The Dallas Cowboys will take the field on Sunday in what I believe is a must-win game. That may sound crazy for a week four game, but a loss would be devastating. A loss would drop Dallas’ record to 1-3, and their playoff chances would be extremely slim. So how does Dallas get a win and calm the fan base for at least one week? Here are my five keys to victory against Detroit.
1. Put pressure on Matthew Stafford.
Dallas has to get pressure on Stafford. Detroit has three talented wide receivers in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Kenny Golladay. If Stafford has time to throw he will pick the secondary apart. Dallas doesn’t have the offense to win if the game becomes a shootout.
2. Leighton Vander Esch must step up.
Leighton Vander Esch has played well the first three games, but Sunday will be his biggest challenge. With Sean Lee out with an injury, Vander Esch will get the start in his place. In the past, the Cowboys Defense has fallen apart when Sean Lee isn’t on the field. Can Leighton Vander Esch show why the Cowboys used a first round pick on him and fill the giant void left by Lee’s absence?
3. Show some creativity on offense.
It’s a weekly request by Cowboys fans. A request that usually falls upon deaf ears. However here we are again begging the coaching staff to show something different. Last week against Seattle Dallas put a receiver in motion only three times, on two of those plays Dak completed passes of 14 and 16 yards to Cole Beasley. Dallas also only used play action five times. I’m not asking Dallas coaches to be the L.A. Rams, but they have to quit running the offense like it’s 1993. The game has changed and the coaches must be willing to change with it.
4. Feed Zeke
The Cowboys offense has been horrendous the first three games. The offense lacks explosive playmakers, but they have one and that’s Ezekiel Elliott. The problem is Dallas isn’t using Zeke enough. His most carries in a game this season is 17. Detroit is ranked dead last in the NFL in stopping the run this season. Zeke should touch the ball at least 25 times on Sunday.
5. Dominate the Time of Possession.
Dallas is at its best when they control the ball and dominate the time of possession. When Dallas can run the ball and move the chains, it wears down the opposing defense while keeping your defense fresh. When you don’t have an explosive offense the best way to win is to limit the number of possessions. If Dallas can do these five things they will have a chance to right the ship and save their season for at least one week.
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