The Cowboys cannot really afford to overlook anyone but if we go by what we know, the game should be favorable to the visiting team. The Cowboys have the win-less Jets, on the road, but Dallas is 3-0 against three of the NFL’s worst teams. After dropping the last two games, the team needs to get back into the win column but win-less teams are dangerous.
When the Jets have the ball
Pressure & Gap Discipline
Sam Darnold makes his return to the lineup after contracting mono that has kept him out since the season opener. Even though his return could boost morale, the Jets are fielding one of the worst offensive lines in football. Darnold was sacked four times in their week one loss to the Bills and his backup Luke Falk has been sacked 16 times in three games. The Cowboys defensive line needs to start living up to the offseason hype and get after the quarterback.
The Jets do have a special back in Le’Veon Bell, but New York is averaging 66 yards per game on the ground (30th in NFL). To make matters worse, the Jets are averaging less than 10 points per game on offense and rank 31st in scoring. The Cowboys should be able to get pressure in this game and the return of Antwaun Woods will boost their run defense that struggled mightily against Green Bay.
When Cowboys have the ball
Stop with the self-sabotage
Nothing has stopped the Cowboys more than self-inflicted harm over the last two games. Whether it’s interceptions off the hands of receivers, fumbles by the best players, questionable passes, or drive altering penalties, it needs to stop now. The Cowboys have found out that losing the turnover battle often means you lose the game. They committed the most turnovers of any NFL offense over the past two games. Even bad teams can beat you if keep giving them opportunities. The Cowboys offensive line is ailing and will miss at least one starting tackle this week against a good Jets defensive line, which could be troublesome.
At the same time, the Cowboys have better O-line depth than most teams and a quarterback that can improvise when protection breaks down. The Jets offense already puts their defense at a disadvantage and Dallas needs to take advantage of that to wear them down.
Now let’s see what the writers see happening...
While I’m not overly confident after the last two games, the Jets present an easily winnable matchup. The Jets’ terrible offensive line and just their offense in general should boost the confidence of this defense, but Dak and his offense will have to be very careful against an opportunistic defense. In the end, I see the Cowboys winning this 31-9
The Cowboys get a quality bounce-back win on the road against a very poor Jets team. The Dallas defense puts constant pressure on the Jets, forcing multiple turnovers, and the offense has a solid day on the ground and through the air putting up 27 points. Look for Michael Gallup to have a big day on offense and Leighton Vander Esch to have a big day, including an interception, on the defensive side of the ball. Cowboys 27, Jets 13
The Cowboys are looking for a complete game on both sides of the ball, and the New York Jets are just the team to make that happen. The presence of Sam Darnold will interject some life into the Jets offense, but it won’t be enough to stay with Dallas. The Jets defense can be pretty good at times, and it could keep the Cowboys #1 ranked offense (in terms of yards gained) from going nuts. I expect more frustration with enough awesomeness sprinkled in to get the job done. Cowboys 27, Jets 13.
I was wrong about getting back on track last week - until the second half, when it was too little, too late. But I think that half carries over to this week, and we see another strong performance like those of the first three weeks. I’ll take the Cowboys for a palindromic final score. They need that kind of a win, because the schedule from then on just gets tougher and tougher. Cowboys 31, Jets 13.
I think these Cowboys players will be ripe for the challenge after dropping two straight. These players know what’s being said in the media and they know that there are no excuses for the letdown. The Cowboys defense is going to feast on a really bad Jets offense and it doesn’t matter who is playing quarterback. This is a game where I see each layer of the defense making plays adding sacks and takeaways. The Cowboys offense will start slow but like they did in weeks 1-3, they’ll rattle off several consecutive scoring drives. Cowboys 31, Jets 9.