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Keys to Victory

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Keys to Victory: Make Rookie QB Pass 30+ Times


The Commanders will win if…

Ron Rivera's squad is playing for pride, but that does not mean the Commanders will hand the Cowboys an easy win. Sam Howell is making his debut as an NFL starter, and the Commanders will attempt to help him utilizing a dynamic running game that features Brian Robinson as a workhorse. If the Commanders can establish the running game early, the three-headed monster on the perimeter could put on a show against the Cowboys' short-handed defensive backfield. Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson can win on the outside, and Howell must give each of them a chance to work over an over-matched corner in space.

If the Commanders' offense can put some points on the board while draining the clock on long, slow possessions, the star-studded defense could make life miserable for Dak Prescott and Co. without bringing unnecessary blitzes and pressures. If the Commanders are able to attack with a four-man rush and maximum coverage in the back end, it will be hard for the Cowboys to generate enough points and explosive plays to knock off their rival.

The Cowboys will win if…

Mike McCarthy's squad will chalk up another win if they take care of business from the start. The Cowboys have enough firepower at the line of scrimmage and on the perimeter to get after the Commanders utilizing a balanced attack that is built around the talents of Ezekiel Elliott and CeeDee Lamb. With Prescott beginning to develop a solid connection with TY Hiltion, the Cowboys' offense has enough star power to overwhelm the Commanders by utilizing complementary passes to attack down the field.

Defensively, the Cowboys will need to ramp up the energy and effort to create chaos for the Commanders at the line of scrimmage. If the Cowboys can stop Brian Robinson early and force Sam Howell to throw 30-plus times, the rookie will eventually make an egregious error that leads to a key turnover. Considering how turnovers have plagued Commanders in recent weeks, the Cowboys should attack the inexperienced quarterback with a barrage of blitzes that make the game a turnover festival.

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