Dallas Cowboys 2017 Free Agency Wish List

Dallas Cowboys Helmet

With the first day of Free Agency starting in just a few weeks the Dallas Cowboys will likely look to sign a few free agents to fill some holes on their roster before they get to the draft. The Cowboys are usually rather patient during the Free Agency period waiting until most of the big name guys have already been signed, they normally like to sign their own players back and wait for the second or third tier players begin coming off the board before even thinking of opening up their checkbook. The Dallas Cowboys have a large load of “their own” guys who will be hitting free agency this off season.

  1. Brandon Carr – CB
  2. Morris Claiborne – CB
  3. Barry Church – S
  4. J.J. Wilcox – S
  5. Terrell McClain – DT
  6. Jack Crawford – DL
  7. Justin Durant – LB
  8. Andrew Gachkar – LB
  9. Ron Leary – G
  10. Darren McFadden – RB
  11. Terrance Williams – WR
  12. Brice Butler – WR
  13. Lance Dunbar – RB
  14. Kellen Moore – QB
  15. Mark Sanchez – QB
  16. Gavin Escobar – TE

That list is rather long and holds a few names that played a huge part of the success of the 2016 Dallas Cowboys. But as I mentioned above Dallas will end up signing a player or two that was with another team last year. With that being said I will be putting together a Dallas Cowboys Free Agent Wish List.

Cap Situation?

I will be taking into account the cap space range that Dallas should likely be in after doing the yearly contract restructures. A few days ago it was announced that both Tyron Smith and Travis Fredrick’s contracts were restructured to free up about $17.3 million in cap room putting them under the cap with more moves to be made by the start of the season. A lot of people like to mention that the Dallas Cowboys are in “Cap Hell” these two moves proved to all of those “Cap Hell” people how easy it is to turn Hell into Heaven real quick in the NFL. Don’t be surprised to see multiple more moves to be made in order to get that Cap Space even more in a team friendly area in the upcoming weeks

Wants and Needs?

First off lets point out our team needs. Defensive End, Cornerback, and Wide Receiver are without a doubt big needs for the Cowboys to target but by no means would a signing of a Running Back, Tight End, Offensive Tackle, Safety, or Linebacker be considered a luxury signing. The Cowboys have decent depth at all those positions but a injury or two with no back-up plan at the position could be brutal for the Cowboys.

With a idea of the Cowboys cap space and the positions they will need to try and target we’ll start putting together our Dallas Cowboys Wish List.

  1. Melvin Ingram – OLB/DE

The Chargers would be absolutely insane to let Ingram hit free agency but I have seen crazier things happen (Olivier Vernon). Ingram is the one guy who I would put all my chips in a bag and throw it at him as quickly as I can. The Cowboys don’t have much money to work with in their account but I don’t think it’s out of the question to go after Ingram. Ingram at 27 has raked up 24.5 sacks over his first four years in the league. Playing as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Chargers scheme may scare some 4-3 teams away but not for me, Ingram listed at 6’2, 250 pounds fits the perfect body type for a right defensive end in Rod Marinelli’s scheme. Ingram plays with excellent hand usage to match with his outstanding speed. The Cowboys normally don’t like to target top tier free agents but where else does Jerry Jones expect to get his “War Daddy”.

via GIPHY

This GIF shows you everything you need to see to be impressed with Ingram, get off + use of hands + dip + bend + explode. Perfect rush.

   2. Terrell McClain – DT

Terrell McClain needs to be right at the top of the list as a priority free agent for the Cowboys. McClain was fantastic for Dallas this year and as a familiar face who seemed to really enjoy his time in Dallas this signing is more likely than others. McClain does’t stuff the stat sheets but he does stuff running lanes and eat up a whole lot of double teams and he’s rather good at doing the dirty work. McClain plays with impressive power and for a man of his size plays with very quick hands. McClain offers more than just a space eater as he was able to show he can penetrate the pocket and get to the quarterback as well at the 1 technique position. McClain should come fairly cheap given his injury history and age.

Barry Church    3. Barry Church – S

Like Terrell McClain Church is a familiar face that was a well respected individual in the locker room and on the field. The Cowboys seemed to play their best defensive football when Church was healthy and in the lineup. Church had a solid seventh season in the league leading the team in interceptions and was third in total tackles. Church is a vocal leader on the defense and plays a huge role in the “bend but don’t break” style of defense Dallas likes to play. Church is an excellent run defender but plays the pass good as well. Church is someone you don’t want to play man on man with but his ability to work while the ball is in the air is one of his strengths. Church has spent his whole career in Dallas and has been one of the most consistent players on the defense for years now. Dallas will certainly look to bring Church back on a deal that makes sense for both sides.

   4. Demarcus Ware – OLB

Could the Cowboys all time leading sacker come home and try and win a ring with the team he started his career with? That is still to be determined but it makes so much sense. Ware at age 34 doesn’t have to many seasons left in his tank, but one more might be all he needs to turn things around for this Cowboys defense. Demarcus Ware is by no means chopped liver but also by no means a spring chicken. Ware’s production has dipped and his injury concerns continue to hamper him but a reunion for the two parties could be a great addition for both parties. In most NFL teams defensive meeting rooms there is normally one veteran pass rusher in the room that may not be the lead dog anymore but can mentor the younger talents. Who is that guy for the Cowboys? Tyrone Crawford… the guy whose season high sack number five? Maybe Demarcus Lawrence the guy who probably has the most talent but after a disappointing season due to suspensions and injuries couldn’t get much of anything going.. The answer is they don’t have one. All the active defensive ends on the roster are young and inexperienced. Ware would come in likely still being the best pass rusher on the Cowboys roster and try and get these guys straight. Ware had four sacks in 2016 after another injury filled season, if Ware is healthy and wants one last chance to win a ring with the team he started his Hall of Fame career with I’m sure Jerry Jones would be more than happy to set that up if the money makes sense.

5. Cordarrelle Patterson – WR/KR  

When looking at the Cowboys wide receiver situation it isn’t terrible but it certainly isn’t pretty. Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are both free agents and will likely be out of the Cowboys price range. That’s where Patterson comes into play. After four years of disappointment the former first round pick finally started to get it going. Patterson took on a bigger role in the Vikings offense that led him to his career high in receptions (52) on an offense that was pretty much non-existent for the last half of the season. Patterson offers a special threat as a vertical deep threat option and a dynamic special teams player. Patterson could give you a better option at receiver to run the “Lucky Whitehead end around” play that Dallas seemed to love in 2016. Patterson would likely enter a battle with a draft pick or maybe even someone like Andy Jones for the starting “Z” in the Cowboys offense but would take over the returner role from Lucky that has been very disappointing two years in a row now.

6. Brandon Carr – CB

Most fans absolutely despise Brandon Carr, the Cowboys are the exact opposite. Carr had his best season as a Cowboy last year and hasn’t missed a start in his entire career. His availability to the Cowboys has been something that have appreciated over the years. The fact that his game seemed to improve last season is a big plus as well. Carr is also a big leader in the Cowboys locker room and is a much better player than fans like to give him credit for. Carr is towards the end of his career as well and is one of the most determined players in the Dallas locker room, getting him back on a short term team friendly deal would be a great move for Dallas when you look at the cornerback position depth.

7. William Gholston – DE

Gholston is a guy I could certainly see the Cowboys going after. Likely a second maybe even third tier type of guy. Gholston played left end in Tampa Bay and wasn’t a big sack number guy. Gholston is an excellent run defender that does offer some pass rush ability. If the Cowboys want to throw all their chips in Demarcus Lawrence basket for yet another year and move him over to RDE then the Gholston signing makes a lot of sense. Gholston would likely start at LDE in Dallas and come off the field on money downs. The former Buccaneer is the “right kind of guy” and would be a great addition in regaining last seasons success in stopping the run.

In the beginning part of the article I explained how they will likely push their own free agents up the list of priority and that’s exactly what I showed here. McClain, Church and Carr all made it into the Wish List along with the bigger names in Ingram and Ware. Patterson and Gholston would be good depth signings that would be later signings into free agency, when the Cowboys seem to be most active.

 

Got a Lot to Say From RVA – Follow me on Twitter- @connorx147

Cowboys – Beasts of the East

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

The Cowboys are 4-1 heading into Green Bay on Sunday. Are you excited? Did you honestly believe that the team would be in this position after Romo’s injury five games into the season? I have to be honest with you, I didn’t. There’s no reason to relive the last five games because if you’re a true fan, you’ve watched it. If not, let me give you a quick synopsis, strong running game, efficient passing game and a defense that hasn’t been on the field. The critics have said that the Cowboys have had a soft schedule the first four games heading into Cincinnati so the team responds with one of its more inspiring victories. AJ Green held in check, Jeremy Hill was quiet and the feared Bengals defensive line was held to a house cats purr. So what else does this team have to do to earn some respect? Beat the Packers!

Green Bay comes in allowing 42 rushing yards a game which is quite impressive. Some people will say that the quality of teams that they have played the first five games has been conducive to their number one ranking in rush defense. My response to these NFL pundits is SO WHAT!, this is the NFL and what you see is what you get. The Packers will have to prove their ranking on Sunday against the NFL’s number one ranked rushing offense that is averaging 155 yards a game.If you’re not excited about this game, you must be brain dead. Dom Capers vs. Scott Linehan, Clay Matthews vs. Doug Free and Tyron Smith will be a part of the chess game on Sunday afternoon. Nick Perry has 4.5 sacks and Clay Matthews has beaten the steroids accusations to get 3 sacks in this young season. I’m under the belief that Capers will dial up a wide assortment of blitz packages to try and rattle Prescott during the game and these packages will be used during perceived running downs. It will take Ezekiel Elliott three quarters to break the hundred yard barrier but it will happen by the fourth quarter. Dez Bryant will not play in this game but like previous games it won’t matter because this offense under Prescott is not about the splash plays, it is about taking what the defense will give you.

The Packers will be without Sam Shields and Chris Banjo with Damarious Randall being questionable for the showdown. The Cowboys wide receiver group is a C+ group without Bryant and that might be enough for this game. Terrence Williams will have over 100 yards for this game and don’t be surprised if Witten has six or more catches in this game because I do not believe that the Packers linebackers group is as proficient in pass coverage as believed. If the team decides to run the ball with Lucky Whitehead it might lead to disaster so the game plan needs to be more exotic than the past. The Packers defensive line is not the same from the past but they hustle and are assignment strong. Doug Free will have to be on his game which will allow Prescott to go through his reads and Cole Beasley and the offense will benefit if the line is able to give him three to five seconds of time in the passing game. Would anyone within the CowboysNation want to bet that the offense has 350+ offensive yards?? I know it won’t matter if Linehan continues to have Prescott operate from the shotgun inside the ten yard line. There’s a time to get cute but it’s not inside the ten yard line, get under the center and as the Hulk would say “SMASH”.

Aaron Rodgers is a pro bowl player and it doesn’t take long for them to get in a groove. Coming into this game, sportswriters are saying that Rodgers doesn’t look the same and some are even questioning his health. If Rodgers is struggling, I hope it continues in this game because this secondary may not be equipped to handle Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb or Davante Adams. The Packers have always been deep at receiver which gives Rodgers the ability to extend plays that could get the Cowboys in trouble. The real question is if Marinelli and staff has prepared the defense to see a heavy dose of crossing patterns. If I am Marinelli, I make the Packers beat me with their running game and you have to feel good that Eddie Lacy and James Starks are coming into the game with injuries. I know it sounds sick wishing bodily harm on another human being but So Mote It Be! If the Cowboys defense has to deal with a one dimensional offense, no one in the Cowboys Nation will cry over it.

Demarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford will have a hard time getting to Rodgers and the key will be the pressure that Maliek Collins and Terrell McClain can bring in the middle of the defense. Marinelli should allow the defensive tackles to get in the flow of the game before he starts his substitutions because at times there has been a drop off in production. If our beloved defensive coordinator is taking suggestions then I would silently whisper to him that he needs to stop the Andrew Gachkar experiment and allow Damien Wilson to get some needed playing time. I’m not at practice daily but when I see Gachkar it takes me back to the Keith Brooking days of strong will but not enough athleticism to compete. Could this be the game that Anthony Brown’s lack of experience is exposed? Let’s hope not because this could become a long game for fans.

This game is hard to call with Prescott playing lights out and the Cowboys running game functioning on all cylinders but heavy is the head who calls himself king (or something like that). I think that the Packers will be too much for this young team and unfortunately the Cowboys will lose 31-17, taking this loss into their bye week and more quarterback controversy.

So Mote It Be!

Cowboys Game Day Cooking – A Little Bit of Everything

Cowboys Crockpot

Two days until the Dallas Cowboys face the Cincinnati Bengals at AT&T Texas Stadium in an critical week five matchup for the 3-1 Dallas club. Two games before the team’s bye weekend and with the second game being in Green Bay this puts a bigger emphasis on the Bengals game as a contest the club has a much better chance of winning. With game day rapidly approaching, let’s take a look at the tidbits of information that are giving this contest it’s unique flavor.

Dan Bailey’s Back – Bailey missed his first field goal attempt versus the 49ers and a “bad back” was the culprit. As anyone who’s had a back issue knows, they heal at their own pace and until they heal, you’re working at a reduced capacity. Cowboys Swiss knife and Special Teams ace Jeff Heath is reportedly the man the team would turn to in an emergency, but perhaps not. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting both Robbie Gould and Kai Forbath are being worked out by the the club.  If I was the second fullback on the roster, I wouldn’t be feeling very secure about my roster spot at the moment.

DeMarcus Lawrence’s Back – Perhaps “Back to the Future” would have been a better title? DLaw is eligible to return this weekend and the team desperately needs any infusion of edge pressure it can get. Not so fast. Lawrence had back surgery this offseason and perhaps is not “fully” recovered. This report flies in the face of DeMarcus playing in all of the preseason games however. “The back” is something to keep an eye on until the full story surfaces.

Dez Bryant’s Knee – Never say never. Dez will “test the knee” on game day and a decision will be made then. One can’t argue this team isn’t willing to put a player back on the field too early. They’ve done it before, most recently just last season with both Tony Romo (clavicle) and Dez Bryant (foot). However current reports about Dez taking the field have that “smoke screen” feel to them. Look for Dez to join Romo on the sideline reprising their cheerleader roles against the Bengals.

Bengals TE Tyler Eifert – He’s out. Nope, now he’s got a chance. See the “smoke screen” report above in regards to Dez and apply here. After clearly stating the TE would not be playing this weekend (yes, another back injury) the team is now doing an about face stating the TE may be able to return from offseason ankle surgery and play. A sore back may/may not derail the effort. A dangerous seam and red zone weapon, the Bengals offense is in dire need of his services.

Who’s Practicing – Dan Bailey, Dez Bryant, Lance Dunbar, Chaz Green, David Irving, Tony Romo and Orlando Scandrick all watched Thursday’s practice. For Scandrick it was a step back as he had limited participation the day before (hamstrings). Jack Crawford, Andrew Gachkar, Mark Nzeocha, Tony Romo and Tyron Smith were all “full participants”, which is sorely needed news indeed as the offensive line will need all hands on deck to face the stout Bengals defensive front.

For the Bengals, starting RT Cedric Ogbuehi missed Thursday’s practice session with an undisclosed “illness.” This is most often a bout with the flu and should be closely monitored. Other than Cedric and Eifert, the Bengals squad is looking at the normal NFL dings and dents but otherwise fairly healthy.

Critical Battle – Morris Claiborne vs A.J. Green will be worth the price of admission. Claiborne is going to need some help from his friends on the defensive line. In the NFL, if you give any QB/WR combo enough time they can get open. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green aren’t just any QB/WR. Rod Marinelli will give Claiborne plenty of help over the top as Green and Dalton “dig the long ball.” The Dallas offense will certainly need to put up points against a tough Cincy D, but the key to winning this Sunday will be finding out if the Cowboys can scheme a way to slow down A.J. Green.

Match-Up Madness – DL Tyrone Crawford has been thoroughly enjoying his time at defensive end, so he should be a key cog in the defense’s attempt to put pressure on Andy Dalton. Crawford will be matched up over a rookie tackle (Ogeuehi) who is currently missing practice time due to illness. Crawford has been in the league long enough to have a complete bag of tricks to unleash on the rook. This is a matchup the team needs to exploit.

All the ingredients are in the pot. Should be ready to consume this Sunday afternoon. Cya then!

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

Cowboys vs Giants Preview – What to Watch For on Defense

The Dallas Cowboys will begin the 2016 season at home against the New York Giants on September 11. Every NFL franchise has at least a few “question marks” surrounding their team going into week 1, but the Cowboys squad, due to suspensions, injuries, and the draft, seems riddled with more questions than answers. For details on what to watch for on offense, please click here.

There are so many questions about the defense that it is bewildering to try to pick a starting point. The depth chart on the Cowboys official website still lists Demarcus Lawrence as the starting LDE.

The Defensive Line

1. This sounds elementary, but who will play where on the defensive line? What will the snap counts be on the defensive line?

Is it possible to discern what the driving force is behind the defensive line rotation? Are the starters merely getting time off to keep fresh, or are certain players being brought in for certain situations (obvious passing downs or short yardage plays)?

Can the Cowboys defense create any sort of pressure with a four man rush? If not, will they blitz to try create more pressure?

Defensive Ends

2. With two starters being suspended, the Cowboys only have three players who can be considered true defensive-ends (Benson Mayowa, Jack Crawford, and Charles Tapper). With the rookie Tapper still recovering from a back-injury, David Irving becomes the 3rd DE.

Irving played sparingly at DT in 12 games last season. He switched from DE to DT way back when he was a junior at Iowa State. He is listed as 6 feet and 7 inches,  275 pounds. I am not convinced he can be successful as a DE in the NFL, so it will be interesting to see how and when Irving is used.

How will DC Rod Marinelli deploys these three ends? Who will relieve these guys when necessary? Will Marinelli use LB Kyle Wilber from the edge in passing situations? Will one of the DT’s kick outside in some situations?

Can the Cowboys defense create any sort of pressure with a four man rush? If not, will they blitz more to try create more pressure? (This question is worth repeating.)

Defensive Tackles

3. How will the Cowboys use Cedric Thornton? The Cowboys gave Thornton a four-year deal worth $18 million after playing against him twice a year for four years in Philly. Thornton played DT in college, then played DE in the Eagles 3-4 defense, although NFL.com still lists him as a DT. The Cowboys official website has listed Thornton as both a DT and a DL. He was signed with the intention playing the 1-technique at DT while Tyrone Crawford played the 3.

With Tyrone Crawford and Terrell McClain available to play DT, how many snaps will Thornton play at DT? Will they use him as a DE? The Cowboys were fairly aggressive going after Thornton in free agency, so you would anticipate them wanting to get him significant playing time.

Will any of the DE’s been so ineffective that they play Thornton as a DE with Crawford and McClain in the middle?

4. When and if the Cowboys get back to full-strength from these suspensions, the DT group is going to be a strength for the defense. For now, Crawford and Thornton are accompanied by a solid veteran in Terrell McClain and rookie Maliek Collins.

How many snaps will Collins get to play?

Can the DT’s draw enough attention in the middle that it is easy for the LB’s to shut down any attempt to run between the tackles?

Can the Cowboys DT’s work in tandem to do more than just swallow blockers ? Can they put pressure on Manning from the middle?

Linebackers

5. If the Cowboys are thin on the DL (only 8 players on the 53, compared to 10 last year), then they are also thin at LB, at least for the short-run while Andrew Gachkar (surgery in August on broken thumb) and Mark Nzeocha (strained Achilles) fully recover.

Will Gachkar be ready to play?

The depth chart on the official website states that Sean Lee will start at the weak-side, Anthony Hitchens will play in the middle, and Kyle Wilber will line up on the strong-side. That leaves the 10-year vet who didn’t attend anyone’s training camp, Justin Durant, as the primary backup for all three LB’s.

How many snaps will Justin Durant play? Will his age and/or missing camp be obvious?

Will Damien Wilson play at all, or will he be relegated to special teams?

When the Cowboys blitz a LB, will it be Sean Lee from the weakside, or will they mix it up and bring guys from different locations?

When the defense lines up with 3 CB’s, which two LB’s will remain on the field? It would make sense for Kyle Wilber to come off the field so Lean and Hitchens can play in the nickel – this would allow them to use Wilber as a DE in passing situations.

Will Durant play in nickel situations?

Will Sean Lee continue to demonstrate why I started calling him “Superman” in December, 2010, after the Colts game?

Defensive Backs (Corner)

6. If the Cowboys went “light” on the DL, then they went “heavy” on DB’s. Of the ten DB’s on the roster, five of them are CB’s. Three of the CB’s – Morris Claiborne, Orlando Scandrick. and Brandon Carr – are Cowboys veterans. These three guys have all been on the Cowboys roster for at least 4 years, but with all the injuries to the group, it certainly doesn’t seem like it will be their 5th season playing together as a unit.

It is assumed that Claiborne and Carr will man the outside in the base defense, with Scandrick coming in to play the slot in nickel situations. Will this hold true?

Will Scandrick always stay with the slot receiver, or will they make adjustments based on the matchups?

Will Scandrick return to his pre-injury form, i.e. worthy of Pro Bowl consideration?

Will Scandrick get a sack blitzing from the slot or merely a QB pressure?

Will Claiborne, now in the final year of his contract and finally healthy for an entire off-season, take advantage of this last opportunity to look like a Top 10 draft choice?

The Cowboys also have Dax Swanson (bouncing around practice squads since 2013) and rookie Anthony Brown (6th Round, Purdue). Swanson appears to be on the roster for his special teams play, so he is not expected to play much defense. Will Anthony Brown see any playing time at all?

If one of the three starters has to come off, will the coaching staff be comfortable playing Thomas at CB or in the slot, or will they have Byron Jones slide from FS to CB?

How will Marinelli utilize the DB’s? Every offseason we hear that the strength of these CB’s is playing man coverage, but that hasn’t always been true during games. How often will the DB’s play zone? We will see the DB’s play man-coverage aggressively, i.e. jamming receivers at the line? Victor Cruz (6 foot, 204 pounds) is the biggest WR on the Giants squad, so playing them tight and physically is not out of the question.

Will they double Odell Beckham all the time?

Defensive Backs (Safety)

7. The Cowboys also kept 5 safeties. The brought back several veterans (JJ Wilcox, Jeff Heath, and Barry Church). Second year phenom Byron Jones has claimed the starting FS spot.

Have the Cowboys finally found a ballhawk capable of playing centerfield?

I’m very curious about how often Marinelli will have his starting SS (Church) crowding the line of scrimmage.

Are the coaches confident enough in Byron’s range to leave him as a single-deep safety?

Will Jones be used in single coverage against the TE’s?

Will Barry Church finish the game with no missed tackles?

Many of the experts did not expect Wilcox to make the roster, but the Cowboys like his attitude and he isn’t much of a drop off from Church if he is allowed to play SS and stay near the line of scrimmage. In some ways, keeping Wilcox makes a ton of sense: he could play SS or FS if either of the starters gets hurt, and versatility is good. Would you want to see Jeff Heath (career special teams guy) or Kavon Frazier (6th round rookie out of Central Michigan) come off the bench to replace Jones or Church? I am not convinced the Cowboys cut a player that would be a better backup than Wilcox. Also, having Wilcox allows them to slide Byron Jones to CB in the event that one of the three starters goes down.

Will Wilcox get to play much? If he does, look for him to lay some big hits to make his presence known.

Miscellaneous 

8. if the Giants are able to move the ball effectively through the air, is it because of poor coverage, or is the front seven giving Eli Manning far too much time in the pocket, or is it some combination of both?

9. This probably should have been question #1: can the Cowboys front seven stop the Giants rushing attack? If they can’t do that, and they need to bring Barry Church in to help with the run, it will make it much easier for the vaunted Giants wideouts to get single-coverage matchups and it will make the defense more susceptible to play action.

As a general rule, if you can’t stop the run with 8 men in the box, the opponent will not need to pass much and you will lose. The Giants don’t have a dominant offensive line or a marquee RB, so if the Cowboys defense struggles to stop the Giants rushing attack, it will be a sign of bad things to come.

10. If nothing else, will we continue to see the traditional characteristics of a Rod Marinelli defense? Will they play with intensity, show hustle even in the fourth quarter, and tackle hard looking for turnovers?

If the offense can establish a lead, Marinelli will likely take a “bend but don’t break” approach that tries to punish the offense while waiting for a chance at a turnover.

11. Will Keith Smith and/or Rod Smith make enough of an impact on special teams that we see why they made the final 53?

Conclusion

When I stated in my previous post that the Dallas Cowboys success is inextricably linked to Dak Prescott, that included the defense. The chances of the Cowboys defense being successful this season will increase exponentially if the offense can score points and provide them with a lead to protect. The defense does not need to be great, or even top 10, for the Cowboys to win football games if the offense can play to their potential. What they can not afford to do against the Giants is give up quick scores and/or fall behind. They need to force Eli to sustain long drives and be opportunistic with turnovers: if Eli has to throw 25+ times, he will throw at least a few passes that can be intercepted.

What will you be watching for on defense?

CowboysNation welcomes your immediate comments and feedback. We especially look forward to your observations after the game.

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