While we can't exactly say that the Dallas Cowboys are on a roll following last weekend's trouncing of the St. Louis Rams, it's important to note that the running game certainly did roll. Only Dallas' defensive performance outshined another dominant performance by starting running back DeMarco Murray against St. Louis. Murray totaled 175 yards on 26 carries and also picked up his first rushing touchdown of the season against St. Louis.
Week 4 brings another tough test in the form of Dallas' second road game against an AFC West opponent, this time in San Diego. A number of signs point to a big day for a Dallas offense that may be establishing exactly what it is in 2013.
For starters, Qualcomm Stadium isn't exactly a tough place to play. The weather is generally great and I'd bet that close to half of the fans in attendance on Sunday will be there to see the Cowboys. In other words, crowd noise will be a non-issue for a Dallas offense that still loves to throw the ball. I actually attended the last meeting between these two teams in San Diego and the number of Cowboys supporters in attendance was incredible. Things should be no different this time around.
San Diego still has quarterback Phillip Rivers but little else that should be of big concern to the Cowboys. The Chargers have a first-year head coach, a new general manager, lots of new offensive linemen—some not even healthy—and a former first-round draft choice at running back that has yet to break the end zone in 2013. Tight end Antonio Gates is a guy who needs to be accounted for, obviously.
I mention the state of the Chargers because this plays right into the hands of the Dallas offense, at least on paper. With the Cowboys defense playing the way it is right now, it's hard to imagine Rivers controlling this game like he might have in years past.
On the contrary, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has thrown just a single interception this season, and that one wasn't his fault. He's played well enough to put his Cowboys within two points of a 3-0 record this season. With Murray and his offensive line performing anywhere close to the way he did last week, I expect Romo to have plenty of opportunities to hit his array of weapons in the passing game.
Here's a look at how the Dallas offense should fare in sunny California on Sunday afternoon.
All stats courtesy of NFL.com