Each and every week there are certain matchups the Dallas Cowboys need to exploit, or need to keep from being exploited, in order to give themselves the best chance of walking away with the victory. That didn’t happen last week against the Denver Broncos, but hopefully they are able to rebound and win some of these key matchups in Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. Today, we will take a look at some of these important matchups.
Cowboys’ WRs vs. Atlanta’s CBs
It’s looking more and more as if Michael Gallup will finally make his triumphant return to the Cowboys starting lineup this week against the Falcons. That means Dak Prescott will have his full arsenal of weapons at wide receiver for the first time since Week 1 against the Buccaneers when Gallup sustained a Grade 2 calf strain. This matchup against the Falcons cornerbacks is one that heavily favors the Cowboys. A.J. Terrell and Fabian Moreau can’t cover all of the Cowboys weapons, so somebody’s going to be open.
Micah Parsons vs. Cordarrelle Patterson
Micah Parsons may not be directly tasked with shadowing Cordarrelle Patterson Sunday against the Falcons, but he is someone with the ability to contain such a unique and versatile player. Patterson’s ability to do damage as a running back or wide receiver is something the Cowboys defense is going to have to account for on every single play. Parsons is without a doubt Dallas’ best defensive player and his size and speed matches up well against Patterson’s unique versatility. Keep an eye on these two players in Week 10.
Tarell Basham? vs. Jake Matthews
Randy Gregory versus Jake Matthews would’ve been an excellent matchup to watch and one that probably favored the Dallas Cowboys. But, with No. 94 missing at least three weeks with a calf strain, someone else will have to step up. Tarell Basham is likely the next man up, but Dan Quinn will probably use a rotation between him and Chauncey Golston to find out who can get the better of the Falcons left tackle. Putting as much pressure on Matt Ryan’s blindside would greatly benefit the Cowboys defense. Hopefully someone steps up.
Trevon Diggs vs. Kyle Pitts
It’s going to be really interesting to see what Dan Quinn has up his sleeve when it comes to trying to contain the Falcons rookie tight end Kyle Pitts. At 6’6” and with legit 4.4 speed, Pitts is really more of a tall receiver than a tight end and will likely be treated in such Sunday by the Cowboys. If true, the job of limiting his impact on the game will likely fall Trevon Diggs’ shoulders. He’s no doubt the Cowboys best option to contain such a unique weapon due to his own size and speed. This could be the most exciting matchup of all.
Terence Steele vs. Atlanta’s pass rush
Unless by some miracle Tyron Smith is able to play Sunday against the Falcons, Terence Steele will once again start in his place. Steele didn’t play well last week against the Broncos as Smith’s fill-in. Because of that, the Falcons pass rush will likely be licking their chops to go up against him this week. The Cowboys second-year tackle will definitely be tested early and often to see if he once again struggles. If he does, the Cowboys will need to get him as much help as he needs. Otherwise, it could lead to disaster.