Cowboys-Giants: Five things to watch

Posted Saturday, Sep. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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1Run commitment

One of the themes of training camp: a promise to run the ball better and run it more. Last season Tony Romo had the 10th-most pass attempts in NFL history, including 91 in two games against the Giants. How strong is the Cowboys’ commitment to the run, even if it’s not working?

2Turnover margin

Preventing them and getting them. Last year, the Cowboys forced only 16, the fewest in team history. It’s the reason they changed defensive coordinators. And they gave it away 29 times as Tony Romo matched his career high for interceptions with 19. The minus-13 turnover margin was fifth-worst in the NFL.

3Tight end use

The Cowboys invested in tight ends, drafting one in the second round (Gavin Escobar) and keeping another (Andre Smith) to add to what they had in Jason Witten and James Hanna. They can all catch the ball. Only Witten and Smith have reputations as blockers.

4Special teams play

It was not easy to watch in preseason, was it? Muffs. Blocks. Misses. Big returns allowed. Unnecessary roughness. The Cowboys said everything would be fine once they cut down to who would be playing special teams in the regular season. The regular season is here.

5Ware’s record chase

DeMarcus Ware is three sacks away from tying the team record of 114 held by Harvey Martin. For the first time, Ware will go for sacks as a defensive end. He’s up against veteran left tackle Will Beatty, but the Cowboys might also flip Ware to the other side against rookie Justin Pugh.

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