Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Tuesday night’s game between the Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys at M&T Bank Stadium:
C.J. Doon, editor
Ravens 28, Cowboys 17: The Ravens’ roster isn’t back to full strength, but it should be healthy enough to handle a Cowboys team that ranks in the bottom third of the league in offensive and defensive efficiency. The Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson need a “get right” game as they seek to finish 10-6 or better to guarantee a spot in a crowded AFC playoff picture, and this certainly qualifies. That is, unless Dallas’ stars — Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Demarcus Lawrence — wreak havoc.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter
Ravens 27, Cowboys 16: With the Ravens expected to get a handful of starters back from the reserve/COVID-19 list and injuries — most notably quarterback Lamar Jackson — we should see an improved team that more resembles the unit before its coronavirus outbreak, though that was still a squad with troubling weaknesses. Even if Jackson shows some rust in his return to the field, the Ravens should be able to rely heavily on their running game, while defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale takes advantage of a Cowboys offense missing several starters along the offensive line. The Ravens might have to run the table over their final five games to play the playoffs, and that starts Tuesday night.
Mike Preston, columnist
Ravens 27, Cowboys 14: The Ravens are ranked No. 3 in rushing offense and the Cowboys have the worst run defense in the NFL. The Ravens should be able to pound Dallas with the running game, which should set up the play-action passing game. The Cowboys are just what the Ravens need at this moment to regain some confidence in their offense.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter
Ravens 20, Cowboys 10: This won’t be a pretty game. The Ravens offense will be better off with Lamar Jackson in control, but don’t expect it to find a groove. Even when Mark Andrews and Willie Snead IV were available, there were still clear struggles. Dallas’ wide receiver talent could challenge the Ravens defensively, but the Cowboys are relying on Andy Dalton and a depleted offensive line. A well-rested roster doesn’t make it a better roster.
Childs Walker, reporter
Ravens 34, Cowboys 17: The Ravens couldn’t ask for a much better opponent as they try to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak and a three-game losing streak. The Cowboys give up tons of yards and points, and their offense is pedestrian with quarterback Andy Dalton playing behind a battered line. If Lamar Jackson is anywhere close to full speed, the Ravens will roll.