Dallas Cowboys: Three keys to victory Week Three

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Russell Wilson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Russell Wilson (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys will take on the Seattle Seahawks in one of the most interesting Week Three matchups. Let’s take at three keys to a Dallas victory.

The Dallas Cowboys will take on the Seattle Seahawks in what should be a very exciting matchup. The Seattle Seahawks are fighting not to drop to 0-3 and the Cowboys are looking to get above .500.

For certain reasons, this matchup has a lot of storyline arcs to follow, Kris Richard’s return to Seattle, two mobile quarterbacks going head to head, the Earl Thomas saga, plenty of stuff to focus on. But there are three big things the Dallas Cowboys have to do in order to beat the Seahawks on Sunday.

Pressure and contain Russell Wilson:

Much like in their Week Two matchup with the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys will be facing a terrible offensive line with no real means of protecting their quarterback. Russell Wilson has been under duress all season long and facing the Dallas Cowboys (who are second in sacks in the NFL) will do nothing to alleviate his pain.

Wilson is far more mobile than Eli Manning but will still face an enormous amount of pressure on Sunday. The goal for the Cowboys defense will be simple, listen to whatever Kris Richard tells you. The architect of the “Legion of Boom” is now the defensive backs coach for Dallas and calls a lot of the plays for the defense as a whole.

Richard believes in sending pressure (something the Cowboys haven’t done in a while) but also in being held accountable for your own productivity. Gap responsibility and taking advantage of every opportunity to terrorize the opposing quarterback is something he has instilled in this defense.

Demarcus Lawrence could be in for a monstrous day as he will be the man to stop for the Seahawks. I would not be surprised to see a ton of linebacker blitzing from Dallas as Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith, and Sean Lee can all pass rush fairly effectively. Keeping Wilson in the pocket and plugging up his ability to break out and make big runs has to be in the game plan for Dallas.

I would expect that the Dallas Cowboys keep a spy on him in case he decides to use the most dangerous weapon the Seahawks have on offense, his legs. If the Cowboys can pressure and contain Wilson the Seahawks have no chance at winning this game.

Control the clock:

The Dallas Cowboys should rely on Ezekiel Elliott to really put this game away. I doubt this is a high scoring contest as the Seahawks are missing a ton of passing weapons (Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham/Packers, and some secondary receivers). The Cowboys shouldn’t look to run up the score but instead win the time of possession battle.

Russell Wilson will not have a ton of time to find his remaining receivers down the field and with a newly improved secondary, he could find it difficult to move the ball down the field. This means that if the Cowboys get a solid lead early they can focus on their ground and pound offense and controlling the clock.

They have the personnel to do that and that basically is how this offense is supposed to operate. Injuries to the offensive line have somewhat altered this scheme however the heart of any offensive success revolves around Ezekiel Elliott.

The Seahawks should have a fairly rough time attempting to stop Elliott from breaking out big runs especially with Earl Thomas potentially missing from the starting lineup. If the Cowboys can hammer the Seahawks early they could potentially ride Zeke to a victory.

Kris Richard influence on the defense:

Kris Richard is facing his former team which will likely have him more motivated than ever to have this defense put on a terrific performance. Because of the familiarity with Richard and his defensive schemes the Seahawks should know what to expect to a certain extent, what they cannot prepare for is just how talented this group of defenders really is. Richard’s disruptive blitz packages mixed with and improved Dallas Cowboys secondary should really make things tough for Wilson.

Even though Seattle is fighting to avoid an 0-3 start, I am sure there are plenty of people in the building who would appreciate a high draft pick more than anything else. Richard knows Wilson better than any defensive coordinator could as he practiced against him and watched him for years. If there is going to be a specific game where we feel Richard’s coaching the most, it will most likely be this one.

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The Dallas Cowboys defense will be incredibly well prepared for this contest and that should lead to some positive results.

  • Published on 09/22/2018 at 23:00 PM
  • Last updated at 09/22/2018 at 23:11 PM