By Zach Walker
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sunday – November 15 – 12:00 pm CT
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Florida
Who do the Cowboys need to shut down?
QB Jameis Winston – This is going to be, for a lot of people out there, their first chance to see how Jameis Winston is adjusting to the pro game. Statistically, he’s not blowing people away with his on-paper box scores, but he’s a shiny beacon of hope-soaking sunshine for the Tampa fans to bask in. His field awareness is probably slightly above where people thought it was going to be. He makes rookie mistakes, but has the talent to pull his team back into games. Winston needs a big person to take him to the ground and that’s where our boys must come into frame. Every team’s job when playing against a rookie is to give him learning situations for him to work through, the Cowboys need to force the young gun to make split second indecisions.
Who on the Cowboys, needs to step up?
OT Tyron Smith – Never thought this man would be here for me, but the way he played against Philly on Sunday night, he needs a resurgent game. Brandon Graham strummed Smith twice, and the sacks given up weren’t even close, Graham flat-out turn-styled Tyron for easy pickins of Matt Cassel. There isn’t a big-timer that’ll be going up against Tyron, but a clean sheet and an untouched Matt Cassel should get the best player on the Cowboys, pointed back in the right direction.
Which group will give the Cowboys fits?
Tampa Bay Wide Receivers – There aren’t too many tandems that have identical qualities. The pairing of Vincent Jackson with Mike Evans is a dangerous match up to face off against. They are both giants, on the verge of either of them being a large pre-game meal away from become a tight end. Their catch radius’ are the size of a very old satellite dish. The Cowboys’ lack of over the top help from their safeties is something that Rod Marinelli is going to have to scheme for.
Which group will give the Buccaneers fits?
Cowboys Pass Rush – It’s so hard to say that the pass rush is going to do this, and impact the game the most, but the Buccaneers have a shake-and-bake offensive line. Two rookies (that I liked in the draft) and three veterans, including a former Lions first round bust. The pass rush should, SHOULD, be able to get after Winston and force him to rush some throws into coverage by Byron Jones, who is kicking butt out there, despite being manned up with the Eagle that scored the walk-off overtime touchdown.
What will it take for the Cowboys to win?
How about just win. Don’t two steps forward, two steps back, win the game. The Buccaneers have won one game at home in their last twelve games, and if the Cowboys trend continues, Tampa is about to get a sweet tasty victory over a reeling team.
Prediction: Dallas 24 – Tampa Bay 21