The Dallas Cowboys beat the Giants and now take on the Minnesota Vikings. With every game of the season there will be things to watch and pay attention to. Here are five things to watch for in week 10.
1. Can the Cowboys Stop the Run Again?
Against the Giants, the Cowboys limited Saquon Barkley to just 28 yards rushing. It was a great performance and something they can carry with them this week. Now, they’ll have to matchup against the Vikings, who have a solid rushing attack led by Dalvin Cook. Stopping Cook is the key to winning the game.
The Vikings are averaging 153 yards on the ground this season, as head coach Mike Zimmer has put an emphasis on running the football. Keeping the offense more balanced has helped them win more games this season, as they sit at 6-3. If they can put the game in Kirk Cousins’ hands, it will likely end in a win, as he has a bad record against above .500 teams, especially in prime time.
2. Will the Secondary Stick With Vikings WRs?
If the Cowboys stop the run and make Cousins beat them, it still won’t be easy. Dallas has a secondary that can give up big plays at times. What makes things tougher is that Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are two of the best receivers in the game. Thielen has a hamstring injury and is questionable for this game, but either way the secondary will be tested.
Byron Jones is still playing great and Jourdan Lewis has been doing well too. Xavier Woods had an interception against the Giants. All of them will have to be at their best to limit the big plays that the Vikings wide receivers can produce.
3. Ezekiel Elliot’s Progress
Ezekiel Elliot started off the season slow, but has had three straight 100-yard games in a row. Against the Giants he rushed for 139 yards on six yards per carry. He may not be able to match that production, but if he can keep racking up 100-yard games, the Cowboys become much harder to beat.
Minnesota allows 95.8 rushing yards per game, so it will be tough for Elliot to keep up his streak. The good thing for the Cowboys is that their offensive line is playing well and they are relatively healthy. Having a good game against a good run defense this week would show Elliot is ready to go for the playoff run.
4. Can Dak Avoid Turning the Ball Over?
Dak Prescott has played well this season, as he pushes toward trying to get a big contract. He has only had two games where he hasn’t thrown an interception. Those games were against the Jets and the first game against the Giants this season. In games against good teams, every possession matters.
This will likely be a close game as the Cowboys are only favored by three points. Every possession will matter and if Prescott throws three interceptions like he did against Packers the Cowboys will lose. If he avoids throwing an interception at all, the Cowboys will likely win with the way they are running the ball.
5. Will the Pass Rush Continue to be Diversified?
Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence can get after the quarterback. That was already known. Last week though, more players stepped into the fold register sacks. Now, it becomes a question of whether those other players can continue to chip in.
Michael Bennett got a sack in his first game with the team in New York. His progress will be key for the rest of the season. If players like Dorance Armstrong and Maliek Collins can help out too. If someone other than Lawrence and Quinn steps up every week it will make the Cowboys hard to deal with.