Top 6 storylines for Bills-Cowboys this week

1222-storylines-dallas.jpg


1. CAN THE LEAGUE'S TOP RUNNING ATTACK KEEP IT GOING FOR TWO MORE WEEKS?

The Bills bring the NFL's top rushing attack to the field this week. They're averaging 149-yards per game through 14 games, and averaging 4.9 yards per carry, also best in the league. But they're likely to be without running back LeSean McCoy this week. He left Sunday's game in Washington with a knee injury.

The burden falls on rookie Karlos Williams and backup Mike Gillislee to keep the chains moving. And don't forget about quarterback Tyrod Taylor. He's got 450 yards rushing this year, second only to Seattle's Russell Wilson. Buffalo averages 30.4 rushes per game this year, highest in the AFC.

Two years ago, the Bills finished 2nd in the league in rushing yards per game.

2. WILL BUFFALO'S DEFENSE GET ON TRACK AND IN TUNE?

It's too late for the playoffs, but it's too late for the Bills underperforming defense to begin to set a standard for the future. Buffalo's 21st ranked defense is without many key players this week, but the Bills issues on defense seem are more about process and scheme than talent right now.

Linebacker Preston Brown, the defensive signal-caller, says the last two games provide the Bills defense an opportunity to get their act together.

"We have to understand that everybody has to be working as one and we haven't done that this year," Brown said Tuesday. "Everybody has been kind of doing their own agenda on our side of the ball. So it's something that we need to get covered and handle these last couple of games and years down the road."

3. THE BILLS FUTURE MAY BE ON DISPLAY

With the playoffs out of the picture, and with injuries dotting the lineup, the Bills are in position to take a look at some of their young, emerging talent in the final two regular season games. Head Coach Rex Ryan would not rule it out this week.

"That's a possibility," Ryan told the media Monday. "But the priority is to try to win the game, that's the priority. Is there a chance that we'll see some guys that we haven't seen a whole lot of? That's a possibility."

This year's 7th round draft pick Dezmin Lewis from Central Arkansas got the call up from the practice squad this week in order to get in some live reps in the regular season, with Robert Woods season likely over with a knee injury.

"Probably a good chance of that," Ryan confirmed. "The young man's done a nice job on our practice squad so I think that would be a real possibility."

**

  1. MATT CASSEL RETURNS-TO BACK UP AT QB**

The Bills traded Matt Cassel to Dallas in September and he got 7 starts for the Cowboys in place of the injured Tony Romo. But his eighth start won't come in Orchard Park. Cassel was benched last Saturday night for Kellen Moore. And Moore will get the start against the Bills this Sunday.

Cowboys Owner/GM Jerry Jones says the team is looking forward to seeing whether Moore might be the answer next year as Romo's backup.

"We will have the opportunity for him to get in and get this experience, and that will help us," Jones says. "That will help us as far as what direction we decide to go, relative to backup quarterback."

5. HALL OF FAME TE TALENT IN THE HOUSE

It's just his second game all time at Ralph Wilson Stadium and at age 33, it's probably the last for Cowboys TE Jason Witten. Bills fans should take time to appreciate how good Witten has been over the years.

Two weeks ago, he caught his 1,000th career pass, joining Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends in NFL history to hit that mark. In his first visit to Buffalo, the infamous Monday Night game eight years ago, Witten was a handful.  He caught 9 passes for 103 yards and had one touchdown.

With Dallas QB Kellen Moore making his first NFL start this Sunday, look for Witten to provide a valuable target in the Cowboys passing game. He caught five passes against the Jets last Saturday.

6. ANOTHER SUPER BOWL REMATCH

For the third and final time this year, the Bills play a team that knocked them off in the Super Bowl two decades ago. The Cowboys did it twice, in Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII. In fact, it's been 19-years since the Bills have beaten the Cowboys,a string of three games.

Cowboys Defensive Backs Coach Jerome Henderson has a link to the Bills. He played for the Bills team that lost Super Bowl XXVIII in January 1994 in Atlanta.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising