Dallas Cowboys: Three keys to victory on Sunday

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are getting ready for their Week Two matchup against the New York Giants. Here are three keys to victory for the Dallas Cowboys.

One of the biggest rivalries in the NFL will continue on Sunday as the Dallas Cowboys will take on the New York Giants in what should be a very physical battle between two bitter divisional rivals.

Both teams are heading into Week Two 0-1 and are desperately fighting to stay away from the dreaded 0-2 start. This game could go either way but one has to feel good about several aspects of this matchup.

Let’s take a look at the three keys to victory for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night.

Pressure Eli Manning:

This one is simple, the Giants offensive line is bad. Their rookie guard, Will Hernandez, has been struggling, Ereck Flowers is still terrible and really Saquon Barkley would have had a better and more consistent performance in Week One if they had some semblance of balance along the O line.

One has to think that Demarcus Lawrence is drooling at the prospect of facing this line with an improved Cowboys pass rush that has been pretty consistent. The Dallas Cowboys will likely be without Randy Gregory on Sunday as he is dealing with a concussion and even though he was cleared to practice on Friday, he is still extremely questionable for this Week Two contest.

This means that Taco Charlton will take more reps in his absence and that may not be a bad thing. Charlton has looked great and extremely powerful in his sophomore season. For the Cowboys, getting pressure on Eli Manning has to be the biggest concern because if Manning is hurried that throws this entire offense out of rhythm.

The only way to stop Odell Beckham Jr is simply to stop the man that throws him the football. I would not be surprised to see Manning hit multiple times in this contest as the Giants will simply struggle to stop a new and improved Cowboys pass rush.

Take away Saquon Barkley:

The second half of the defensive equation for the Dallas Cowboys appears to be taking away running back Saquon Barkley, which is easier said than done. The only thing benefiting this matchup seemingly is Barkley’s lack of experience at the NFL level.

He will be going up against one of the Cowboys defensive leaders in Sean Lee. While a number of linebackers could draw coverage on Saquon in a passing situation, Lee will probably shadow the Giants rookie running back in an effort to shut him down completely.

While Barkley may have freak athleticism and explosiveness on his side, Lee has experience and a nose for the football. If Lee cannot stop Saquon than no one can. I should mention the other linebackers that could be involved in this fight to limit Barkley’s explosive playmaking abilities as Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch will also play a role.

The Dallas Cowboys linebacking corps has to be one of the strongest in the NFL and could easily be considered their best position in terms of talent. They showed exactly what they could do in stopping Carolina Panthers running back, Christian McCaffrey a week ago, now they will have a tougher task with Barkley.

Honestly run stopping is one of the strongest aspects of the Dallas Cowboys as a football team, it will be exciting to see them use that talent in an important divisional game.

Convert opportunities:

Look I am not going to sugar coat this one, the Dallas Cowboys have to score when put in a position to do so, not a field goal, a touchdown. Last week the Cowboys defense got a few takeaways and put their offense in a great position to succeed.

The offense sputtered and never converted an opportunity gifted to them by the defensive unit. Dak Prescott needs to get going early and often in this contest and this week the offense has to come through and be creative enough to get into the end zone. If the Dallas Cowboys defense is forcing turnovers (something it rarely used to do) and the offense struggles again we are officially in the Twilight Zone.

The Panthers defense is great at applying pressure in all phases, the same cannot be said about the Gmen who will likely be without Olivier Vernon on Sunday. Everything is lining up for this to be the Cowboys breakout week, but play calling will play a large role in what happens. Also with Brett Maher struggling last week, I do not know how Dallas casually calls for a field goal if they are remotely close to the end zone.

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Bottom line, the Dallas Cowboys have to finally start scoring some points.

  • Published on 09/14/2018 at 21:11 PM
  • Last updated at 09/14/2018 at 21:11 PM