FRISCO, Texas – Finally, a game again.
After two postponements due to a previous rise in COVID-19 cases on the Ravens' roster, Cowboys-Ravens is on for Tuesday night in Baltimore. Will the Cowboys get back on track after their Thanksgiving Day defeat to Washington, or will the Ravens end their three-game losing streak?
The DallasCowboys.com staff makes their predictions for Week 13:
Kyle Youmans: Last week really ruined the momentum I had for picking the Cowboys. It looked like a solid selection early on, but with the compiling injuries and the inability to finish four straight quarters, it's tough to say I could pick them again. Especially since the reigning MVP is on his way back, and the Cowboys have seen the depth on their offensive line and their secondary shrink, I think the Ravens have a chance to jumpstart their offense. Baltimore is not a bad team. It's a team that's lost four of its last five games but needs just one to find their swagger from a 5-1 start and a 14-2 record last season. Give me the Ravens in this one, 31-20.
Nick Eatman: This game just comes down to trust. As much as I think a lot of rest will help the Cowboys and we all can see the struggles Baltimore is having, it's hard to come up with a scenario that has the Cowboys winning the game. The Ravens played very shorthanded and gave the Steelers a tough game. I guess you could say the same for Dallas a few weeks earlier. But if the Ravens can get a lot of key players back, including Lamar Jackson, it just seems like it would be enough to win this game. The Cowboys are going to have to do everything possible to try and stop the run. As crazy as this sounds with a reigning MVP, but they have to let Lamar Jackson beat them, especially with his arm. We'll see if he's back to 100 percent again with his running ability. All in all, the Ravens need to win this one to stay alive in the playoff race and I see that happening with a 23-12 win.
David Helman: I completely understand why Lamar Jackson's status is going to be the main headline for this game, but I'm way more concerned about Baltimore's defense. The Ravens are also getting Calais Campbell and Pernell McPhee back from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and that sounds like bad news for a decimated Dallas offensive line. I worry about Ezekiel Elliott's ability to find running room against this group, and I have a bad feeling that Andy Dalton is going to get hit a lot. It's easy to imagine a sack/fumble turning into easy Baltimore points. I don't think this is going to be a particularly pretty game. Jackson, Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have all been out for a while, so maybe there's a rust factor involved. Regardless, I think the Baltimore defense is capable of carrying the day and helping the Ravens grind out a 23-10 win to drop the Cowboys to 3-9.
Rob Phillips: If Lamar Jackson indeed starts Tuesday as reports suggest, he's obviously a difficult matchup for Dallas. I do think this will be a competitive game. The Cowboys have had time to recharge physically as well as emotionally after Markus Paul's passing. The Ravens have had so much instability with their lineup recently due to their COVID challenges, so I don't think you can predict this game purely off what's on paper. That said, Baltimore's front seven will challenge the communication on the Cowboys' shuffled offensive line because of the different looks they show. Combine that with Jackson's ability to beat you with his arm and feet, and the Ravens are the pick. Just don't discount a Cowboys team that's more rested with a lot more time to prepare.
Mickey Spagnola: No surprise, the Ravens have activated Lamar Jackson off Reserve/COVID-19, so that will compound the Cowboys' defensive problems since the quarterback also is their leading rusher with 575 yards. And why wouldn't the Ravens just run, run, run, since the Cowboys are last against the run, giving up 156 yards a game, just one less than the Ravens' average per game running the ball. The Cowboys must keep someone in the box capable of running with Jackson, and should bet the house to stop the run and force Jackson with only one full practice leading up to the game to beat them throwing the ball. Leighton Vander Esch needs to buckle up his chin strap if the Cowboys are to have any chance to stop the run.