Patriots: 3 matchups where Pats are in trouble vs Cowboys
By Josie Rohach
2. New England Patriots Linebackers vs Dallas Cowboys RB Duo
There is no light way to put this: given any room, the Cowboys will run the Patriots hopes at 3-3 six feet into the ground. Dallas is second in the league in total rushing yards this season. Both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard are among the top 10 most productive backs in the league. They are built specifically to challenge opposing linebackers — and win.
The first step will be to accept that there is no way to stop them both. Especially with New England’s mediocre rush defense. It’s good to have Jamie Collins back for a boost, but the banged up linebacker position for the Patriots is going to give up yards on the catch (like…always). A third of their depth chart could be unavailable to play against one of the league’s best rushing duos. This matchup won’t be super fun to watch.
It could, however, be more interesting than it looks on paper. The Patriots contained Houston last week to a 2.8 yards per carry average. They looked ready for the rush and executed their stops really well, though forcing Mills to throw didn’t work out as well as they hoped. Against an offense that has weapons at every single corner, the defense just has to make them nervous and force turnovers. If there is a time for Dont’a Hightower to breakout, this game is definitely it.