The Dallas Cowboys have really come off to a slow start this year. If you could cut out some of their mistakes, they would be 5-0 instead of 3-2.
However, we cannot change the past, but we can learn from it.
What did Dallas learn from its past?
First off, they signed Allen Rossum, the 49ers punt and kick returner, to help improve plays on special teams. With Patrick Crayton muffing punts, and Terence Newman being injury-prone, the Cowboys needed a genuine return man to help in that third part of the game.
Helpful additions are only part of the equation. Dallas needs to be able to correct the flaws it makes with self-discipline.
I believe this team has really been the cause of their own failures. They are too talented to be beaten out of playoffs. These guys give games away, and it really is disgusting to watch.
This is one game they cannot give away, especially since their record is 3-2. They need to bump it up to 4-2 against a playoff team like the Atlanta Falcons to make the statement that they aren’t overrated, but actually a good team.
What are the keys needed to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Dallas this Sunday?
First off, this team has to score touchdowns. Too many drives have happened where Dallas settled for a field goal instead of getting a touchdown. These results are due partly to a failed 3rd-down conversion here and there, but what is really muffling the Cowboys’ drives is penalties.
Penalties are like hiccups. They are annoying, unwanted, and mess up the flow of whatever one is doing. The flow in this case being momentum, which I’ve learned is almost half the game.
Dallas has to keep momentum going on every drive without revolvers going off around their feet.
The biggest thing for Dallas is that the run game has to happen this week. Last week, it took over a half to really get the run game going to where it kept a lot of pressure off Tony Romo and confused the defense.
It is much easier to throw passes when the defense doesn’t know if it is going to be a handoff or a pass. Atlanta is ranked 17th against the run, so the Cowboys are certainly capable of running the ball against this team.
For the run game to work, the line has to keep doing what it has been doing. Left guard, Kyle Kosier, who missed the majority of last season, has really helped the line assert its dominance on the line of scrimmage.
However, expect Dallas to feature all three running backs this Sunday, providing Felix Jones does play.
Marion Barber, who was nursing a quad injury in the game against Kansas City, was very sluggish, and when Tashard Choice took over, Dallas got the the help it needed to win the game in overtime.
Felix Jones has been out the past two games due to a knee strain, so the loss of him was equivalent to the Lakers without Kobe Bryant. I’ve spent hours yelling at Lady Luck about how she needs to keep him healthy.
He is the X-factor in the game. He brings that third dimension of offense to this team. He has speed unlike any other running back I’ve seen in the NFL, he has the explosiveness of a gunshot, and he has an eye for the hole that just stuns you.
His first NFL carry was for an 11 yard touchdown run against the Browns. We are talking about someone very special.
If those three running back can execute this Sunday, then I don’t see how Dallas can be beaten. They are, arguably, the best group in the NFL.
Once the running game is established, Dallas should be able to score via air travel.
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