By Abraham Gutierrez
Looking to extend their win streak to a season-high four games, the (8-5) New York Jets travel to the Lone Star State for a Week 15 clash with the lowly (4-9) Dallas Cowboys. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will be the site for this lopsided matchup between two teams heading in opposite directions.
Opening kickoff is scheduled for Saturday evening at 8:25 p.m. ET and it will be broadcast live on NFL Network. This week’s game marks the 11th meeting between these clubs, and to no one’s surprise, Dallas comes in leading the way 7-3-0.
However, the Jets were able to get one back the last time they met, defeating Dallas by a final score of 27-24 on Sept. 11, 2011 at MetLife Stadium. The win snapped Dallas two-game win streak.
Dallas Cowboys 2015 NFL Season
Injuries have taken a toll on the Cowboys hopes of a playoff berth, as this team starts Week 15 sitting in last place in the NFC East. With only three games left in the regular season, Dallas is 1-5 at home, 3-4 on the road and 3-2 versus divisional opponents.
With Tony Romo on the sidelines for most of the season, the Cowboys are 3-8 versus fellow NFC teams and 1-1 when facing AFC conference foes. They also come in fresh off a 7-28 loss to the Green Bay Packers, and have lost three of their last five games played.
Cowboys On Offense
Offensively, this team was expected to set the NFC East on fire with the addition of running back Darren McFadden, coupled with the one-two combo of Romo and wide receiver Dez Bryant. Ironically, Run DMC has been able to remain healthy for the majority of the season, while Bryant and Romo have suffered longtime injuries.
Thus, under offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, the Dallas offense comes into Week 15 as one of the worst attacks in the NFL except in one area. With McFadden being a factor, the Cowboys running game ranks 11th in the league, averaging 118.2 yards per game.
Unfortunately, for Cowboys fans, that’s where the good news ends, as the remaining three facets of this offense have left a lot to be desired. Dallas comes in ranked 28th in total yards per game (325.6), 29th in passing yards per contest (207.5), and a whopping 30th place in points scored (17.7).
Cowboys On Defense
Luckily for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, this team has done a much better job on the opposite side of the rock, despite not translating into victories. With 13 games in the history books, this defense has earned a ranking of fourth in the NFL in passing (221.1), ninth in total yards allowed (334.8), 16th in points surrendered (23.5) and 18th against the rush (113.8). There’s no question that with those types of numbers, Jets running back Chris Ivory is due to have a monster game out in Big D Saturday night.
Cowboys Players To Watch
The Cowboys offensive player to watch is bruising running back Darren McFadden, who’s on his way to a career year in his first season in Dallas. The former Raider comes into Week 15 with 798 yards on 192 carries and three touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the football, the Dallas players to watch have a knack for getting to opposing signal-callers. There’s no question that Todd Bowles and his staff must account for the following four players at all times: Demarcus Lawrence (6 sacks, 41 tackles), Greg Hardy (5.5 sacks, 26 tackles), Tyrone Crawford (4 sacks, 29 tackles) and Jack Crawford (4 sacks, 15 tackles).
Jets vs. Cowboys Outlook
There’s very little suspense as to which team should come out on top in this one, as home-field should no be much of a factor. Not only are the New York Jets superior seemingly in every statistical category, but they also have momentum on their side having won three straight games. Expect Gang Green’s bruising rushing attack to have a huge impact in this game, as Bowles & Co. should have little trouble extending their win streak and continuing their march towards the NFL playoffs.
Abe Gutierrez’s (Twitter: @GutierrezAbe) passion led him to ditch law school journey in order to launch his own publishing company. His expertise make him a valued addition to Examiner.com, AXS.com and the CBS-Sports family. Some of his work can be found on CBS-Miami (Dolphins), CBS-LosAngeles (Chargers), CBS-BayArea (Raiders), CBS-NewYork (NY Jets), CBS-TampaBay (Buccaneers), AXS.com, Examiner.com and other online publications.