New England Patriots vs Dallas Cowboys Gut Prediction
Prediction: Cowboys 24, Patriots 14
This could be the first game that we see the offense slowed down slightly. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has been great so far, but Belichick always has a way to slow down the young guns. I think we see a bit more tough sledding than the first five weeks. It may also be the first time the defense is leaned on more than normal to close out the game.
The Patriots only allowed 206 passing yards per game and 111 rushing yards per game. Their defense is absolutely what keeps them in games. That said, while they may slow down the Cowboys, but I don’t know if any defense in the league can completely stonewall all of their talent for four quarters. The Cowboys find second-half success with a few scores.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combine for somewhere around 120 rushing yards in what is a bit of a grind but needed to convert third downs and keep the Patriots defense honest. Dak will bounce back from the two-turnover performance of last week and protect the ball to avoid giving the Patriots offense a much-needed short field. I like Prescott delivering late for a clutch touchdown to put this thing out of reach.
On the other side, Mac Jones has shown a bit of tendency to turn the ball over. He has five touchdowns and interceptions apiece to this point. The Cowboys’ defense is confident and I suspect they force two turnovers in Foxborough. One thing to watch is if the Patriots rookie quarterback tests Trevon Diggs and gives him the chance to go for six straight games with an interception.
With the running backs a bit banged up for the Patriots, Jones may have to shoulder more of the load. If the Cowboys can force him into obvious passing situations, I think the ever-improving defensive line and back seven fluster him a bit with the scheme and blitz packages of defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn.
I think that the six-game skid against the Patriots ends this Sunday. The Cowboys leave with a confidence booster of going on the road and pick one up in a tough environment. This is a game that isn’t as simple as 4-1 vs 2-3 and I think we see a bit more of a dogfight, but this team seems to have the mentality that they are ready for it. The Dallas Cowboys leave Week Six at 5-1 with an even larger grasp on the NFC East and enter the bye with a place in the “who’s who” of the NFL.