Dallas Cowboys: The Four Quarters (Week 10 Edition)

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Saintly Schedule…

We already discussed both the difficulty that playing in New Orleans brings and Dallas’ lack of a “signature win,” beating only the teams that they should.  New Orleans isn’t any better in all honesty.  Their four wins at home have not been all that impressive as they have not beat a winning team at home and are 1-2 against winning teams in total.  The key to their home victories have largely come from a lack of protection and a propensity of turnovers from their opposition.  In the four wins, New Orleans has 14 sacks and 11 turnovers and won the turnover battle in each game.  One way the Cowboys can help the defense not have to face so many plays, limit the pressure on Tony Romo and minimize turnovers is to find some semblance of a running game.  If there was ever a game to do so, this would be it.  Nine carries won’t cut it.  If Dallas can keep the turnovers low and Romo upright, I believe this offense poses threats unseen by the Saints’ soft schedule, especially at home so far.

Ground and Pound…

Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against Minnesota Vikings safety Mistral Raymond (41) at AT

That’s right.  Here we are again, begging for more production from the Cowboys via the running game.  We already highlighted how it could help the defense which should be enough but if that does not convince the powers that be, we’ll try another angle.  The Saints have lost two games this year.  Those two games have three things in common.  One.  The opposition dominated them on the ground.  New England had 35 rushing attempts, gained 141 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.  The Jets had 36 attempts for 198 yards and two touchdowns.  Pounding away at New Orleans seems to works and usually translates into time of possession.  Two.

Both of these games saw the Saints lose the time of possession battle, the only two games this year that they did so.  When an offense like the one the Saints have is kept from a rhythm by having to watch the other team, they generally will press.  Three.  In both of these losses, they also lost the turnover battle, also the only times this happened to them.  So, running the ball, especially with a back like DeMarco Murray, can rest your defense, wear down their defense, keep their offense off the field and possibly force them into bad decisions.  Will Dallas employ this strategy?  Probably not, which means we are more likely to see…