Highlighting the three players that will be most important if Dallas wants a win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 4.
Unexpected on the course of the season so far, Chaz Green has been able to stay healthy at LG for every offensive snap through the first three games. Having a tough Week one matchup against Damon Harrison, and noticing the fits Domata Peko of the Broncos gave the Cowboys interior OL, a major cause for concern is called for Green as he will lineup against Aaron Donald. With a sack and 5 combined tackles on the season, Donald’s speed, strength, versatility, are generational, making him a nightmare for any lineman in the league. Ranking 22nd in the league for yards, and 25th in points, a push from Green and the rest of the OL, could set Dallas up for major points in a game that they should win.
Seeing news break that Sean Lee could miss this game due to a hamstring issue, the Cowboys LB core, and defense as a whole takes a huge loss. Leading the team in tackles at 25, with 23 of those being solo, Lee’s pursuit of the ball helps tremendously in the running game and being able to chase down players from the weak-side. Replacing Lee will likely be Justin Durant, and expect Damien Wilson to see more playing time. But Smith’s play will be extremely crucial in Dallas having a successful day on defense. Having Gurley on the opposite side, and McVay controlling a revamped offense, Smith will have to trust his instincts and athleticism as he runs side to side.
Fully healthy, Lawrence has erupted through the first three games and dominated in a way that sits him atop of the NFL in sacks at 6.5. As the Dallas secondary seems to be the most troubled part of the defense so far, generating pressure against anyone helps every level of the team. Being a left defensive end, Lawrence will not have to rush against newly acquired LT Andrew Whitworth, but will stack up against RT Andrew Havenstein, who has not allowed a sack on the season. Also, granted two of their three games have come against lesser opponents, Goff has excelled with and without pressure, but pressure remains a necessity for any team.
Highest passer rating in the NFL under pressure through 3 weeks:
1. Tom Brady 148.6
2. Alex Smith 123.2
3. Jared Goff 98.9
— Zoltán Buday (@PFF_Zoltan) September 27, 2017
Struggling to get much going in the running game, McVay will test the secondary of Dallas, and Lawrence has to remain at this level.
Bradford ruled out for third straight week