This is another one of those games that can easily become a dogfight if the Cowboys allow it to happen. On the flip side, if the Cowboys play up to the level of their ability it should be a blowout. There is really no telling at this point which version of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys will show up this week. We've seen the impressive, dominant version in one game and a pretty disorganized, sloppy team in the rest of the games. If the Cowboys really expect to be a team who can make a run deep into the playoffs then games like the one on Sunday should be no trouble. It would be nice to see them dominate a clearly inferior team from start to finish for once. Here is what I think the Cowboys need to do to win the game:
1. Show up. I mean that literally and figuratively. Just stepping on the field gives them the edge in this game. But the Cowboys need to be there mentally as well. If they can come out focused and energized they should be able to jump out early and extend the lead from that point on.
2. Improve this week. In games like this it is important to come out with a purpose. Although the Seahawks do have enough talent to pull off the upset I think everyone realizes that the Cowboys will win if they play decent football. So the goals need to be higher than just winning. The team should be focusing on playing better football every week. This game should be no exception.
3. Take advantage of the weak offensive line of the Seahawks. The Cowboys should have a field day getting after Matt Hasslebeck, but they will have to force the Seahawks into obvious passing situations to expose the weakness. That means that they need to keep Julius Jones and the rest of the backs for Seattle bottled up. We have all seen first hand that Julius is capable of a big day, so they need to stop him early before he gets into a rhythm. If the Cowboys shut down the run they should put up an impressive sack total for the game.
4. Get the lead early and then grind it out. I would like to see the Dallas offense come out firing and establish a big lead before settling down to grind out the clock with the running game. It has been a few games since the running game has looked dominant and this is just the type of game they need to work out the kinks.
I have a great feeling going into this game. The players seem focused and I haven't heard mention from any coach or player about anything beyond the game Sunday. That is a good sign. The Cowboys should dominate and get the crowd heading home early. I predict a 34-13 victory for the Cowboys.