4 steps the Patriots need to follow to beat the Cowboys in week four

Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots
Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages
3 of 5

Establish the run early

In one of the more surprising aspects of the Patriots season so far, the run game hasn't been utilized as much as anticipated, especially with the addition of Ezekiel Elliott this summer.

They were involved a bit more in last week's game against the Jets, with their running back duo totaling 35 carries for 139 yards, but it still wasn't the dominating performance on the ground that New England has become known for in recent years.

Now that Elliott has had a few games to acclimate to the new offense, it's time to unleash the monster and feed Zeke (as they say) against his former team. Perhaps he can use this first meeting against Dallas as a revenge game, motivating him to run harder than what we've seen from him so far.

If the offense can establish the run early, it will allow them to not only capitalize on what they built their offense to be but also get both backs more involved in the passing game. Elliott and Stevenson are the quintessential versatile players that Mac Jones can use interchangeably throughout a game—making that a priority against a defensive line like Dallas will be imperative.

The Cardinals did just that in week three, with James Conner totaling 14 carries for 98 yards and a touchdown. They even used wide receiver Rondale Moore as their stand-in backup back, and he recorded three carries for 54 yards and a score.

Essentially, the Patriots will need to follow what they should have done against the Dolphins a few weeks ago. Miami's defense allowed 40 carries for 233 yards and three touchdowns in week one, and for some reason, New England could not replicate that the following game.

Ensuring Elliott and Stevenson are heavily involved from the get-go can make all the difference in this game. Hopefully, the offensive line can have one of their best performances of the season so far to allow this to happen.