On paper, the Dallas Cowboys are by far the more talented team in this Week 9 matchup with the Denver Broncos. Because of that alone, we should expect them to keep their rather impressive win streak alive this week. However, in order to do that they still have to make sure they are winning the matchups they are expected to win.
Each and every week there are certain matchups that could tip the scales and help sway the outcome of the game one way or another. This week is no exception. If the Dallas Cowboys truly want to lock down that No. 1 playoff seed and continue to keep their win streak alive, they absolutely have to win these key matchups this week. The question is, will they?
Randy Gregory vs. Garrett Bolles or replacement
Randy Gregory has arguably been one of the Dallas Cowboys best defensive players so far this year. He has been a nightmare for opposing offensive tackles and there’s no reason to expect that to change this week against the Denver Broncos. That’s especially true considering Garrett Bolles is currently dealing with an ankle issue. Even if he was 100% healthy he’d have his hands full with Gregory, but being less so gives the Cowboys red-hot pass rusher an edge that he’ll take full advantage of this week. There is a strong possibility that Bolles doesn’t even play, meaning Gregory would get to feast on a replacement player.
Tyron Smith’s fill-in vs. Von Miller’s replacement
The Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos both will have some replacement players going this week in all likelihood. We know that the Broncos will be without Von Miller as he is now a Los Angeles Ram. But he Cowboys will likely be without left tackle Tyron Smith. The plan as of now is to slide Terence Steele over to that spot and let La’el Collins man his old right tackle spot. It will be interesting to see this all plays out.
Amari Cooper vs. Patrick Surtain II
Don’t expect the fact that both Amari Cooper and Patrick Surtain II are Alabama alum to keep these two players from butting heads Sunday afternoon. Neither will show any mercy for the other, making this an interesting matchup to watch. While Cooper is a little dinged up right now dealing with a hamstring injury, he still holds the advantage over Surtain. No. 19’s route running ability and short area quickness is one of the few problem areas of the young rookies game. Because of that, don’t be surprised if Cooper has a big game.
Trevon Diggs vs. Jerry Jeudy
While Trevon Diggs tends to shadow the opponents No. 1 receiver each week, Dan Quinn may switch things up in Week 9 against the Broncos due to Diggs’ familiarity with Jerry Jeudy. These second-year players not only entered the league together, but are very familiar with one another because of their time together at Alabama. Diggs should know all about Jeudy’s strengths and weaknesses and vice versa for the Broncos WR. These two former teammates could be a little extra motivated to try to get the better of each other.
Dalton Schultz vs. Justin Simmons
With Von Miller gone, Justin Simmons becomes the unquestioned leader and most dangerous player on the defensive side of the ball for the Broncos. Although he’s somewhat underrated, he is one the better free safety’s in the entire league. This week against the Cowboys he will be tasked to limit Dalton Schultz’s production. Schultz may be coming off one of his least productive games of the year, but should now be much more involved with Dak Prescott stepping back in action. This will be an interesting battle to watch.