The Dallas Cowboys need to get back on track with a win over the Jets this week. 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 6.
1. Can Dak Get Back in the Groove?
Dak Prescott played well over the first three games of the season, but has struggled in the last two games. He threw three interceptions against the Packers, although only one of them was truly his fault. To make things worse, he didn’t do much on third downs. His comeback attempt came up short and now the Cowboys need to get back on track.
The Jets provide a good opportunity for Prescott to get back on track. They rank in the bottom half of the league in passing defense. Michael Gallup returned this past week, so the Cowboys will have all available weapons available for Prescott. Playing good football during the middle stretch of the season, will help get the Cowboys back to where they want to be.
2. Turnover Margin
One of the biggest reasons the defense has struggled is that they fail to create turnovers. They are tied for 24th in the league in turnover margin per game at -0.8. Through five games they have just four turnovers forced. That has to improve to help get the defense off the field.
Sam Darnold is coming back to start after having mono and will likely be rusty. That will give the Cowboys opportunities to force turnovers. If they pressure him and force mistakes, it will be much easier for them to win the game. They only have one interception on the season, but another one or two could be in store for them this weekend.
3. The Run Defense
Besides not being able to force turnovers, the run defense was also horrid against the Packers. Aaron Jones ran for 107 yards and four touchdowns and seemingly got everywhere he wanted to go on the football field. That can’t happen if this team wants to go deep into the playoffs.
The Jets have Le’Veon Bell, but haven’t been able to get the running game going this season. They rank 30th in the league in rushing yards per game at 66. This is the perfect game for the Cowboys to correct any errors they may have in their run defense as they make a push towards the middle of the season.
4. Offensive Line Play
In the last few weeks, the offensive line has not played up to their talent level. Sure, Prescott has struggled, but so too has the offensive line. If the Cowboys can run the ball well early in the game, it really sets up their gameplan of controlling the clock and running play-action off of it. It is imperative that they fix their issues now.
One of the main reasons they have had issues is injury. Tyron Smith has been out and La’el Collins got injured in the last game. Both are questionable to play on Sunday. With or without them, the Cowboys will need to have a big day against a run defense that ranks seventh in the league in rushing yards allowed per game.
5. Amari Cooper
With Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have an explosive wide receiver who went off with 14 catches for 226 yards and one touchdown against the Packers. He also dropped a pass that would’ve been a touchdown early in the game. His three drops on the season tie him for third-most in the league with several other players.
Cooper shouldn’t have many problems against the Jets and can have another big day. For the rest of the season, it will be very beneficial for him to not drop many more passes, as it has killed drives. If he is able to correct the drops, the Cowboys’ best receiver will be even more dangerous.