Cowboys bring NFL's No. 1 offense to Foxborough to face off with the Patriots' top-ranked defense
The Cowboys (6-4) have been a team of spurts in 2019. After starting the season with a three-game winning streak, they dropped three straight before winning three of their last four. That one loss was to a good Vikings team, and they only lost by four points.
The Patriots (9-1), on the other hand, have been perfect except for a brutal 37-20 road loss to the Ravens, who are considered one of — if not — the best teams in the NFL. New England is one of three teams with a point differential greater than 90, and their plus-179 figure leads all other teams by at least 34 points.
Dallas at New England
Kickoff: Sunday, Nov. 24 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Spread: Patriots -6.5
Three Things to Watch
1. The return of Patriots OL Isaiah Wynn
Wynn was the first of New England's first-round picks (No. 23 overall) in 2018. The Georgia product was supposed to step in for Nate Solder, who had left via free agency, to protect Tom Brady’s blindside, but Wynn missed his rookie season due to injury. To make matters worse, Wynn only made it through two starts in 2019 before another injury forced him onto the injured reserve for the second consecutive season. Now Wynn is back after being designated to return.
It will be interesting to see what type of impact he has on a Patriots offensive line that has been solid for most of the season, especially going against a formidable pass rush with DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, and former Patriot Michael Bennett. Without Wynn, the Patriots held opponents to just 17 sacks, which is fifth-lowest in the league.
2. Dallas offense vs. New England defense
Enough with the talk about Dallas defensive players versus New England offensive players. Let’s talk about what should be the most intriguing matchup of the day: the Cowboys’ offense against the Patriots’ defense. This will be a battle of the titans, as the Dallas offense leads the NFL in passing yards (312.6 ypg) and yards per play (6.7), while also being No. 7 in rushing yards (131.9 ypg) and No. 4 in scoring (28.6 ppg).
The Patriots certainly have the defense to match, however, as they rank first in scoring defense (10.8 ppg) and yards per play allowed (4.3). They also are No. 1 in passing defense (152.3 ypg) and No. 10 in rushing defense (97.3). It will be important for Dak Prescott to limit his turnovers, as the Patriots defense has done a fantastic job of capitalizing and turning them into points.
3. New England is thin at WR
Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon are gone. Newly acquired replacement for Gordon, former Falcon Mohamed Sanu, is banged up, and Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett have been limited at practice. Those developments leave New England relatively thin at wide receiver, especially with limited production from tight ends.
To make up for those potential losses, the team might need to rely on two rookie receivers, N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers, which could hurt or help. Harry is particularly intriguing as a 2019 first-round pick who made his season debut last week. Either way, the Patriots' offense will need to keep the chains moving if they want growing frustrations from Brady and others to cease.
The Cowboys are certainly capable of going on the road and getting a win against any team in the NFL, especially one that has been so streaky offensively like New England. But with that said, Bill Belichick and the Patriots have won 20 in a row at Gillette Stadium.
Combine that with Tom Brady's growing frustrations with the offense, and this is the perfect opportunity for New England to get back on track and assert its dominance on the rest of the league. The Cowboys keep it close but ultimately fall short of getting the upset victory. That 6.5-point line seems like a little too much, however.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Cowboys 20
— Written by Clint Lamb, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @ClintRLamb.