season long. The biggest reason why was the poor job the Cowboys did tackling.
In fact, they managed to get a 2019 season record. No other team in the NFL has missed 19 tackles in a single game.
Playing against the team that ran for 273 yards against them in January, they need to tackle better. Way better. Specially as the Rams seem to be finally clicking offensively after a slow start to the season.
Wish #2: Survive Aaron Donald
The Cowboys offensive line has been solid this year, but they face the best defensive player in football today. Lining up at DT, Aaron Donald continues to be incredibly dominant in the trenches. As we know, Connor Williams is out for the season after tearing his ACL a few weeks ago, which means Xavier Su’a-Filo will be the one who will need to step up.
It’ll be a huge challenge for the offensive line and for Dak Prescott when Donald manages to wreak havoc and disrupt the pocket.
I wonder where Donald will be lining up, but I’d be surprised if the Rams don’t try to attack Xavier Su’a-Filo all game.
Wish #3: Contain Rams RB Todd Gurley
Todd Gurley has been far from the running back we knew a couple of years ago. However, he’s been playing solid football lately. Versus the Seattle Seahawks, he put together a 79-yard performance on 23 carries while adding another 34 in the passing game.
The Cowboys will be playing without Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and with a banged-up Sean Lee that hasn’t practiced all week (if he plays at all). It won’t be easy, but the Cowboys need to figure out a way to stop the Rams’ attack underneath.
Wish #4: Have a Get-Right Game
It’s been a surprisingly tough season for a Cowboys team that began the season 3-0 and with Super Bowl expectations. Since playing the Miami Dolphins, though, the Cowboys are 3-7. They don’t desperately need a win against the Rams because the NFC East doesn’t have a winning team. Their chances of winning the division are not in danger. However, they need this win to inject life into what seems to be a broken team.
The division title aside, beating a winning team for the first time in the year would be huge for a unit that has raised many, many doubts.