Stop Alfred Morris, Rod Smith in the running game.
Besides making Prescott throw the ball deep with great regularity, the best thing the Raiders can do to minimize the Cowboys’ effectiveness on offense is to stop the running game of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith. Though Ezekiel Elliott will be suspended for this game, Morris and Smith are more than capable of moving the sticks on the ground.
Morris is a former two-time Pro Bowler with the Washington Redskins. Though still a solid runner of the football, Morris is no threat to catch balls out of the backfield. That might be Smith’s cup of tea. Regardless, Smith has played well since the Elliott suspension over a month ago.
The reason stopping the run is so crucial for the Raiders to pull out this victory is that it puts more pressure on Prescott to make plays with his arm. When Prescott gets close to average numbers out of his running backs, the Cowboys usually do enough to find ways to win. When the Cowboys can’t run the football, the offense falls in to disarray.
Knowing that Elliott will be back for the Cowboys in Week 16, we could see great efforts out of Morris and Smith on Sunday night. Morris will see his snaps diminish, while Smith might see his disappear all together. These two running backs will be ready to play on Sunday in primetime. Will the Raiders defense be ready to stop them?