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Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game for Week 3

Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game in Week 3

In week 3, The Dallas Cowboys travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks. The Cowboys are coming off a huge comeback victory against Atlanta where they scored 16 points in the final five minutes of the game. Dallas will look to use that momentum when they face the 2-0 Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle is also coming off a game where they scored 35 points against the tough Patriots defense and stopped Patriots quarterback, Cam Newton, at the 1-yard-line as time expired. Both teams won at the last second, so each team comes into the game with some sort of momentum. Here are three keys to the game for the Dallas Cowboys in week 3.

Score First

The Dallas Cowboys have not scored first in either game this year. Playing from behind can be trouble sometimes as it almost cost Dallas the game last week. However, they bounced back and came back from a 20 point deficit.

In the Cowboys first two games, they have led for a total of 5:51. That’s less than the Detriot Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals, who are all 0-2 this season.

When a team scores first, their win percentage increases tremendously. From 2000-2015, when a team scores first, whether it be a field goal or a touchdown, they win 58 percent of the games. Although this data was from five years ago, it shows that scoring first helps a team’s chances of winning. In week 2, teams that scored first were 9-7 (56%).

Getting out to an early lead is important especially against the Seahawks. There’s no question that the Seahawks are one of the best teams in the NFL. They have an efficient quarterback in Russell Wilson and their defense led by Bobby Wagner and Jamal Adams is a scary sight for offenses.

The Cowboys have to score first and put pressure on the Seahawks to answer.

Contain Russell Wilson

For a guy who has never received one MVP vote, he is surely playing like an MVP candidate this year. This season Wilson has thrown for 610 yards and 9 passing touchdowns. He almost has as many passing touchdowns as incompletions (11).

Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game in Week 3
Image Courtesy of Getty Images

Last week, the Cowboys were not successful when trying to pressure Matt Ryan. Wilson draws more of a problem for Dallas due to his elusiveness and speed outside the pocket.

However, the last time Dallas faced Wilson was in the 2019 Wild Card game, and they did an excellent job containing him. He only had 233 passing yards and one touchdown to go along with only 14 yards rushing.

Nevertheless, that was two years ago and it looks like Wilson gets better with age. Containing Wilson will be a difficult feat for Dallas. He arguably has the best pieces, that he has ever had, around him in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf.

The Cowboys defense has struggled so far and injuries are really a major factor in that. Dallas also lost their starting cornerback, Chidobe Awuzie, for multiple weeks. Both of Dallas’ starting corners will not be playing in this matchup.

Players like Everson Griffen, Aldon Smith and Demarcus Lawrence need to step up and crash the pocket. For starting linebacker Jaylon Smith, he needs to spy on Wilson to force him not to scramble.

Get CeeDee Lamb Involved

With Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as the two primary receivers on Dallas, Lamb will line up in the slot majority of the game.

Getting Lamb involved early and often could turn out to be a major factor in this game.

This season Lamb has 11 catches for 165 yards, both second on the team behind Cooper. His 84 yards after catch leads the team.

Dak Prescott loves to look toward Lamb’s way, even in late-game scenarios. Although the connection between Prescott and Lamb is already brewing, it will only get better as the season goes on.

As for Seattle, they haven’t been the best against slot receivers this year. In their week 1 matchup against Atlanta, the Falcons slot receiver, Russell Gage, had nine catches for 114 yards. In their week 2 matchup against New England, slot receiver Julian Edelman had eight catches for 179 yards.

As a result of Seattle’s struggle against slot receivers this season, Lamb could be in for a productive day. Getting Lamb involved throughout the game could result in a Dallas Cowboys victory.

Score Prediction

“America’s Game of the Week” will be a hard-fought game between two great football teams. The Cowboys need to get out to an early lead and control the game to have a shot at winning this one. With most of Dallas’ injuries in the secondary on defense, the defensive line needs to prevent Wilson from getting time in the pocket. This game will feature a lot of offense and will come down to which defense will step up when it matters most. At the end of the day, the Seahawks will come out with the victory at home.

Seattle Seahawks 31- Dallas Cowboys 30

Image Courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys

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