Keys to Victory

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Keys To Victory: Cowboys Need To Keep It "Clean" 

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The Giants are having the worst time scoring points, while the Cowboys can't seem to keep teams off the scoreboard.

What gives this week? Let's look at the keys to victory for both teams.

The Giants will win if…

The Giants will win if their defense continues to play with the effort, energy, toughness, and discipline that they've displayed on tape in recent weeks. This is a hard-working unit with a collection of "try hard" guys attempting to play as a team. Leonard Williams, Kyler Fackrell, and Blake Martinez are the keys to the frontline. Each defender is capable of delivering a key stop in a critical moment to halt a drive or create a turnover. They will need to control the Cowboys' running game to force Dak Prescott into the long-yardage situations that have resulted in a few turnovers.

Offensively, Jason Garrett must find a way to help this unit score 20-plus points. The Giants are coming off back to back games with fewer than 10 points and their inability to put anything on the board crushes the overall confidence of the team. The former Cowboys' head coach needs to help Daniel Jones regain his confidence after a slow start that has featured a number of miscues and blunders from the second-year quarterback. Garrett needs to add some pre-snap motion and shifts to the plan to help Jones identify coverage and spot a weakness in the Cowboys' defense, particularly on a deep throw to Darius Slayton on the outside.

Keep an eye on Devonta Freeman as the Giants' lead runner. He spent the entire week reviewing the Browns' tape and could see this game as an opportunity to pop a 100-yard game against a defense that's struggled against the run. If the Giants can discover a little offense on Sunday, they could make this very competitive battle between division rivals.

The Cowboys will win if…

The Cowboys will roll over the Giants if they play a "clean" game on both sides of the ball. If they are able to eliminate the turnovers, pre-snap penalties, and blown assignments, they will overwhelm the Giants with their superior talent. That said, the offense must come up with a plan that plays to their strengths (passing game) while also keeps their best player (Ezekiel Elliott) engaged in the game. Despite the significant advantages on the perimeter due to their five-star WR corps, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has to give Elliott enough carries to help the Cowboys control the game (time of possession) and protect the defense (reduce the number of defensive snaps).

That doesn't necessarily mean that Moore should scale back on the throwing with Prescott but he must remember to keep No.21 involved as a runner to balance out the team's offensive plan.

On defense, Mike Nolan simply needs to get his unit to play hard and avoid freelancing. The Cowboys didn't fly to the ball or hustle at a high level in Week 4. That has to change against a Giants' offense that lacks legitimate firepower on the outside. This is the perfect week for Nolan to get the team back on track with their fundamentals utilizing a scaled-down game plan that helps each defender play fast and free between the lines. If the Cowboys avoid the blown coverage and flawed execution that's led to big plays, particularly in the passing game, they should be able to beat up on a Giants' team that lacks the star power to compete.

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The Cowboys are back at AT&T Stadium next Sunday, October 11th to take on their rivals, the New York Giants. A limited number of tickets are on sale now. Get yours now before they sell out!

Details on all of the health and safety procedures you can expect at AT&T Stadium this season can be viewed at www.DallasCowboys.com/safestadium.

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