The Dallas Cowboys face a huge test after their embarrassing loss in Week 4 as they take on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Tony Romo’s five interceptions in Dallas’ 34-18 drubbing by the Chicago Bears left many questions to be asked. Romo is on pace for the worst passer rating of his career, and currently stands at 78.5, when he’s never had a rating lower than 95.1 when’s he played an entire season.
Romo is also tied for third with eight interceptions this season, but the Cowboys are 4th in the league passing, averaging 296.3 yards per game.
Some of the blame rests on Romo, but the Dallas offensive line must make strides to protect him and open up holes for the league's 30th ranked running game. DeMarco Murray hasn’t rushed for more than 44 yards since the Cowboys Week 1 victory over the New York Giants.
Relief may come Sunday as center Phil Costa is set to make his return after missing the last three games with a bad back.
Costa’s return and Dallas’s No. 1 ranked pass defense could pay dividends against a Ravens team fresh off their worst offensive showing all season.
Quarterback Joe Flacco threw for a season low 187 yards and a 55.6 passer rating in Baltimore’s 9-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
The Ravens were averaging around 30 points per game before facing the Chiefs, but only managed three field goals and the offensive line allowed Flacco to be sacked four times for a loss of 22 yards. Ray Rice was the lone bright spot, rushing for 102 yards.
Baltimore’s defense picked up the slack by intercepting quarterback Matt Cassel twice and stripping him for two fumbles. Their only flaw was allowing running back Jamaal Charles to rush for 140 yards on the day.
The Ravens are 20th in the league against the run, and the Cowboys will try to exploit that weakness throughout the game.
The game begins at 1 p.m. EDT and will be shown by FOX, or watch a live stream online by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Betting Odds: Baltimore is favored by 3.5 points
Over/Under: 44 points
Prediction: This is a must win game for the Cowboys in order to keep up with New York and Philadelphia in the NFC East standings. Murray should have his best game since Week 1, and Romo will remind the league why he is still a passer to be feared. Flacco may have an even worse game then he did last week against Kansas City, placing the pressure on Rice, who hasn’t had back-to-back 100 yard rushing games since Week 14 last season. Dallas should win the game on the last possession and keep their season alive.
Predicted Score: Dallas 27, Baltimore 21