The Dallas Cowboys look for their second two-game winning streak of the 2011-12 NFL season. Standing in their way are the upstart Buffalo Bills, owners of a 5-3 record and part of a three-way struggle for the AFC East division lead.
The 'Pokes aren't sitting in quite as nice a spot, but at 4-4 and only a couple games off the NFC East pace, they're very much in the thick of the postseason conversation.
With a win over Buffalo at home, Dallas would make a statement before the team heads into a very winnable three-game stretch. The Cowboys head to Washington in Week 11 for a tilt with the anemic Redskins, host the woeful Miami Dolphins in Week 12 and then visit the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13.
It's realistic to say a "W" against the Bills—and so far, so good on that front—could propel the 'Pokes to an 8-4 record heading into Week 14.
And that has to put a smile on the faces of Cowboy fans considering the unsteady season they've watched to date.
You can't really call these adjustments given how the first half has unfolded. Dallas has basically had its way with the overmatched Bills, so let's call these five things the Cowboys must keep doing to salt away the victory:
1. Protect the Rock
As the game wears on, it's becoming evident that the only way Buffalo can get back in this game is if the Cowboys turn the ball over. If Dallas can avoid the self-inflicted wounds, it's nighty-night for the Bills.
2. Keep That Clock Running
At this point, the 'Pokes are hitting in all phases of the game—offense, defense and even special teams to a lesser degree. Since the D is in no danger of folding, points are almost a secondary concern to taking large chunks of time off that clock.
3. Feed the Beast
The Cowboys seem to have found an answer to their longstanding question mark at running back. DeMarco Murray looks very much like the real deal and it's been no different against Buffalo. The big back has been running roughshod over the Bills defense in the first 30 minutes.
No reason for that to change.
4. Get Jason Witten a Score
Because I own him in one of my fantasy leagues.
5. Pull the A-Team ASAP
No sense in getting anyone hurt in a blowout so that means an early shower (figuratively) for quarterback Tony Romo, Murray, wide receiver Dez Bryant and even some of the studs on defense...if they'll agree to get out of the game, of course.
But not Witten, he needs a touchdown first.