After a difficult opening stretch, the Dallas Cowboys offense has been playing well over the last few games and it’s primed to erupt in San Francisco.
Over the last three games, the Cowboys have only gone 1-2 in the standings, but the offense has scored just under 30 points per game in those contests.
Now, there’s no denying that the Dallas Cowboys aren’t the same team they were a year ago, yet mathematically speaking, they could still finish with the exact same record of 13-3. The offensive line has been adjusted following the departures of right tackle Doug Free and left guard Ronald Leary, but it’s not like the cupboard is empty where talented replacements are concerned.
If anything, you could say that the Cowboys started off playing a left guard at right tackle and a right tackle at left guard, but players like La’el Collins, Chaz Green and Jonathan Cooper have settled in nicely.
If one needs proof of this yet again, it’s probably coming on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
All week we’ve heard the warnings coming from all kinds of media types that stress that the Cowboys should not overlook the winless 49ers. We’ve heard all about the fact that San Francisco has lost their last five games by a combined 13 points.
But let’s also remember that Oakland Raiders linebacker NaVorro Bowman, while still in the Bay Area, is wearing silver and black – not crimson and gold. Further complicating matters for the San Francisco defense is the fact that additional linebackers like Reuben Foster, a 2017 first-round pick, and Ray-Ray Armstrong are listed as questionable for this game, according to CBSSports.
If there was ever a time for defending NFL rushing champ Zeke Elliott to really get going, this is the time.
Yes, the 49ers have other issues on the injury front that aren’t going to help in any way against a Dallas offense that’s been cranking up the yardage and points since Week 3. Coming off a disappointing bye week and with plenty of time to prepare, I’m expecting the Cowboys to put up another 30 points in this game as there’s not much to suggest that Dak Prescott will be under a whole lot of pressure, unless 33-year old Elvis Dumervil comes up with some big plays off the bench.
This could also be a good week for slot receiver Cole Beasley, who has been a non-factor in the offense this season. His participation is arguably more important than that of any of Dallas’ wide receivers.
As left tackle Tyron Smith continues nursing a bothersome back situation, the Dallas Cowboys should still have more than enough firepower to handle a 49ers team that has far more questions than answers.
Yes, the defense will have a lot to do with this weekend’s outcome in Northern California.
But with linebackers Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens expected to play together for the first time this year, I’m expecting this defense to look a bit different than it has all year. If these two linebackers can stop the bleeding upfront that’s been allowing too many rushing yards for opposing offenses, then there should be numerous opportunities for upfront defenders like DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving to make some plays against a rookie S.F. quarterback named C.J. Beathard, who’s making his first NFL start.
This Dallas defense should play this game like a cornered wet cat that’s had enough of being trashed in the media as it plays at full strength for the first time this year – it will survive the absence of Chidobe Awuzie.
Is this a trap game?
This is a prove it game, and Cowboys Nation should expect a vastly superior team from Dallas to come away with a relatively easy win on the road.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 28, San Francisco 49ers, 17