Sunday’s game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens will be a test of wills.
The Ravens feature the NFL’s number one ranked defense, only allowing 71.3 yards rushing per game, while the Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott leads the league with 1,005 rushing yards.
Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh says the Dallas offensive line is the real difference-maker.
“It’s an excellent group, they know who they want to be. They’ve got the number one rushing offense in the league for a reason,” Harbaugh told the media Wednesday. “A lot of that reason is the offensive line, but the running back isn’t too bad either.”
Elliott knows that his big guys up front are helping pave the way to his breakout rookie season.
“We grind guys down,” said Elliott. “We know what we’re capable of, and we have unbelievable confidence in each other. Those guys, what they do for me, I can’t thank them enough.”
Elliott was electrifying in Pittsburgh last Sunday, rushing for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Elliott also took a screen pass from Dak Prescott 83 yards for another scintillating score, leading Dallas to the 35-30 victory over the Steelers.
The dazzling performance catapulted Elliott to the NFL Offensive Player of the Week, and the Ravens know the Cowboys’ offense will be a big test.
“They like to run the ball, we like to stop the run,” Ravens’ cornerback Jimmy Smith told CSNmidatlantic.com. “They’ve got some big-play receivers. We’re going to have our hands full.”
The Ravens defense has led them to consecutive wins over division rivals in the AFC North. Dallas coach Jason Garrett says defense has always been a staple in Baltimore.
“Their defense is different, part of the DNA of their organization is to be a great defensive team,” Garrett said. “They’re well-coached, they’ve got a lot of great football players, and they play the right way.”
Prediction Time: The dazzling Dallas duo of rookies struggle with a talented and exotic Baltimore defense. The Ravens make this a low-scoring battle in which field position is crucial. Prescott and Elliott make enough fourth quarter plays to pull one out late once again. The Cowboys head to Turkey Day with a 20-17 victory.