Somebody must win the NFC East and punch their ticket to the postseason, right? As of today, the Dallas Cowboys (6-7) hold a half-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles (6-7) controlling their destiny as the NFL continues into week 15.
The Cowboys are set to host the recently red-hot Los Angeles Rams who convincingly beat Seattle this past week. Prescott and company have not produced a win in almost a month. The Cowboys must stop their losing streak at some point, or do they? A home-win could be just what the doctor ordered as Dallas now holds the division by the skin of their teeth by a half-game. With the Eagles win over the Giants this past Monday Night, the pressure is now on Big D.
Aaron Donald vs The Great Wall of Dallas
Dallas still boasts one of the best, if not the best offensive lines in the entire league. The Great Wall of Dallas is home to three All-Pro players in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. As-of-late, La’el Collins is making a bid to make it four All-Pros. This vaunted line must win the battle at the line of scrimmage and continue to buy time for Dak Prescott in the pocket and block for Ezekiel Elliott.
Aaron Donald may not be having his best year, but he is making an impact and letting his presence be known to opposing teams. The University of Pittsburgh product is top-10 in sacks, racking up 11 sacks so far this season. Look for Dallas to double team Donald, using left tackle, Tyron Smith and left guard, Xavier Su’a-Filo in slide protection.
Although the Rams just held Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks to 12-points, Dallas can put up yards that lead to points. Averaging 430.8 yards a game, the Cowboys lead the NFL in total offense and passing yards-per-game. The problem as-of-late has been consistency.
Dallas has struggled to consistently piece together consecutive drives that result in points on the board, often forcing their defense to hold opponents and create a short field for the offense. As we all have seen, the defense has struggled to help in that department leading to mounting pressure on this high-powered offense.
Dallas must lean on their fifth-ranked rushing offense to maintain drives as Zeke is averaging 4.4 yards-per-carry this season. Through the game, this will allow their receivers to get lost in a struggling Ram’s secondary for some big-play potential.
Attack Aqib Talib
The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of fire-power on offense. If they wish to expose this struggling Rams’ secondary, they should look no further than 33-year-old cornerback, Aqib Talib. The veteran is allowing a 60% catch rate to opposing receivers and 14.1 yards-per-reception. He has also allowed a passer rating of 124.8 to opposing quarterbacks so far this season.
Those struggles play nicely into the hands of Dak Prescott as he is averaging a 65.5% completion rate at 8.3 yards-per-attempt while posting a 98.2 passer rating on the season.
On the outside, Amari Cooper is catching 70% of balls thrown his way while averaging an eye-popping 15.1 yards-per-reception. Michael Gallup may not have the catch percentage or yards of Amari, but he is averaging an outstanding 16.5 yards-per-catch and closing in on 1,000 yards. Talib should see plenty of action against these Cowboy receivers this week at Jerry World.
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