I’ll break down the three most important keys to a Patriots win against the Dallas Cowboys.
1. Protect Tom Brady: This will usually be a key every week for every game for the Patriots. If Brady has time he will be effective no matter the defensive scheme. Secondary players can’t cover forever if the defensive ends can’t get to the opposing team’s QB. Nate Solder will have to keep Greg Hardy off of Tom Brady to ensure success for the offense.
2. Stop The Run: Stopping the run on defense is just as important as protecting Tom Brady on the offensive side of the ball. The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and they are very good at run blocking, which happens to be the weakness so far of the Pats defense. The Pats can’t let the run-heavy and run-often Dallas team do what they want to. They have to force the Cowboys to beat them by throwing the football.
3. Contain Jason Witten: If the Pats defense can stop the run, the second most important thing they can do is stop Jason Witten, or at least slow him down. He’s the guy Weeden throws to the most and on almost every pass play, he’s the number one read for Brandon Weeden. If the Pats can take him away and force Weeden to go through reads, it will favor the Pats defense. If they can do this and stop the run, the Patriots should win the game.