The Dallas Cowboys get another shot at clinching the NFC East title when they host our beloved Buccaneers this Sunday. The Dallas Cowboys have been nearly unstoppable the second half of the season. They hired a new offensive line coach and acquired Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders. Yes, Christmas came early in the form of the Pro-Bowl wide receiver. Dallas has been running all over defenses this year with Zeke Elliot as well. The Buccaneers may be in for a world of hurt this Sunday.
Zeke Elliott has been racking up the yards this season with 1,349. He has also found the endzone six times. He ranks at the top of the list this year when it comes to rushing yards. He makes the game easier for quarterback Dak Prescott. The offensive line is making huge gaping holes for Elliott to run through as well. Last week Ezekiel Elliot couldn’t get the gears turning quick enough against the Indianapolis Colts, so look for the run game to get going early against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The run defense has gotten better this year with the acquisition of Jason Pierre-Paul, Vinny Curry, Carl Nassib, and Vita Vea (draft pick). The Bucs’ rushing defense ranks 27th in 2018 and has given up 1,794 yards and 17 touchdowns. Teams are averaging 4.8 yards per rush. They are giving up 128.1 yards per game. Can the Buccaneers pull together and stop the league’s best running back? It is going to take a group effort. The linebackers have to play fast, physical, and smart. The thing that makes Elliott an unusually dominant running back is his pass catching abilities out of the backfield. On any given play Zeke could take it to the house. He will be hard to contain for the Buccaneers’ front. Dallas has figured out that they have to get Elliott involved more if they want a chance to win the NFC East.
It is easy to say the Buccaneers have been a better defense since Duffner has taken over the duties. The linebackers and corners play more aggressively, but I believe that the Cowboys are just too much for this young Buccaneers’ secondary. It could get ugly in the second half if the Cowboys run the ball like I think they are going to this Sunday.
My prediction is Bucs 24 – Cowboys 41 and Elliott has 145 yards with 2 touchdowns.