Game Preview: Bills @ Cowboys
The Buffalo Bills (8-3) travel to Arlington Texas to take on the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day as they look to solidify their playoff credentials.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is under increasing pressure following last Sunday’s 13-9 defeat by the New England Patriots. A loss against the Bills would leave the door wide open atop of the NFC East, along with a few more choice words from owner Jerry Jones.
The Cowboys boast the number one passing attack, averaging 303 yards per game. Quarterback Dak Prescott leads the league with 3433 yards passing and prior to Sunday’s defeat against the Patriots the 26-year-old had thrown nine touchdowns in three games.
Conditions were a factor as Prescott completed just 57.58% of his passes against the Patriots. The Dak detractors are salivating at the prospect of the signal caller coming unstuck in perfect conditions inside AT&T Stadium against a Bills pass defense that’s ranked third overall.
Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup spearhead the Dallas offense through the air. The duo have combined for 1619 yards and nine touchdowns. Cooper is without a touchdown during his last two games and was held to zero receptions last week, whilst Gallup has become Prescott’s go-to-guy with 29 targets in three games.
Veteran Randall Cobb has had a resurgence in form with 307 yards receiving and two touchdowns during his last three outings. On the opposite end of the scale is veteran tight end Jason Witten, who’s without a touchdown since week two against the Washington Redskins.
The Bills run defense is surrendering an average of 104 yards per game (14th overall) leaving the door open for Ezekiel Elliott to take advantage should the Cowboys struggle through the air. Elliott had 126 yards from scrimmage (86 rushing, 40 receiving) against a stout Patriots defense. The 24-year-old hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards on the ground in three consecutive games.
Sean Lee continues at linebacker as Leighton Vander-Esch remains sidelined with a neck injury Robert Quinn leads the team with 9.5 sacks, 18 quarterback hits (10 in his last three games) and has at least half a sack in six straight games.
An offense averaging 21 points per game (21st overall) and ranked 24th as a passing attack with sophomore quarterback Josh Allen under center hasn’t been easy on the eyes for some Bills fans.
Under the stewardship of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll the Bills have utilised what they have in Josh Allen. The 6ft 5″ 237lb Allen has thrown just one interception in his last six games and rushed for 56 yards in back-to-back games.
Frank Gore may have stolen the headlines last week as he surpassed Barry Sanders (15,369 yards) to become the third highest career rusher in NFL history. But it’s third round rookie Devin Singletary the Cowboys 15th ranked rushing defense will have to contend with. Singletary rushed for 106 yards against the Denver Broncos and is averaging a league leading 5.8 yards per carry.
The free agent acquisitions of John Brown and Cole Beasley have proved to invaluable In a pass offense averaging 213 yards. Brown has recorded six games with 75 yards or more receiving and has three touchdowns in his last two games.
Beasley returns to Cowboys where he spent the first seven-years of his career with a point to prove after the Cowboys decided not to pay the slot receiver. Beasley signed with the Bills on four-year $29m deal.
Cornerback TreDavious White lack of appreciation outside of Buffalo is simply mind-blowing. The 27th overall pick of the 2017 draft has been a thorn in the side of many opposing number one receivers. White shutdown Broncos Courtland Sutton (allowing one reception on eight targets). White going up against Amari Cooper should be an enthralling contest.