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Five things to watch when Cowboys face Cincinnati Bengals

The Dallas Cowboys (3-1) snapped a eight-game home losing streak when they beat Chicago on Sept. 25 at AT&T Stadium.

They’ll try to start a different kind of streak when Cincinnati (2-2) comes to town Sunday for a 3:25 p.m. kickoff. The Bengals will be making their first regular-season appearance at AT&T Stadium.

Here are five things to watch in Sunday’s game:

Running game

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher this season, and allowed only one a year ago. Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has posted two consecutive 100-yard games, and establishing the running game ranks as a top priority. How well the Cowboys are able to run against the Bengals will go a long way in determining the offense’s success.



How popular is Dak Prescott becoming? Snuffer’s has introduced a “Dak Burger” featuring Mississippi staples such as barbecue sauce, bacon and onions. Prescott has earned the hype, of course. He has stepped in nicely for Tony Romo, running the offense well and spreading the ball around to receivers. He has yet to throw an interception, a streak that must remain intact against one of the top defenses in the league.

Return of D-Law?

DeMarcus Lawrence is expected to make his season debut after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He is the most proven pass rusher on the team, and this is a team desperate for sacks. They have only six sacks so far, and can’t let Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton get too comfortable in the pocket. Lawrence is expected to make an immediate impact, although it’s unknown how many snaps he’ll be able to play.

Kicking game

Las Vegas first set the game as a pick ’em (changed to Bengals by 1  1/2 ), which means a field goal could decide it. Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, one of the best in the business, is expected to play after being slowed by a back injury. Bailey has missed field goals in two consecutive games. The Cowboys decided not to sign an emergency replacement after working out three kickers.

Home-field watch

The Cowboys snapped a dubious home losing streak two weeks ago against the Bears, and are focused on re-establishing home-field advantage at AT&T Stadium. But the sun could come into play again. This is the same starting time as the season opener, when the sun was an issue, and there are no plans to use curtains to block the sun. As coach Jason Garrett put it, “You’ve got to be careful of over-analyzing that situation.”


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