The Buccaneers are hosting the Cowboys Sunday in what has become one of the most talked about games of the week because Americas Team remains winless in the absence of their fearless leader Tony Romo.
A win against the Buccaneers can possibly keep them in the hunt. The Dallas Cowboys are currently 2-6, but as crazy as it may sound, are still in contention for the NFC East. Ironically, their only two wins came within the division and they still have to play the Redskins twice: which means they could feasibly end up 4-2 in the division with Tony Romo at the helm.
The Giants are 5-4, but face the 8-0 Patriots this week which means a Cowboys win vs the 3-5 Buccaneers and a Giants loss to the Patriots would leave them only 1.5 games back in the division. The NFC East used to be considered the powerhouse of the NFC, but now they find themselves the weakest division in the NFL besides the AFC South which is led by the 4-5 Colts.
The Buccaneers used the first overall pick on Jaemis Winston and he hasn’t delivered as advertised. The Buc’s are currently ranked 26th in pass yards with 225.1 yards per game, but sit at 7th in rushing with 131.9 yards per game. They beefed up the offensive line with the addition of Logan Mankins, who spent most of his career protecting Tom Brady and is considered one of the best guards in the league. The rest of the OL consists of a bunch of guys you probably never heard of. .
Jaemis Winston has only thrown 10 touchdown passes in 8 games; despite having Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson at his disposal. What the Cowboys need to worry about is stopping Doug Martin. He is not only a RB who can gash a defense on the ground, he is a very effective receiver out of the backfield. The Cowboys are currently ranked 18th against the run allowing 111.6 yards per game.Â If they allow him to get to the edge like Devonte Freeman did when he put up 141 yards against them it will be a long day.
The Cowboys are a much better team on paper on both sides of the ball. If Matt Cassel can’t win a shootout with Winston he needs to retire. The Buccaneers are 29th in the league allowing 28.9 points per game. Despite them being 12th in the league against the pass, I find it impossible for them to be able to contain Dez, Beasley and Witten. With the emergence of Darren McFadden, the Cowboys offense should be able to roll over them with ease.
The Cowboys win this game if they can contain Doug Martin and make them one dimensional, forcing Winston to win with his arm and avoid turning the ball over. The Buccaneers don’t have what I would call an elite offensive line and there is no reason why the pass rush shouldn’t be effective which should result in Winston making some mistakes. At the end of the day, Matt Cassel needs to break his habit of throwing the momentum changing pick sixes and the defense needs to do a better job of stopping the run and creating turnovers. Cowboys 21 Buccaneers 17