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Cowboys May Have Trouble Stopping New England's... Running Backs

We've all come to expect greatness from the Patriots offense, thanks to a certain Hall of Fame quarterback in the form of Tom Brady, and rightfully so. Brady started the season lighting the world on fire, throwing for 517 yards against Miami before throwing for another 423 against San Diego and then 387 in Buffalo. 

New England, though, lost that game in Buffalo, a game where Brady threw the ball 45 times. Since then, they've become more balanced, with Brady only throwing the ball 30 times against the Raiders and 33 times against the Jets -- both games that New England won. 

Dallas currently ranks first in the NFL in opponents' rushing yards per game, holding them to a mere 61.8 yards on the ground. You have to figure, though, that Rob Ryan will be scheming to stop Brady, rather than stop New England's running game.

About that ground game for New England... they rank sixth in the NFL in rushing yards per game, averaging 128.6 yards per game on the ground. 

Bill Belichick is going to run, assuming Danny Woodhead is healthy, three different running backs against Dallas. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is New England's primary back, with 77 carries for 333 yards on the season. Belichick will mix that up with Woodhead, who is more of a third down/receiving back, but, does have 26 carries on the season for 115 yards.

If Woodhead is out, the Pats are going to use rookie running back Stevan Ridley more, who has been explosive in limited time so far. Ridley is averaging 6.4 yards per carry over his first 25 carries in the league. 

Rob Ryan's defense is going to have to play a perfect game against the Patriots to prevent them from scoring 30 points yet again. Brady can obviously beat you through the air, but now, the Patriots have a very good ground game to go with that aerial assault. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.