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Your Dallas Cowboys Defense
Upon first glance, the Dallas Cowboys defense is not one I would recommend starting. They don't have a ton of known talent (I use the word known, because they do have some guys who show some promise).
The Dallas Cowboys defense shows a lot of promise, but unfortunately promise doesn't lead to consistent quarterback pressure and sacks. The thing that gives this defensive unit hope against the New York Giants in week one? The New York Giants' offensive line.
Pro Football Focus, in their 2016 preseason offensive line rankings, place the Giants' offensive line 20th in the league. Here's what Nathan Jahnke had to say.
“Key stat: Ereck Flowers allowed 69 pressures last year, the most among NFL offensive linemen.”
“The Giants are this high on the list due to some great play from their interior linemen.” Justin Pugh’s move from right tackle to left guard was a major success, as was Weston Richburg moving from left tackle to center. While John Jerry doesn’t do much in terms of helping the run game, he has been relatively good in pass protection and didn’t allow a sack or hit when he rejoined the starting lineup in Week 10. If Ereck Flowers can have a sophomore season similar to Jake Matthews’ campaign, the Giants’ line will be in fine shape outside of right tackle. If his sophomore season is more like Greg Robinson’s, though, New York is in trouble.”
~ Nathan Jahnke, Pro Football Focus
One to Start
The Dallas Cowboys ranked fifth in the league in passing yards against, and the New York Giants ranked seventh in the league in passing yards for. Eli Manning has a history of turning the ball over often. For his career, Manning averages just over one interception per game.
The Cowboys limited Odell Beckham Jr. in 2015. With his highlight reel catches, you'd think he would have dominated the Dallas secondary but, in two games last year, he caught nine passes for 79 yards and zero touchdowns.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to surprise a lot of people this week with a really strong defensive showing.
One To Sit
You aren't going to do it. No one is going to sit the Seattle Seahawks defense, but here's why you should.
In 2014, the Miami Dolphins finished in the top half of the league in total offense (14th) and 11th in the league in points scored. Ryan Tannehill had 4,000 yards passing and looked to be a quarterback on the rise.
Adam Gase was the architect of the really good Peyton Manning offenses under John Fox and was able to get a lot out of Jay Cutler in 2015. In 15 games, Cutler threw for 3,600 yards, 21 touchdowns, and only 11 interceptions. Not fantastic numbers, but he was without Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffrey for different stretches of 2015. The offensive line play was also terrible (ranked 30th by Pro Football Focus for 2016).
With Adam Gase on board, the Miami Dolphins are going to surprise a lot of people in 2016.
Seattle on the other hand is excellent. Their era of defensive play has to be one of the best defenses of all time. In 2015, however, they got off to a really slow start. In the first six weeks of the season, they gave up 27+ points four times. One of those times to the newly renamed Los Angeles Rams.
If you are looking for a shocker special, this is it.
The Defense/Special Teams Rankings
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