This Week 14 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys (9-3) and the Houston Texans (1-10-1) is between two teams heading in the opposite direction. The Cowboys have their sights on a deep playoff run and a possible Super Bowl appearance, while the Texans look to have already secured the No. 1 draft pick in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
The Cowboys, of course, still need to go out and take care of business, however, they should take advantage of this opportunity to focus on a few specific matchups that could end up helping them down the road.
CB Kelvin Joseph vs. Texans’ WRs
Although Kelvin Joseph already has two starts under his belt from last season as a rookie, those have little meaning compared to the important role he is expected to play opposite Trevon Diggs the remainder of the season. With both Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown out with season-ending injuries, Joseph will need to step up his game immediately and play like the second-round player the Cowboys believed him to be. Luckily, he has an opportunity this week to get his feet wet so to speak against a really bad Texans team. That should take a little bit of pressure off his shoulders early on before he’s thrown into the fire against better competition. You can bet he will be tested early and often from here on out.
LG Tyler Smith vs. Texans’ defensive front
Tyron Smith is back at practice and expected to be added to the Dallas Cowboys active roster in the not-too-distant future, although probably not this week against the Texans. He will slide back into his starting role at left tackle, which means Tyler Smith will be asked to kick inside to left guard where he was expected to play this season before No. 77’s unfortunate hamstring injury that has kept him sideline so far this year. Houston provides a near-perfect opportunity for No. 73 to get some much-needed gametime reps at guard before he’s asked to make the switch full-time. This is an opportunity the Cowboys can’t pass up.
Cowboys’ pass rush vs. Texans’ offensive line
As matchups go, the Dallas Cowboys pass rush against the Houston Texans offensive line is one of those best against worst that sways heavily in the Cowboys favor. Dallas arguably has one of the best, if not the best, pass rushing defenses in the entire league, while the Texans are among the worst pass blockers. This is a game in which we should see Micah Parsons and Company harass QB Davis Mills, who is expected to start this week, throughout the game from start to finish. This is a dream scenario for the Cowboys pass rusher’s and a nightmare for the Texans QB.