Ravens Prepare for Sputtering Cowboys


jay_ratliff

Photo by: Matt Pearce/Icon SMI

The last time Baltimore faced the Cowboys, they beat them mercilessly in their final game in old Cowboys stadium.  Dallas will look for revenge in this one, but this time they will have to travel to Baltimore.  Now Dallas has been a bit of a confusing team so far this year.  They stand at 2-2, which isn’t truly indicative of how they have played.  In their first game, they beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants in their home stadium and beat them.  The score was close, but Dallas had a pretty firm grasp of the lead the entire time.  Their running game looked stout, Romo looked elite, and the CB combo of Carr and Claiborne looked like one of the best in the league.   Their next three games were nothing close to the same.  They were blown out by Seattle, barely topped the one win Bucs at home, and were once again blown out by the Bears in a Monday Night Showdown.

So which Dallas will we see Sunday?  They are coming off a bye, so they may have worked out some of the kinks as well as gotten a bit more healthy.  Romo has been a shell of himself so far this year.  He has thrown just 5 TDs to go along with 8 interceptions which has been downright ugly.  His top receivers have been off and on injured, but when playing haven’t reached their full potential.  Dez Bryant has yet to find the endzone and has made a handful of mental mistakes that have led to a disappointing season.  Demarco Murray looked to be a big breakout candidate after a solid half season last year.  However, he has been pretty mediocre at this point.  The Cowboys offense has loads of talent, but they have yet to get it done this year consistently.  They are able to click at any time, though, which can lead to big points.  Baltimore can’t let down on this mistake prone offense.

The defense has been much like the offense.  Full of talented players, like Claiborne, Carr, and of course Demarcus Ware.  The problem is they haven’t been able to stop anyone.  Jay Cutler had a field day on them and so did Marshawn Lynch.  Eli Manning would have had a better day if his receivers could have held onto the ball.  Joe Flacco will have a bit of challenge hitting his receivers with a solid CB duo matched up on them, so I would look for Pitta, Dickson, and Ray Rice to have a good amount of targets.  Their rushing defense has been suspect as well, so this might be a game that Rice finally becomes a focal point.  However, Jay Natliff is expected to make his debut this game.  The huge pro bowler is their main run stopping cog, which could lead to a much more challenging defense all around.

Dallas is a talented team, but have made so many mistakes.  They have the ability to beat almost anyone in the league, but also can fall apart and lose to anyone.  They will want this one, but if the Ravens can keep their composure, they have a big advantage in this contest.

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