• Brian L. Barefield

Attention To Orders: 5 things to look for in the Show Down between the Texans & Cowboys

I have a friend that was born on February 29th and when that day rolls around every 4 years she celebrates for the 3 previous years. Most Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys fans feel the exact same way as fans from both teams look to party for the next 4 years when their team wins. The two teams have faced each other every 4 years starting with the inaugural game back in 2002 when the Texans first came into the league. On that day, Houston defeated Dallas by a score of 19 – 10. Since then the Texans have gone 0-3 against them with the last meeting going into overtime and the Cowboys winning 20 -17. There are 5 things I will look for in this nationally televised game on NBC between the inter-state rivals: 1. How will the offensive line of the Texans be able to protect D. Watson? Watson was sacked 7 times on last week versus the Colts and has been constantly on the run in all 4 games he has played in this season. RT Kendall Lamm will do his best to stop NFL sack leader and All-Pro DE DeMarcus Lawrence, but that is easier said than done. The Cowboys defense is ranked 5thin the league and love to run a lot of different stunts on defense. 2. Will the Cowboys be able to stop JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney? Clowney was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month, while his teammate Watt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month. With the All-Pro T Tyron Smith not playing on an elite level for the Cowboys anymore, Clowney should have a good game. While on the other side, JJ Watt will be going against La’el Collins who is still learning to play that position in the NFL. The former sack leader should give Collins problems all game. 3. Which Dak Prescott will show up tonight? The Cowboys starting quarterback has struggled this year with consistency, but on last week against the Lions he looked as though he was finally putting it all together. Prescott led the Cowboys on a game winning drive where he looked very calm and poised by finding the right players to help set up the game winning FG. What worries me is the aforementioned Watt and Clowney applying pressure on him. If that happens, look for him to regress back to his form from previous games this season. 4. Can Ezekiel Elliott be stopped? The NFL leading rusher at 106.5 yds a game comes in looking to become more involved in the passing game as well for the Cowboys. One thing the Texans struggle at is containing the back out of the backfield. Elliott will put a lot of pressure on LB’s Bernardrick McKinney and Zach Cunningham. 5. Will the Texans put together a complete game? Houston has failed to put together two complete halves of football this season, but when they do they will be a very dangerous team to deal with. Slow starts have plagued them all season and if they have one this game they may not be able to recover. Watson will look to keep his streak of 300 yards passing a 2-td’s going which would be a great boost for the Texans offense. It will be a very interesting game with both teams needing wins to keep their playoff hopes alive. One thing I know for sure. Whichever team wins this game, their fans will have bragging rights in the state of Texas for the next 4 years.

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