Welcome to this week's edition of Martin's 5!
The Vikings got out to a hot start to kick off the 2016 season, but have really struggled here lately. A lot of that probably has to do with the injuries they have suffered, but they still could give the Cowboys all they can handle nonetheless.
Minnesota still has one of the best defenses in the entire NFL, so it will be really interesting to see how the Dallas Cowboys' potent offense stands up to the test.
Now, I do believe that the Cowboys will improve their winning streak to 11 games, but just because I think they win this game relatively easily, doesn't mean there aren't some lingering thoughts stuck in my head this week.
Fortunately, that's what this space was created for. I get to share with you what I'm thinking this week and hopefully you can help ease any concerns I might have.
So, without further ado, here are the five things I'm thinking about this week.
One: Voting for the players you want to see in the Pro Bowl is currently underway and that got me wondering if Cole Beasley falls into that category? Beasley has been the Dallas Cowboys best wide receiver this season and Dak Prescott learned early on that he is a quarterback's best friend. He is currently 33rd in the NFL in receiving yards, but those numbers are misleading considering the fact that he plays strictly out of the slot. It could be argued that he is at a disadvantage and can't possibly put up numbers like AJ Green or Julio Jones, so maybe the Pro Bowl should consider making a change to how we all vote for wide receivers. There are a lot of receivers in the NFL that just play in the slot, and I personally think Cole Beasley might just be the best of the bunch. It's unlikely that he gets voted in, but that doesn't mean he doesn't deserve it.
Two: Let's stick with the Pro Bowl theme here for just a little bit longer. I wonder just how many Dallas Cowboys players get voted in and make the trip to Orlando, Florida this year? Of course, we all hope that this doesn't happen because that means the Cowboys are playing in the Super Bowl, but it's still fun to speculate. I wrote an article yesterday predicting the Cowboys' 2017 Pro Bowl players and came up with eight that realistically have an excellent chance of being voted in. The better the team, the more players they usually have in the Pro Bowl. Now, eight players wouldn't shock me, but there aare also five or six others on the Cowboys roster that are playing at a Pro Bowl level. Could we possibly see a record number of Dallas Cowboys playing in the 2017 Pro Bowl?
Three: Coming out of Ohio State, Ezekiel Elliott, was regarded as one of the most complete running backs to enter the NFL Draft since Adrian Peterson. I wonder if he will be playing with any added incentive this week against the Minnesota Vikings with Peterson in attendance? Peterson and Elliott have nearly identical statistics through 11 games of their rookie seasons. Elliott has a few less rushing yards then Peterson, but has one more touchdown. Ezekiel Elliott might be playing with a little chip on the shoulder already seeing his alma mater tragically hit by a cowardly act a few days ago, so we might see him running a little bit more angry this week. That's certainly not good news for the Minnesota Vikings defense.
Four: It's no secret that the Minnesota Vikings have been decimated by injuries, especially along the offensive line. I wonder if we will see the defense in more of an attack mode this week or if defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli will continue to focus on coverages? There isn't a lot to really worry about in regards to the Vikings offense. They are one the worst teams in the league running the ball and have very few consistent weapons in the receiving game. Sam Bradford is a pocket passer, so putting pressure on him could be the best way to disrupt the entire offense. The Cowboys defense hasn't been really good this year about getting after the opposing QB, but that could all change this evening against a beat up Vikings offensive line.
Five: Barry Church has been back at practice this week after missing several games with a broken forearm. His return couldn't have come at a better time with J.J. Wilcox likely to miss this game with a thigh contusion, but I wonder what kind of impact Church can have after missing so much time? Church is one of the better defensive players for the Cowboys, but is he still in game shape after missing several weeks? I don't believe the coaching staff would put Church back out on the field if he wasn't ready, but we could see Jeff Heath utilized little more just in case. I personally think Barry Church has an impact play this evening that changes the course of the entire game.
Is there any thing your wondering about this week?
Don't forget to take advantage of the comment section below to share anything you're wondering about this week.