The Cincinnati Bengals make their first trip to AT&T Stadium to face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5. The Bengals have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown this season, will league-leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott be the first? Cowboys Blitz writers share their Week 5 predictions below.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
Sunday, Oct. 9, 4:25 p.m. ET
AT&T Stadium, Arlington Texas
Laurie: The toughest test yet for the Prescott-lead Cowboys, who are set to welcome back DeMarcus Lawrence to add much needed explosion off the edge. However, Cincinnati has some big-time Bengals returning themselves in the secondary, so it will be fascinating to see how Williams, Beasley and Butler are deployed to keep the chains moving. Geno Atkins will do his best to disrupt Dak’s dream start. Flipping to the other side, Airplane Mo will need to been in full flight when A.J. Green comes his way, while this may be the moment for Byron Jones to climb the ladder against the Bengals tall top cat. D-Law ignites the Dallas line with Collins, Crawford and McClain enough to cause Andy Dalton issues, as holes in Cincinnati’s run blocking turns their offense one-dimensional. Cowboys 20, Bengals 17.
Bobby: Cincinnati is arguably the most physical team Dallas has faced up to this point, the Bengals also present the greatest passing game threat the Cowboys have seen through five games. Taking those two factors into account, I think this will be a rather long and frustrating day for the Cowboys. I anticipate Cincinnati putting the Cowboys in a number of 3rd and long situations, causing Dak Prescott to look mortal and likely force some bad throws. I believe this will be the game that Prescott finally turns the ball over. If the Cowboys can jump out to an early lead and feed Zeke 25+ times, they have a shot. But I think Tyler Boyd has a breakout game here and the Bengals ultimately leave Dallas with a victory. Bengals 24, Cowboys 13.
Jonah: The Cincinnati Bengals are better than any team the Dallas Cowboys have faced yet, and I believe that will show on Sunday. I am not going to count out Dak Prescott having another great game this week, but it is only a matter of time before he throws his first interception. If Ezekiel Elliott fails to find a rhythm early on, this game could get ugly if Prescott is forced to chase from behind. Call me pessimistic, but I just do not see any way Dallas is going to be able to stop this offense. Even with DeMarcus Lawrence returning from a suspension, Andy Dalton is going to have all day to throw the football. I think with Eifert out of this game, Byron Jones will help Morris Claiborne over the top with AJ Green, opening up opportunities for other playmakers in the Cincinnati offense. One player in particular that will hurt the Cowboys is running back Giovani Bernard, as Dallas has struggled in the past with pass-catching backs. I am astounded as to what Dak Prescott has been able to do this season as a rookie quarterback, but I have a feeling this is the game where the Cowboys miss the presence of Tony Romo the most. Bengals 31, Cowboys 14
Cami: There’s no question that this is the toughest matchup yet for Dallas, on both sides of the ball. The Bengals pose a much greater passing threat than what the Cowboys defense has seen recently with Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer, and Kirk Cousins. On the opposite side, rookie Dak Prescott will be facing a stiff front seven from Cincinnati, which is worrisome due to the injuries and constant shuffling along the Cowboys offensive line this week. Dallas needs to get ahead early, control the ball and time of possession, and hope to ride it out with rookie Ezekiel Elliott. If Cincinnati forces the Cowboys to be one-dimensional, making Prescott beat them with his arm, I don’t see that playing out well for the Cowboys. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what I see happening. The Bengals squeak by after 10 days of rest with a close win. Bengals 34, Cowboys 21