Back in the late 1990s, the Bills and Cowboys were two of league's perennially elite contenders, meeting twice in the Super Bowl. NFL fans know Buffalo's history, so they know how those contests turned out (not well), but things are looking rosy again in western New York.
Though the Bills dropped a rough game at home to the New York Jets in Week 9, they are still tied atop the AFC East with the New England Patriots and Gang Green at 5-3. Those two teams square off in a battle of their own this week, so Buffalo could be one of two teams left standing with a win in Big D.
Unfortunately, things are not off to a good start—the 'Pokes came out of the gates clicking on all offensive and defensive cylinders, and they haven't slowed down too much.
Meanwhile, the Bills stumbled out of the gates and have yet to find much semblance of a stride.
I'm not gonna lie, it's gonna take a minor miracle for Buffalo to make a game of this, but here are five things that absolutely must happen in addition to that miracle:
1. Uh, Cover Somebody?
It's obviously easier said than done, but sweet Jesus, can someone in the Bills secondary put a body on a Dallas wide receiver? Dez Bryant, Laurent Robinson, Jesse Holley and the entire receiving corps is running wild.
That's gotta change.
2. Put Some Warmth on Tony Romo
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo didn't throw an incompletion until well into the second quarter and was rarely, if ever, troubled in the pocket. So as poorly as the secondary has played, you've gotta put some of the blame on the pass rush because Romo's had all the time in the world to pick apart the defensive backs.
Again, that's gotta change.
3. Prove That Stevie Johnson Is on the Field
The Bills' best wide receiver, Stevie Johnson, was a total non-factor in the first half. If Buffalo comes back in the second half, it will clearly have to do so via the air.
So it would be a big help if Johnson showed up.
4. Rest Fred Jackson
Bills running back Fred Jackson has been a workhorse thus far in the 2011-12 season—his 151 rushing attempts entering the game were good for seventh most in the NFL, as were his 30 receptions (amongst RBs).
If the momentum of the game doesn't change drastically out of the second-half gates—as in the first 10 minutes—it's probably a good time to give the big fella a rest because...
5. Seduce the Gods or Lady Luck
Whatever your faith—whether it's religion or superstition—do what you gotta do. Get on your knees and pray, cross your fingers, rub your rabbit's foot, get that emergency lucky jersey, whatever.
The Buffalo Bills ain't winning this game by conventional means.