Improving to 10-1 on Sunday will be no easy task for the Patriots.

New England will host Dallas in Week 12 in a battle of division leaders. While the 6-4 Cowboys have dealt with their struggles this season, they’ve shown more than a few flashes of being a legitimate Super Bowl contender. And given how tight the race for the NFC East crown is, America’s Team will be motivated as ever to take down the reigning league champions.

Three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman Shaun O’Hara, for one, likes Dallas’ chances of leaving Foxboro with a victory. Although the Patriots feature arguably the NFL’s top defense, O’Hara believes the Cowboys possess the right pieces needed to fend off “The Boogeymen.”

“The Cowboys are built to win this exact football game,” O’Hara said Thursday on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.” “When you look at what Dak Prescott has done the last two games, he’s on a heater. He’s lighting up defenses. It’s a great matchup for him, too, because the Patriots run a lot of man defense. So it’s not going to be a lot of, ‘Hey, look, I gotta figure out what the safeties are doing and coverages.’ Look, they run more man on third down than any other team in the league. So, for Dak, it’s going to be about me and my receivers. Can I make the throw to put my receiver in position? Amari Cooper has been one of the best at these comeback routes. I expect to see that all day long. To compliment all of that, I feel like they have been quietly harnessing Ezekiel Elliott. We saw with the Rams what happened to them last year with Todd Gurley being banged up and not being his best. I think part of this has been, ‘Look, Dak has been playing really well. We’re gonna have Zeke for the long haul, which is starting right now.’ If they can get the lead early against the Patriots — we’ve seen it happen against Baltimore and we’ve even seen it happen with the Eagles — they have the weapons to finish the game out. They have the ability to close it out because of that running game. They can do it with that offensive line and Zeke Elliott.”

It’s fair to say the Cowboys will have the upper hand over the Patriots in terms of offense this Sunday. New England reportedly is expected to be without Mohamed Sanu for multiple weeks, and even if Phillip Dorsett suits up, it’s tough to imagine he’ll be 100 percent. The Patriots have struggled to find an offensive groove over the past few weeks and that challenge, obviously, will be much tougher to fulfill without two of their key weapons.

With this in mind, New England might need a season-best performance from its defense in Week 12. If the unit shows even a few cracks, it wouldn’t be shocking to see O’Hara’s expectation come to fruition.

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