New England Patriots: A Few Brief Thoughts On The Cowboys


The New England Patriots head down to Texas next week to take on the Dallas Cowboys, in a game that has definitely lost a bit of its original luster. When the schedule first came out, I thought this game would be the best regular season tilt of the year. Two title contenders going at it that featured two of the best quarterbacks in the game, much like last year’s contest in Green Bay.

However the injury bug has struck Dallas hard, as both Tony Romo and Dez Bryant will miss this game, which obviously makes the Patriots big favorites. I mean, if Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski were missing this game, I’m pretty sure the Cowboy would be favored as well.

With that said, Dallas is still a good team, and they will give the Pats  few different problems next Sunday. I still like New England tow in fairly easily, but it won’t be the 34-point drubbing that they handed down to the Jaguars in week three.

A few thoughts on Dallas:

1. O-Line

This unit is the best in the league, and the main reason why Dallas isn’t completely screwed without Tony Romo under center. No matter how bad the quarterback is behind that group, they will have time to read through the defense and make some plays. The Patriots have one of the best pass rushing front sevens in the league this year, so this will be a nice test for both sides. Jamie Collins and Dominique Easley coming through the A-gap is a tough task for anyone, and when you throw Chandler Jones and Jabaal Sheard in on the edge, things can get pretty tricky for the offense. Stopping the run and forcing Brandon Weeden to outscore Tom Brady will be key for the Pats, so expect heavy fronts all game long.

2. Solid Defense

When you look up and down this Cowboys’ defensive roster, nobody really jumps out at you. However they have been playing much better than many thought they would, from a stout front seven, to a secondary that is fighting extremely hard. In addition to that, Greg Hardy will be back this week, and at his peak, he was one of the most dominating pass rushers in the league. Sean Lee was injured against the Saints last night, so we will see if Dallas’ leader, and best defensive player is available next Sunday. If you want to slow down Brady, you have to pressure him, and the return of Hardy will certainly help in that department.

3. Weeden Plus Weapons

Dallas’ offensive has been ravaged by injuries, as Romo has gone down, Dez Bryant has gone down, and now Lance Dunbar has gone down. This has forced others to step up in their absence, most notably quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has been up-and-down in his short stint as the starter. He has a rocket of an arm, but sometimes his decisions can be questionable, and his aggressiveness is not where it needs to be. Look for the Patriots to take advantage of that Sunday, and try and take away the likes of Jason Witten and Terrance Williams, who have become go-to targets with Bryant sidelined.