Dallas Cowboys: Final thoughts heading into Week 3


The Dallas Cowboys 2015 season has started off with a bang. They are 2-0 and are sitting alone atop the NFC East division.

In Week 3, America’s Team is ready to take on another NFC opponent with a 2-0 record, the Atlanta Falcons.

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Heading into this week’s matchup the Cowboys are faced with plenty of questions that remain unanswered, mostly surrounding the offensive side of the ball. Fortunately, their one redeeming hope is the play of their third-ranked defense.

In Week 1 against the New York Giants, the defense was able to corral quarterback Eli Manning and his favorite target Odell Beckham. Again in Week 2, the defense was able to completely shut down the Philadelphia Eagles fast-paced offense.

Though the Cowboys have been faced with uncommon adversity thus far this year they still hope to continue their success on the road this week even without their two best players, quarterback Tony Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Below are a few final thoughts heading into the Week 3 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.

  • I wonder if backup quarterback Brandon Weeden will be mentally prepared for this matchup. Where Weeden gets in the past trouble is when he makes mental mistakes and we have already seen in the first two weeks of the season that the Cowboys have struggled with turnovers and penalties. For Weeden to have success against the Falcons he is going to have to be mentally tough and protect the football. He has the physical talent to succeed, but it’s his mental preparation that causes concern for me.
  • I wonder if we will see a bigger emphasis placed on the running game now with Weeden taking snaps from center. The running game has been just okay the first two weeks of the season and I don’t know if it’s because of lack of talent or if it’s more by design. The best way to help Weeden and the rest of the offense succeed without Romo and Bryant is to get the running game going.
  • I know we probably won’t see running back Christine Michael against the Falcons, but I wonder just how long the coaching staff keeps him inactive if the running game continues to struggle. Personally, I think a lot of fans would love to see Michael bring his hard-nosed downhill running style to the offense, especially behind this offensive line. I would think the organization will give it until the bye week and then if the running game hasn’t improved we will see Michael get a chance.
  • I wonder if newly acquired wide receiver Brice Butler has overtaken Devin Street for the number three wide receiver on the depth chart. Last week against the Philadelphia Eagles Butler was targeted more than Street. Butler and Street are both tall receivers, but Butler has the speed to gain separation from opposing defensive backs and offers a wider catch radius. It will be interesting to see if he again receives more targets in the passing game than Street.
  • With offensive lineman Ronald Leary questionable to play this weekend because of his groin injury, La’el Collins will start in his place. Last week against the Eagles with Leary out, Collins and Mackenzy Bernadeau rotated at left guard. Collins will now get the chance to prove he’s ready to be the starting left guard.
  • With the news that tight end Jason Witten sustained two sprained ankles and a sprained knee in the win against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, I wonder how effective he can be for the offense if he does indeed play against the Falcons. Witten’s toughness is unquestionable, and the simple fact that he has already practiced this week tells me that he plans to play. I can’t even imagine what the offense would look like without him in the game, but I do worry about him further injuring himself. The Cowboys can ill afford losing anymore key players this season.
  • I wonder if Witten does play if he can at the added spark that this team has seemed to be missing thus far this season. I know if I was a teammate of Witten’s and saw firsthand how he is battling through his injuries it would inspire me to raise the level of my game and do everything I could help the team. Maybe this will be just what the organization needs to boost the intensity level of the entire team.
  • I wonder if head coach Jason Garrett has stressed the importance of eliminating penalties and also the importance of ball security. These two areas have put the team in bad situations the first two weeks of the season and it is something that absolutely needs to be addressed.
  • I wonder how defensive coordinator Rob Marinelli will choose to try and eliminate wide receiver Julio Jones from having a major impact in this game. No doubt Jones will be double covered the majority of the time, but I wonder who will draw the duty of covering him for those times he’s not double covered in the game.

These are just a few thoughts and concerns that I have no answers for, but I hope that the Cowboys have already addressed them heading into their matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

Let me hear what kind of unanswered questions or concerns that you have heading into this week’s matchup in the comment section below.

Next: Dallas Cowboys vs. Atlanta Falcons: Six Game Predictions