The New England Patriots face another top team from the NFC this weekend when they return home to host the Dallas Cowboys in Foxborough.
The New England Patriots and the Dallas Cowboys rarely get to play each other. The former is a member of the AFC and the latter is a member of the NFC; as such, they’re only required to lock horns once every four years as part of the NFL schedule-making system.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that these two historic franchises could find their way to being pitted against one another in the Super Bowl. If that sounds like fun to you and me, imagine how much the league itself – and the television network that would get to air the big game that year – must feel about the possibility. One of the biggest and most lucrative sports events in the world would become that much bigger and more lucrative with two teams playing in it as popular and valuable as the Patriots and the Cowboys both are.
For now, we’ll all have to content ourselves with seeing these clubs go head-to-head on Sunday during a pivotal Week 12 clash in Foxborough.
The Patriots are atop the AFC standings with a 9-1 record that feels a bit inflated given their easy schedule through the first half of the season. The Cowboys are only tied for the sixth-best record in the NFC at 6-4, but because they play in the weakest division in football, they’re actually leading the NFC East and currently in line to receive the No. 4 seed in the conference.
A lot will transpire between now and the start of the postseason in the new year, but this game might have a playoff-feel to it at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. So much is on the line for both clubs as they seek to better position themselves for a postseason berth, and the winner of the game makes a decisive statement about their candidacy as a legitimate Super Bowl LIV contender.
Here are three keys for the New England Patriots to focus on if they want to win this game over the Dallas Cowboys and assert themselves as that contender.