In week 7 the Dallas Cowboys travel to Washington to take on the Football Team. Both teams come into this game losing their week 6 matchup.
Andy Dalton and Kyle Allen will both get their second start of the season for their respective teams. Both teams are under .500 and look to move in the right direction. Here are three keys to the game for the Dallas Cowboys against Washington in week 7.
Control the Game
The Cowboys have to do all it can to control the game. This season the Cowboys have played from behind a lot which has cost them the majority of games.
The Cowboys currently rank 29th in the NFL in time of possession. On average, the Cowboys’ time of possession per game is only 27:37. They are one of only 12 teams to not average 30+ minutes of possession per game.
As for Washington, their defense is on the field for more than half of the game. Through six games, their defense averages 31:34 on the field.
The Cowboys need to come out and control the game. As a result, quarterback Andy Dalton can get into a groove as well Ezekiel Elliott.
With a combination of run and passes and long drives, the Cowboys will be hard to contain in week 7.
Pressure Kyle Allen
The Dallas Cowboys need to do a better job pressuring the quarterback. They currently rank 19th in the NFL in sacks per game (1.9).
Opposing quarterbacks often seem comfortable in the pocket against the Dallas defense. As a result, they allow an average quarterback rating of 106.1 per game which puts them at 26th in the NFL.
However, that could all change in this week 7 matchup against Washington. Washington has been one of the worst teams in the leagues when it comes to giving up sacks.
Through the first six weeks, Washington gives up 4 sacks per game, which ranks T-31st in the NFL.
Although the Cowboys only have 11 sacks on the season, this makes for a solid matchup for the Cowboys defensive line versus a struggling Washington offensive line.
Aldon Smith is the only Cowboys player to have more than two sacks on the season. He has four sacks, but hasn’t had one since week 3 in Seattle.
Although Everson Griffen only has 1.5 sacks on the season look for Griffen to have a field day against the struggling right tackle, Geron Chrisitan Sr.
Griffin, who usually lines up on the left side, will matchup up with Christian. On the season, Christian has given up a team-high six sacks. He also has given up the most sacks in the NFL compared to other tackles.
This is a fantastic matchup for whichever Cowboys player lines on the left side.
The Cowboys need to pressure Kyle Allen and force him to make inadequate throws.
The Offensive Line Has to Step
The Cowboys offensive line was once considered the best in the NFL. Nevertheless, that was a couple of years ago and now their offensive line is in complete shambles.
In the offseason, the Cowboys lost their star center Travis Frederick to retirement. That was only the beginning of losses for the Cowboys offensive line.
The Cowboys also have suffered injuries to Brandon Knight, Joe Looney and Cameron Erving. Additionally, their six-time pro bowler and four-time All-Pro selection, Zack Martin might be out this week as well. Martin suffered a concussion in week 6 and is questionable to play against Washington.
If Martin can’t go that’s a huge loss for the Cowboys.
Although the Cowboys have only given up 2.2 sacks per game, more losses to the offensive line can hurt that average.
The Cowboys will have two rookie tackles start for them on Sunday, Terrence Steele and Tyler Biadasz. Dallas will lean on those rookies to protect Dalton.
The offensive line has to step up and not let the very difficult Washington front line from getting to Dalton. Washington currently ranks 10th in the NFL in sacks per game (2.7).
It’s going to be a tough feat for the inexperience line for the Cowboys, so Dalton has to get the ball out quickly.
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