Dallas Cowboys: Bold yet realistic predictions for Week 1 matchup
By Angel Torres
As Dallas Cowboys fans inch closer to the regular-season opener, predictions as to what the team will do are flooding in. Things are similar here at The Landry Hat so I decided to throw in my two cents.
Whether or not All-Pro guard Zack Martin will play or the health of quarterback Dak Prescott has been hotly debated topics but all of that has come to an end. The time has come to put our names with what we think. One thing I am sure of is this will not be a one-sided affair in favor of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers like many are predicting.
It is much harder to try and condense your expectations for a team with so many question marks but this is what I think will happen come Thursday night. The Cowboys will open up the NFL season against the Buccaneers who boasted the league’s best run defense last season. I think Ezekiel Elliott will rip off a run for over ten yards but it will be tough sledding most of the night. A 20 carry 86 yard night might not wow anyone on the stat sheet but those tough yards will keep the Tampa defense honest.
The Dallas Cowboys will surprise the football world with Week 1 victory
Pencil in running back Tony Pollard for the longest run of the entire night. Dak Prescott will look comfortable in the pocket and there will be no noticeable limp in his run or hitch in his throwing motion. I expect Tampa to struggle to cover not only the three-headed monster Dallas has at wide receiver but I believe Dallas will play action Tampa to death and get these tight ends involved also.
This should wear down those two big names Tampa has in the middle of their defensive line. I am thinking Dalton Shultz will have a huge catch in the game late to put the Cowboys in a position to win the game.
The offensive line will be helped by play action but I do have concerns. I think Connor McGovern will hold his own for the most part but Tyler Biadasz is someone who I will have my eye on. I think Tampa will have mammoth defensive tackle Vita Vea line up over him to try and get fellow defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh one on one with these guards.
I also expect Shaq Barrett to do most of his damage against right tackle La’el Collins. Collins struggles with speed rushers and this will be a big test for him.
Now for the defensive side of the ball.
Dallas will hold a lead at halftime in this low-scoring contest but will explode in the second half. The Cowboys will lose the lead and everyone will say “here comes Brady”. I expect the defense to flash and hold steady for most of the game.
There will be plays where players will be in position but get beat anyways. The hunger of this team will show up and effort will be apparent. Tom Brady will have a ton of time to throw early on and that will force the Cowboys to blitz Brady with mixed results.
The defense will sack Tom Brady only once but the Dallas Cowboys defense will force two turnovers. One of those turnovers will be an interception by the Dallas secondary. I expect the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 34-30.
Offensive Player of the Game: Dalton Schultz
Defensive Player of the Game: Osa Odigizuwa
Special Teams Player of the Game: Bryan Anger
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section so please feel free to drop your gameday prediction. Enjoy the game everyone.