Exploiting and winning certain matchups each week increases the chance the Dallas Cowboys put another “W” on their record. They failed to do that last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, but have a chance to bounce back in Week 12 when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders on Thanksgiving Day. Today, will take a look at a few of the key matchups you should keep an eye on Thursday afternoon.
Ezekiel Elliott vs. Raiders’ run defense
Coming off a game in which the passing game was off and their pass protection was even worse, the Dallas Cowboys may want to get back to basics by having a heavy run-oriented game plan against Las Vegas Raiders. That makes the matchup between Ezekiel Elliott, and Tony Pollard for that matter, versus the Raiders run defense one to watch in Week 12. This is a matchup that heavily favors the Cowboys dynamic running back duo, especially considering Joe Mixon just rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns last week against this Raiders defensive front. Don’t be surprised if Zeke and TP do the same on Thursday.
La’el Collins vs. Maxx Crosby
With Tyron Smith expected to reprise his starting role at left tackle, the Las Vegas Raiders will likely send their best pass rusher, Maxx Crosby, to the opposite side to battle it out with La’el Collins in the hopes of swaying the matchup in their favor. Collins has had his ups and downs since taking back over as the Cowboys starting right tackle. He could have his hands full with Crosby, who has five quarterback sacks this year and 23 QB hits. Considering Dallas’ struggles in pass protection last week, this is definitely a matchup to keep an eye on while we are devouring our Thanksgiving feast Thursday afternoon.
Trevon Diggs vs. Darren Waller
Darren Waller is a mismatch problem for the Dallas Cowboys secondary, much like Kyle Pitts was a few weeks ago. Dan Quinn chose to treat Pitt’s more like a big receiver rather than a traditional tight end and there’s no reason to believe he won’t do the same in Week 12 with Waller. That means we will likely see Trevon Diggs shadowing him some of the game. Diggs’ size, speed, and athletic ability gives him the best chance to contain the Raiders best and most productive weapon in the passing game, making this an important matchup to keep an eye on.