The Dallas Cowboys could be on the verge of staking a claim in the NFC East division picture. There is a mantra for the Cowboys, which is to take each game, one game at a time. As of now, America’s team is one game out of first place in the worst division in the NFL. In the NFC East, no team seems to want to distinguish itself from the other. This gives a 4-8 Cowboys some life in the postseason landscape.
The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a good position after defeating the Washington Redskins 19-16 in a miserable game on Monday Night Football last week.
After a couple of fumbles going the opposite way, Dallas finally got a break when Washington receiver DeSean Jackson’s punt return miscue gave the Cowboys excellent field position. Not wanting to waste the golden opportunity, Dallas gave way to Darren McFadden, who punched the football in for a touchdown, tying up the game and giving them the momentum. That momentum can carryover or immediately come to a halt.
The #Cowboys are a game out of first place in the NFC East. (This is a real thing). As Tony Romo waits...— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2015
The Cowboys must first take care of business against the Green Bay Packers, who are seven point favorites. A Cowboys win puts them at 5-8, still at worst, one game behind the division leaders.
#CowboyNation we can still win the NFC East for the record.......— Charlamagne Tha God (@cthagod) December 8, 2015
By the time the Cowboys and Packers kickoff takes place, the results of the Philadelphia Eagles and Redskins games will be in. Despite the results of their NFC East rival’s games, Dallas know what they need to do – pull off the upset. That will not be easy. Only one writer from dallascowboys.com predicted a Cowboys’ win. That is a great way of showing the faith. It is too early to dismiss the Cowboys in this game. There are three reasons why.
The Cowboys have a solid running game.
As Sportsday Dallas News columnist Tim Cowlishaw points out, Darren McFadden leads the NFC East in rushing with 687 yards on the ground. The Cowboys will be facing a Packers team that gives up an average of 111.8 yards a game, which ranks as 20th in the NFL. Dallas has the 13th ranked rushing attack in football, with an average of 113.8 yards a game.
The Cowboys have to get McFadden rushing attempts.
McFadden, when given the football over 20 times in a game, he averages 115.5 yards a game. He has amassed 20 carries in four games. A healthy dose of Darren McFadden will lessen the load for quarterback Matt Cassel.
There are some who wonder if the running back has hit the wall. Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett quickly refuted that notion (courtesy of ESPN) when he met with reporters this week.
“I don’t notice him slowing down or not being able to do the things physically that we’re asking him to do. He’s had some good games for us. He’s had some games where he’s been less productive.”
Garrett can help by getting him some carries.
If McFadden has started to slow down, playing against the Green Bay Packers should help him get over the hump.
The chemistry and trust between Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dez Bryant improved over the course of the Redskins game, giving Cowboys’ fans a reason to believe that they can exploit Green Bay’s secondary. If Dez Bryant has a good game, the Dallas Cowboys will be in good shape.
Bryant has not had but one 100-yard game when he has been healthy this season. He has not surpassed five catches. He is going to be blanketed by the Packers’ cornerbacks who are all a wee bit short in comparison to his six-foot, two-inch listed height. Cassel must find ways to throw him the football. Their season will go down in flames if he does not.
The Green Bay Packers are somewhat reeling, so now is a good time to play them. Running the football has been a struggle, and as tough as it has been for the running game, the Packers’ receivers are not getting any separation these days. Even with Aaron Rodgers being healthy, this is not the same Green Bay Packers team that began the year 6-0. They are closer to the 2-4 team fans have witnessed over the last six weeks. Can the Cowboys take advantage of this slide?
If the Dallas Cowboys are intent on winning the NFC East they must find a way to beat Green Bay. A win will keep the Cowboys on pace, a loss will put them out of their misery. Expect the Cowboys to somehow make it happen.
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