This Thursday the Dallas Cowboys (5-5) will be hosting the Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) during the celebration of the great American holiday of Thanksgiving. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on CBS while we enjoy an unbelievable combination of family, food and football.
I don’t want to admit it but I’ll say it, the Dallas Cowboys just may not be that good. Dallas’ last two games have been horrendous beat-downs where they have looked like a completely inferior team. I know, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee and Ezekiel Elliott‘s absences have been a GIGANTIC part of that, but let’s face the facts, the Cowboys haven’t even been able to compete.
There are many reasons as to why this team is not reaching expectations. I believe the biggest is the lack of in-game adjustments. At halftime of their past two games, Dallas was losing by three and winning by two, respectively. In the second halves of these games, Dallas has been outscored 47-0.
That is not a mistype. As soon as halftime hits, the Dallas Cowboys become severely lost. I am not sure what is discussed in the locker room, but it isn’t anything constructive. And this isn’t just a past two game occurrence, these woes have been present all year.
It certainly isn’t time to start talking about running Jason Garrett out of town, but we have to call a spade a spade. The play-calling and adjustments simply have not been up to par. It seems as if opponents are two steps ahead of Dallas after halftime.
Last week Dak Prescott had his worst game as a professional and it’s not even close. I’ve written numerous times that without Ezekiel Elliott behind him, Dak would be able to prove himself capable of running the offense. Am I still confident in his abilities? Yes, but my optimism has been significantly drained. Losing arguably the best left tackle in football is obviously going to hurt, but Dak has just looked lost. In fact, the entire offense has been horrifyingly stagnant.
The road doesn’t get much easier either, as the Los Angeles Chargers rank eighth in the league in points allowed per game and pass yards allowed per game. The Chargers have been turning over a new leaf after starting 0-4, going 4-2 since then. They are riding a huge wave of momentum after a gigantic win against the Buffalo Bills last week, with a final score of 54-24.
Both teams are trending in opposite directions. In fact, Las Vegas seems to think the same as the Chargers are favored in the contest by 2.5 points. The Cowboys being underdogs at home on Thanksgiving sounds like some sick twisted joke, but unfortunately that is the reality we have found ourselves in. Dallas’ season may very well depend on the outcome of this game.
Dallas’ defense has been in deep trouble ever since Sean Lee’s injury in Atlanta. The Cowboys currently rank 20th in points allowed, and 26th in pass yards allowed per game. Teams just know how to get through the defense and Phillip Rivers will certainly be ready to air the ball out. It is absolutely crucial that Dallas’ pass rush can create enough of a presence to keep Rivers from hitting stride in order to help the young secondary. I fear that if this game turns into a shootout where LA lights the scoreboard up, the Cowboys will not be able to keep pace.
Regardless, this Thanksgiving day game means so much to the Dallas Cowboys franchise. When you consider the fact that this game has a major impact on their year moving forward, I see the Cowboys fighting hard to win a very close, competitive match.
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 24 – LA Chargers 17
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