Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens pits two division leaders against one another, as both teams look to build upon their respective cushions in the NFC East and AFC North. The Cowboys boast the best record in football at 8-1 while the Ravens are fortunate to sit atop the North with a mediocre 5-4 record. The differences between these two squads don’t end there, though. Dallas has arguably the best offense in the league while the Ravens struggle to score on a weekly basis thanks to Joe Flacco’s inefficiency this season. The biggest discrepancy between the Cowboys and Ravens, however, is in the running game.
Dallas leads the NFL in rushing, averaging 161 yards per game on the ground. The Ravens are No. 1 against the run, allowing just 71.3 yards per game and 3.3 yards per carry. The Ravens will need to get off to a good start. They’d be smart to receive the opening kickoff (assuming they win the coin toss) and put pressure on the Cowboys right out of the gate. The Ravens aren’t explosive offensively and have punted more than any team in the NFL, but if they’re going to score on the Cowboys, it better be early.
If the Ravens are able to drive down the field and score on the opening possession, it won’t ensure them a victory, but it’ll be as great of a start as they could ask for. It would put the ball in Dak Prescott’s hands, forcing him to respond with a touchdown drive of his own. Driving 70-plus yards against the Ravens’ stout D won’t be easy. And with Tony Romo expected to be active and in pads on the sidelines, you’d be foolish to think there wouldn’t be added pressure in front of the home crowd to drive down and score a touchdown of his own.