The Dallas Cowboys are the reigning NFL champions, but the team is coming off their worst season in a decade.
What’s the best way to beat them?
NFL.com examines the five key takeaways from this week’s edition of The Sport Bog.
Keep your eyes on the quarterback Dallas has a strong young quarterback in Dak Prescott.
He is entering his second season in the league.
However, he is a quarterback that many are not used to seeing.
Prescott was a big part of the Cowboys’ win over the Detroit Lions in the playoffs last year and was the starter at quarterback in their Super Bowl win over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in February.
Prescott, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, has been the star of this season.
He has completed 73.2 percent of his passes for 3,664 yards with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
The Cowboys were one of the best offenses in the NFL last year.
They ranked third in yards per play (11.3) and first in yards (3,065) in the regular season.
The offense ranked sixth in yards allowed per play allowed (9.7).
The Cowboys led the league in total offense and total yards.
It will be interesting to see if the Cowboys will be able to put Prescott in position to throw touchdowns this season, especially with their quarterback situation.
Prescott has thrown 11 touchdowns against just two interceptions.
Be a team player Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne has been one of his team’s leaders.
He recorded seven interceptions last season, a career high.
He will have to be a leader this season and is not only going to need to be the best cornerback in the NFC, but also be a team leader.
Claiborne has recorded eight interceptions in his last three games.
He should be counted on to make a big play in the secondary.
Play in the right place Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford has been a big reason why Dallas was so dominant against the Lions.
He had two sacks in the Cowboys playoff victory.
Crawford has also been a major factor in Dallas’ success against the Atlanta Falcons in the postseason.
Crawford will likely play a bigger role in this season’s NFC title game because of the strength of the Dallas secondary.
He played an instrumental role in Dallas’s defense when the Cowboys played the Giants in the divisional round last season.
Crawford is the team’s leader in tackles, passes defensed, quarterback hits and quarterback hurries.
Make sure you have the best player on the field Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been great in the passing game, but he needs to be better in the run game.
He needs to get more involved in the running game.
Prescott is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry, the lowest mark in the game.
With running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is also an excellent blocker, taking over the starting job, Prescott should have the opportunity to play more.
Look to run against the Cowboys Cowboys running backs Ezekiel Elliott (86 carries, 743 yards, 5 TDs) and DeMarco Murray (69 carries, 537 yards, 2 TDs) are two of the league’s best running backs.
Elliott is averaging 4.2 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and six receptions for 81 yards.
Murray has been even better with 4.7 yards per run with eight touchdowns and eight receptions for 106 yards.