The Dallas Cowboys have started off the season well and now take on the Dolphins. 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 3.
1. How Many Points Will They Win By?
The Cowboys look locked in at this point of the season, as they beat both the Giants and Redskins comfortably in the first two weeks of the season. Dak Prescott and the offense are rolling and the defense is not breaking. While nothing is a guarantee in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins should provide a really easy game.
Dallas is currently favored by 21.5 points. Miami is 0-2 and hasn’t even come close to looking like a decent football team. The Dolphins have already traded away a lot of their key players and more are on the way out, as they have asked for trades. The Cowboys still have to show up and play hard, but this should be one of the easiest games they will ever play.
2. Will Starters Rest in the Second Half?
Again, nothing in the NFL is guaranteed, but the Dolphins are really bad. The Cowboys should be able to take control of this game early and lock it up way before the clock is down to all zeros in the final quarter. If that happens, will Dallas rest some of the starters to avoid injury?
NFL teams rarely like benching their starters when they are up big, but this might be a different case. If the Cowboys are up big, they can bench all of their stars and stay healthy, which will be huge for their playoff run. They can also help Ezekiel Elliot avoid some wear and tear in the second half and give meaningful reps to backup running back Tony Pollard.
3. Can Prescott and Elliot Break Some Records?
If for some reason Dallas isn’t able to win in a blowout fashion or Jason Garrett decides not to bench their starters in that scenario, there still could be some big offensive days for their offensive playmakers. Anyone who owns Prescott or Elliot in fantasy football should be excited about the opportunity they have this weekend.
The Dolphins are giving up 51 points per game, which is the worst in the league by far. With Prescott playing well to start the season and Elliot coming back to form, both have chances to have monster games. Can either of them break some team or NFL records?
4. Team Depth
This game is a perfect opportunity to see just how good of depth Dallas has. They will be without Michael Gallup, which will test their receiving core. Dallas will also be without Xavier Woods, making them thin in the secondary. Both of those areas will be tested for their depth in this game.
If the Cowboys do go up big and play some of their backups, it will be good to see tape on them. As injuries pile up when the season rolls along, some of these players may be called on in key situations. It is best to see how they do in a real NFL game, as a lot of the players who are backups really only have NFL preseason reps.
5. Can the Defense Force Turnovers?
So far this season, the Cowboys have just two turnovers forced. They have two fumble recoveries. For them to be a great team, they’ll have to start taking the ball away at a higher rate. Luckily for them, the Dolphins will give them a chance to increase their turnover margin.
With Miami’s offensive line being bad, it opens up a lot of possibilities for the defense. They can pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick and force him to fumble the ball or make a bad throw. He has been turnover-prone in his career. If the defense forces some turnovers, this game could get really ugly.