We saw a few things in Week 1 that should worry Cowboys fans a bit heading into Sunday’s game in Nashville, but here are the three reasons you should expect a victory over the Titans.
Dallas’ Run Game
San Francisco was down a couple of All-Pro front-seven defenders, but the Cowboys offensive line looked legit.
Dallas averaged 5.5 yards per rush last Sunday, which is a full yard more per rush than their average last season. For reference, Seattle rushed for 5.6 yards per attempt against Green Bay last week. The best way to look at it, though, is that Murray was the first 100-yard rusher against San Francisco since Marshawn Lynch in 2012.
Jason Garrett probably thought his team would have to pass to set up the run last weekend. After reviewing Sunday’s tape, he’d be wise to lean on running back DeMarco Murray and bring balance to the offense.
They way Dallas’ defensive line played might have been the biggest surprise of the game.
The Cowboys front didn’t dominate against San Francisco, but they definitely flashed. Defensive tackle Henry Melton and defensive end Jeremy Mincey were especially impressive, making All-Pros Joe Staley and Mike Iupati look foolish several times.
The defensive front was supposed to be a sieve, but they held the Niners to 4.2 yards per rush, less than their 2013 average of 4.4. Based on last season's play, Tennessee's offensive line is a step down.
It Was Just One Week
Because we only get one game per week, NFL fans are the most reactionary.
Even if Tony Romo’s physical skills are eroding, he still has the ability to be a better-than-average quarterback. It looks like he lost some arm strength, but he can easily make up for that by stepping into his throws.
Tennessee’s defense looked much improved against a playoff team that looked awful. The Cowboys secondary looked lost.
Some of these NFL surprises might stick, but it’s more likely that performance will revert to the mean. At least slightly. If that happens, look for the Cowboys to get their first win of the season on the road Sunday.