Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys: What makes this game interesting

Nov 8, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) reacts before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) reacts before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens play the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday. Here are some things to think about for the game:

The Baltimore Ravens need a win on Tuesday night against the Dallas Cowboys. That kind of goes without saying, as the Ravens have lost four of the last five and are trying to earn a playoff spot. Every game has become just about a must-win. The battle against the Cowboys is more than that.

The Ravens need to start trending in the right direction. They’ve seen things start to fall apart for them this year. In the first six weeks of the season, the Ravens scored 30 points or more five times. They haven’t scored 30 points since they beat the Philadelphia Eagles 30-28.

The Ravens haven’t gone into games with a ton of confidence. At the beginning of the year, they were favored to win just about every game. The Ravens came into the season as a team thought to be dominant. The Ravens aren’t going to get that level of respect back. They’ve sullied their reputation as a top contender.

That doesn’t mean the Ravens can’t be a dark horse team. That doesn’t mean all that potential is gone. The Ravens need a spark. The playoffs start now and the Dallas Cowboys are probably the easiest game they have left. The Cowboys have one of the worst defenses in the league. Their offense has a good bit of talent, yet the match-ups favor the Ravens if they can come into the game with most of their team intact.

Style points don’t matter but confidence does. If the Ravens scrape by it’s a troubling sign. If the Ravens knock the doors off of their opponent, that’s a reason for confidence. The Ravens need a spark, something to get things turned around again. If the Ravens can find a little excitement, this season can get fun again.

Dez Bryant is getting a second chance in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens. He was a Dallas Cowboys receiver for a long time. He didn’t get a happy ending to his career in Dallas, and now he gets to show his old team what he had left in the tank.

Dez Bryant has downplayed it. Of course, he did, that’s the only thing he really can do. Do you think Bryant doesn’t want this one a little more? Do you really think he doesn’t want to have a huge game on Tuesday evening? Motivation won’t be a problem for Bryant. He’ll be amped up in this one. While it’s a very different Cowboys team than when he played for Dallas, the last thing the Cowboys want is for Bryant to be the reason they lose.

Do you know who the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys is right now? That’s right, you’re not done watching the Ravens face Andy Dalton. The Ravens are very familiar with Dalton, who played them twice a year with the Cincinnati Bengals for what seems like forever. The 2017 Ravens didn’t make the playoffs because they lost a game to Dalton on a throw that should have never been completed.

The Ravens cannot give Dalton the chance to beat them. They know better right? Dalton isn’t playing great, but he’s competent enough that he can get the ball to talented receivers like Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup. Dalton is completing a bit over 64 percent of his passes. This is a veteran quarterback who at the bare minimum can make all the throws and provide proficient play.

The Ravens aren’t in a position to take anyone lightly, yet they really can’t do that with the Cowboys. Dalton has surprised them before. Dalton has beaten the purple and black, even when it wasn’t expected that he would.

The bottom line:

You never know what team you’re going to see with the Ravens. They will still be dealing with the ramifications of their Covid-19 outbreak. It’s expected that Lamar Jackson will be back, that remains to be seen. Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell are practicing again and that helps against Ezekiel Eliott.

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This game is interesting. It has a Tuesday night spotlight. The Cowboys aren’t a good team. In fact, the Cowboys have a ton of problems, especially on defense. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot of talented players. The Ravens have to understand that going into the game. They have to treat every game like a playoff game at this point, so motivation better not be a problem.