Even after a demoralizing defeat to the Seattle Seahawks last weekend, the Cowboys enter Week 3’s home matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the clear-cut favorites.
The Cowboys made a couple early mistakes at CenturyLink Field and before they could realize what was going on they were already down 10-0 after five minutes.
You never want to put yourself in such a hole on the road, especially in Seattle, where the home-field advantage is serious.
Because Dallas was playing from behind from the start, they never had a chance to settle down into their regular offense. DeMarco Murray, who normally gets plenty of work, only had 12 rushes and 16 total touches on the ball.
That’s key because the Cowboys always seem to win when they get Murray the ball at least 20 times.
Expect their starting running back to get his well-deserved workload against a Buccaneers defense that was destroyed by the New York Giants in Week 2.
Tony Romo is going to have be a little sharper as well. He was only 23-of-40 in the loss to the Seahawks, throwing one touchdown and one interception. While Romo was able to spread the ball around to seven different receivers, he wasn’t nearly as efficient as he was in Week 1 against the Giants.
Defensively, the Cowboys have to be better at stopping the run. They’ve been great at limiting big passing plays (160.0 YPG), but have allowed 132.0 YPG on the ground through the first two matchups.
Assuming Romo and company can avoid mistakes early on and follow through with their gameplan, Dallas should be able to win pretty handily, though whether or not they have it in them to cover a nine-point spread on the NFL odds board remains to be seen.