After a devastating loss to the Seahawks on the road, the Cowboys look to get back on track at home versus the Detroit Lions. This won’t be an easy task as the Lions are coming off a win against the New England Patriots. Its still early on in the season, but this already feels like a “must” win. The Cowboys are currently undefeated at home, but they’ll need to win on these next 3 keys to keep them in the race for the playoffs.
1. Getting the air attack going.
Over the past 3 games Dallas has really struggled to get the air attack going. This attributes to many things such as the offensive line, wide receivers, and quarterback play. With the passing game working, Ezekiel Elliott will be able to have better success in the ground game. However, the Lions are coming off a game where they held, 5 time Superbowl champ, Tom Brady to under 135 yards through the air. The Lions’ secondary was also able to come away with an interception this past week. Dak is coming off a game where he threw less than 200 yards and 2 picks. If the Cowboys are going to stand any chance to win, the air attack needs to get going.
2. Holding Kerryon Johnson down.
The Lions had gone over four seasons without a 100 yard rusher. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson broke that streak last week when we ran for 101 yards on 16 carries. Now that their streak has been broken, the Cowboys must contain Johnson to prevent a hot streak. Against the Seahawks, Dallas gave up over 100 yards to Chris Carson. Not having Sean Lee is big for the Cowboys run defense, which is why Jaylon Smith will need to step up. Rookie linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch, will also be out there in Lee’s absence to help with Johnson. Forcing the Lions to beat you through the air will be crucial to getting the win and getting back on track. The Cowboys need to make the Lions a one dimensional team.
3. Creating turnovers on defense.
The way to get your offense going will be to give them as many opportunities as possible. Matt Stafford has thrown 5 interceptions in just 3 games this seasons. The Cowboys on the other hand have yet to get an interception and have only recovered 2 fumbles this year. This defense will be heavily relied on if the offense continues to struggle. Byron Jones and Chido Awuzie have done a remarkable job covering opposing receivers. However, they’ll need to take advantage of the opportunities that Stafford gives them. Demarcus Lawrence and the rest of the defensive line will also need to put pressure to force ill advised passes. Winning the turnover battle will be a big step in getting a win at home.
After the loss to Seattle, this team has been talked down on by almost everyone. The Lions aren’t by any means an “easy” opponent, but the Cowboys need to be aggressive in this match up. Its time for the Cowboys to unleash their true potential and show the world that they are contenders and not pretenders.
Stafford Picture: Zimbio.com
Prescott Picture: AP News