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Ravens must be wary of Cowboys early down passing

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Dallas could change up their strategy.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Most of the talk has been centered around Ezekiel Elliot and the dominant play of the Cowboys offensive line. However, against the Ravens this Sunday, the Cowboys could change up their strategy, taking a more pass-centric stance.

The lack of Ravens pass-rush could come back to bite them. On early downs, the Ravens will play their base defense personnel, typically Lawrence Guy, Brandon Williams, Timmy Jernigan and Terrell Suggs as the four rushers.

Against this lineup, the Cowboys will have time in the pocket. With zone coverages being basic on early downs, holes will be found, especially if the Ravens play their usual cover two. The 8 yard gain on first down could open up the Cowboys running game.

If the Cowboys take this approach, the Ravens would be better off playing nickel with Matt Judon in for Lawrence Guy, while Eric Weddle pushes closer to the line, taking a man-to-man or match-up zone out of cover three approach. Playing Weddle closer to the line of scrimmage will protect against the possibility of the run, and playing man-to-man on Jason Witten or Cole Beasley will protect against the easy quick outs and stop routes on early downs.

The Cowboys could choose to match strength with strength and try to bully the Ravens with their heavy packages, but I do not expect them to bang their collective heads against a wall.