If Sunday night’s primetime matchup against the New Orleans Saints becomes a shootout, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise exploit this weakness downfield.
Through the first three games of the 2019 NFL regular season, the Dallas Cowboys defense hasn’t quite been itself. Despite limiting opposing offenses to scoring an average of 14.7 points a contest, the Dallas defense does allow 336 yards per game (15th), has registered just 5.0 total sacks and has yet to post a single interception.
That being said, the Cowboys’ defense faces their toughest task yet trying to keep New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara in check. Especially considering Dallas will be without both starting defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (knee) and defensive end Tyrone Crawford (hip) for the second-straight game due to injuries.
Kamara is coming off a big win over the Seattle Seahawks on the road where he ran for 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. He also had a whopping nine catches for 92 yards and another score.
That being said, the primetime game in the Superdome between these two teams could quickly become an offensive shootout. If so, the Cowboys new-look offense under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore might be wise to look downfield more as getting those chunk plays against the Saints’ defense could be key to winning a high-scoring matchup.
Here’s how DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer Rob Phillips responded to a recent mailbag question about an under-the-radar player to watch out for against the Saints.
“Dak Prescott has spread the ball around to his receivers through three games, including that 51-yard touchdown to [Devin] Smith in Week 2. The Saints have talent in the secondary, but it’s worth noting they’re 31st in explosive plays allowed (20 yards or more), including 14 in the passing game.”
Through three games, quarterback Dak Prescott has posted a career-high 9.8 yards per pass, up from 7.4 last year. Prescott’s completed a total of 13 passes beyond 20-yards (tied for 8th) and just three passes beyond 40-yards (also tied for 8th). Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes tops both categories with 18 passes beyond 20-yards and eight passes beyond 40-yards.
The Dallas Cowboys’ best weapon to defeat the New Orleans Saints might be on the sideline. Wide receiver Michael Gallup was averaging 17.4 yards per catch before suffering a knee injury in Week Two. Former second-round burner Devin Smith will take Gallup’s place, and he’s no slouch averaging 22.6 per catch himself. Although that’s on just five receptions so far this season.