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Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game for Week 5

Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game for Week 5

In week 5, the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants. The Cowboys are coming off a week 4 loss to the Cleveland Browns while the Giants are 0-4 looking for their first victory of the season.

Dallas is 1-3 on the season looking to rebound in their week 5 matchup against New York. These division rivals will bring it all on the field hoping to turn their season around. Here are three keys to the game for the Dallas Cowboys.

Force Turnovers

Although Dallas has struggled to force turnovers, they draw an extremely favorable matchup to do so.

This season, the Cowboys have only forced one turnover, which was a week 1 interception by Chidobe Awuzie.

Since then, Dallas has gone on a three-game drought without a turnover. Despite this, the Cowboys should be in to seize a couple of turnovers in week 5.

New York Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones has had problems holding onto the football as well as making smart decisions in his young career.

In his first 16 starts of his career, Jones has 29 total giveaways including 17 interceptions and 12 fumbles.

This season against some competent defenses, Jones has not proven that he can be a franchise quarterback yet. Through four games, he has seven turnovers including an interception thrown in every game.

As for Jones, he also draws a promising matchup against a terrible Dallas defense.

However, last season, in one start for Jones against the Cowboys, Dallas was all over him. They forced three total turnovers including one interception and two fumbles.

Even though this is a way different Dallas defense in 2020, players like Demarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith have played against Jones before. As a result, they can be a major obstacle for him.

Earn 3+ Sacks

The defense has been a major weakness for the Cowboys this season. They have a very talented defensive line, however, it hasn’t lived up to expectations.

Through the first four games, they only have eight sacks. Newly acquired Aldon Smith can account for half of those sacks (4).

Dallas Cowboys: Keys to the Game for Week 5
Aldon Smith (Image Courtesy of Forth Worth Star-Telegram)

This season, the Cowboys have only had one game in which they had over three sacks, their week 3 matchup with Seattle.

The Cowboys now face a very atrocious Giants offensive line. They have given up 14 sacks (30th in the NFL) so far this season, which is equivalent to 3.5 per game.

It’s hard to count on the Cowboys to have a solid defensive performance because they have been every bit of awful this season.

Nevertheless, in¬†their week 9 matchup last season, Dallas’ defense had a field day against the Giants’ offensive line last season. They¬†finished the game with five sacks.

Since that game, the Cowboys have added two more former pro bowl defensive lineman, Smith and Everson Griffen.

If the Cowboys can get 3+ sacks in this game, it can go a long way for them the remainder of the season. It will also give the defense the confidence it needs to move forward.

Get out in Front

A significant problem for the Cowboys this season has been playing from behind.

In the past three games, Dallas has had to fight its way back.

Week 2
Trailed Atlanta Falcons 39-24
4th quarter with 7:57 Remaining
Week 3
Trailed Seattle Seahawks 30-15
3rd quarter with 6:26 Remaining
Week 4
Trailed Cleveland Browns 41-14
3rd quarter with 0:34 Remaining

Not only have the Cowboys trailed in every game, but they have also fallen behind by at least two scores late in games.

The Cowboys are going to have to come out and score often and early to take control of the game. By doing this, they can open up the run game for Ezekiel Elliott. This season, he has been fairly quiet as he only ranks 11th in rush yards.

Elliott has fewer than 100 rush yards in every game in 2020 for the first time in his career.

Additionally, this season, the Cowboys have had a lead for 7 of 313 offensive snaps. Consequently, this is the lowest in the NFL (2.24 percent).

The Cowboys have to get out in front in terms of scoring. As a result, they can finally have control of a game for the first time this season.

Score Prediction

The Cowboys’ two-game skid will end against the New York Giants. The Cowboys defense will play a much better game in week 5. Although Jones has a pretty solid game against this defense, his turnover problems will deem to be too much to overcome. With an early lead, the Cowboys will run Eliott early and often and get him his first 100-yard rush game of the year. The Cowboys have won the last six meetings with the Giants and it won’t stop here.

Dallas Cowboys 34 – New York Giants 24

Featured Image Courtesy of the Giants

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