Dallas Cowboys 4 keys to victory in Week 8 (before the bye week)

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys will conclude their two game home stand this Sunday against the Chicago Bears. They are looking to go into their bye week with a 6-2 record.

Standing in their way are the Chicago Bears. The Bears may have found their footing as a football team on Monday after handling the New England Patriots in Boston.

The Dallas Cowboys are emerging as a NFC football bully-team, led by a head coach determined to win multiple Super-bowls.

Yet, because of how committed the Bears are to running the football, their dual quarterback Justin Fields, and a stingy defense. People think they’ll challenge the Cowboys.

I am not one of those people.

I don’t view the Bears as a good football team. They have been one of the worst offensive teams this season. They found some success last week against New England, adjusting their game plan with a dozen designed run plays drawn up.

Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, DeMarcus Lawrence and company are waiting.

Do not shock if you hear the Rains of Castamere playing on the AT&T Stadium sound system because I can see this one unfolding like the Red Wedding.

Let’s spotlight the keys to victory…

1. Make Justin Fields play quarterback

Last week, Justin Fields presented the Patriots with all kinds of problems with his feet. Converting a whooping 11 third downs. The Patriots never found the correct game plan to contain the former Buckeye.

I have a strong feeling that Micah Parsons will play more linebacker than edge rusher. The desire to unleash the Lion against rookie left tackle in Braxton Jones is strong.

It would best serve his talents as the spy of Justin Fields’ recently discovered cheat code. News Flash: running quarterbacks can get hit too. Let Micah Parsons play the Tom Bishop this week.

The Dallas Cowboys can allow Sam Williams to toy with Braxton Jones.

I liked Justin Fields, coming out of Ohio State, but I don’t think he’s a complete NFL QB, just yet.  He can win with his legs and arm. He doesn’t have much resources to deploy from the skill position to strike fear in opposing defenses, much less one of the league’s best defenses.

2. Pass Rush

Not a week goes by that I don’t spotlight this unit. They have been an impressive group.

Look at the players with multiple sacks after 7 weeks. Micah Parsons, Dorance Armstrong, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler, Donovan Wilson, and Sam Williams. I expect others will soon join the ranks.

Chicago is going to be challenged. I expect them to counter the pass rush with running the football. This is where nose tackle Johnathan Hankins comes into play. Provide quality run support and, on obvious passing downs, unleash the hounds.

3. 3rd Down

The Dallas Cowboys need to win on 3rd down to move up their rankings.

This season they have been awful, and they lack safety blanket. The player or players who can keep the chains moving.

Kellen Moore needs to discover who he is and what plays work best on 3rd down. If the Cowboys can solve this, their offensive struggles will ease up.

4. Tackles

Mike McCarthy and Joe Philbin may want to think about a change at the tackle position during the bye week. There is no shortage of tape for Tyler Smith and Terence Steele. The National Football League is not known for mercy from opposing teams.

You can’t produce explosive if your bookend tackles can’t hold up outside. The running game is a better choice. The Cowboys offensive tackles are better run blockers than pass blockers.

It is enough time for Jason Peters to start at left tackle and move Tyler Smith inside. It’s time to consider this change. Field your best five offensive linemen.

Until that time, Dallas needs to stick with their running attack. The Chicago Bears are giving up 163 yards per road game. A heavy dose of Tony Pollard, who is a averaging 5.2 per carry, better be at the top of the game plan.

Great week for Robert Quinn to be traded. Dak Prescott has another week to shake off more rust. I expect a better performance from him.

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I have watched all seven weeks of the Bears game tape and I don’t see a team that can compete with this Cowboys team. Yes, any given Sunday a team can win, but this Sunday I see a one-sided thrashing.

Give me the Dallas Cowboys 31-13.