By Zach Walker
Dallas Cowboys vs New England Patriots
Sunday – November 24 – 3:25 p.m.
Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, MA
Records Before the Game
Dallas Cowboys (6-4, 3-2 Away)
New England Patriots (9-1, 4-0 Home)
Let’s get the obvious out of the way early. The Cowboys are more than likely going to lose this football game. If you know that ahead of time, the inevitable won’t ruin your weekend. Now, that the disclaimer is out, let me run through the possibility of the Cowboys stealing a big game on the road.
The way that the Ravens beat the Patriots a few weeks ago was by having Lamar Jackson be quick with his decisions, limiting the number of actual viable options for a plan and insisting on that clock in a quarterback’s head, be ahead. Lamar Jackson’s movement skills are just on another level. He can shake away at any moment and make people look foolish. Dak Prescott has the ability to take off and run, but he really rarely uncorks it and takes off, he’s always looking downfield for the play. If Dak brings that same game that he had against the Vikings, I actually believe that he can lead this team to victory over any opponent. Prescott has been on a HOT streak passing, sure he’s missed some throws (often early in games) but once he’s warm, he’s been earning MVP consideration.
It’s this defense of Dallas that has me worried about Sunday. They haven’t had a truly excellent performance in weeks, and they really could use a galvanizing moment, and it’s hard to consider that happening against Tom Brady and the Patriots. The other concern is that Brady hasn’t throw a touchdown in three weeks, and if you believe that he’s going to be contained, after this defense was having a hard time against Jeff Driskell, really just drink that in for a moment, this is Tom Brady. He’s on the injury report, but so are 12 other Patriots, so I’ll hold my breath. Hell, I think the Cowboys would be in good shape if Matthew Slater would miss the game, because he’s a special teams ACE. But, don’t fall for this injury report-ery from New England, it’s late in the season, everyone has their scrapes.
The Cowboys season of lingering injuries continues, with La’el Collins still with double injury designation, Zack Martin with three, and Amari Cooper getting a full week of practice, but the set in stone OUT player for either team is the Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch. His neck injury is a worry, because it’s a story that follows him from college at Boise State, it’s the reason for his “cowboy” collar that seems slightly odd to see at the pro level. It was said this week that it isn’t a career threatener, but just saying that tells everyone how serious is injury is.
The Cowboys have the more talented team, by leaps. The Patriots have the better coaches, by a distance of moon-to-earth proportions. I’ve joked for a long time while watching games that the Cowboys have previously “outstupided” opponents to victory, and in games like this, the Cowboys must lean on talent to win, because scheme, yeah, THIS staff is gonna show Bill Belichick something he hasn’t seen yet…
New England – 24
Dallas – 20