By Yusuf Nakhooda
After losing two games in a row after starting the season 3-0, the Dallas Cowboys will try to get back into the win column . No better way to take their frustrations out against the lowly New York Jets. Here are some things to look out for as this game unfolds on Sunday afternoon at Met Life Stadium.
Dallas came home after suffering their first loss of the season to New Orleans in a game where they didn’t give up a touchdown and followed that up with a dud against Green Bay. The Cowboys now are dealing with the buzz about whether Kellen Moore was being hyped up too much as a play caller based on the first three weeks. Dallas has to get things going again and perhaps facing a Jets’ team that looks hapless so far might work in their favor. The Cowboys can’t afford to dig themselves into a hole like they did against the Packers last week if they hope to have success. Dallas entered week 6 tied for first in the NFC East but hold the edge based on a 2-0 division record while the Eagles are 1-0.
The Cowboys trailed 17-0 at the half against the Packers and trailed 24-0 less than six minutes into the third quarter. By that point in time, the game was well in hand: they drew within 10 with 7:46 to play but couldn’t get any closer than that. Dallas rolled up a 563-335 advantage in total offense and picked up 32 first downs while allowing 24 in the game. The Cowboys were dominated 36:43 to 23:17 in time of possession and turned the ball over three times while failing to record a takeaway. Dallas gave up 10 points on the takeaways, negating Dak Prescott’s career-high 463 yards through the air.
Here are three things to watch that will be key factors in the game:
1.) The return of Sam Darnold
How much of a factor Darnold will have in the game remains to be seen.
Darnold was taken third overall in the 2018 NFL Draft to become a franchise quarterback. His rookie season had a lot of ups and downs (2,865 yards, 57.7 completion percentage, 17 TDs, 15 INTs), but the ceiling is clearly there.
Unfortunately for the Jets, the USC product was forced to miss the past four weeks (three games) with mono. But after that extended absence, Darnold is back and set to start on Sunday.
How much of an impact will his presence have in this game? That’s hard to tell, but he should be a massive upgrade over third-string quarterback Luke Falk. In three games (two starts), Falk didn't throw a touchdown while tossing three interceptions and one fumble. He managed just 416 yards through the air in those three games total while taking 16 sacks.
2. Can Dallas bounce back?
The Cowboys were on a roll to start the season, but back-to-back losses to the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers have many analysts wondering if they’re true Super Bowl contenders.
There’s hope that the team’s bookend tackle duo, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, will be able to return from injuries, but that’s still going to be a game-time decision for head coach Jason Garrett.
3. Will Quinnen Williams take the next step?
One player who could make life for Prescott more difficult is Williams. The No. 3 pick out of Alabama is a potential terror getting after quarterbacks, but a calf strain followed by a sprained ankle caused him to miss action to start the season. In his first game back last Sunday, Williams racked up five tackles, which is a great stat line for a guy who hadn’t been able to do a whole lot for several weeks prior.
Even with the return of Sam Darnold, it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which the Jets get the win. But crazier things have certainly happened, especially during this NFL season.
The injuries to the Dallas offensive line will make a difference, but it won’t quite be enough to prevent the Cowboys from getting that bounce-back victory.
Final Score: Dallas Cowboys 35 New York Jets 17
The writers here at Cowboys News plan to bring you entertainment, news, and more - all relating to the Dallas Cowboys.