Exploiting certain matchups, and avoiding being exploited, is a week to week battle the Dallas Cowboys and the rest of the league incorporate into their game plans. This week is no different with the Cincinnati Bengals coming to town.
Today, we are going to identify and discuss some of the key matchups the Dallas Cowboys probably need to win in order to come away with their first victory this year. If not, their season could start circling the drain, if it isn’t already.
Cowboys’ CBs vs. WR Ja’Marr Chase
Although we’d love to see a head-to-head matchup between Trevon Diggs and Ja’Marr Chase when the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals square off this week, it’s highly unlikely Dan Quinn will ask his CB1 to shadow Cincinnati’s WR1. That means the combination of Diggs, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis will be asked to contain the talented second-year receiver who amassed 10 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. Depending on how this plays out, it could be the difference between another loss or the first victory for the Cowboys.
Cowboys’ run defense vs. Joe Mixon
The Dallas Cowboys run defense was atrocious, giving up 100+ rushing yards to Leonard Fournette in Week 1, and will need to do a much better job containing Joe Mixon this week if they want to have a chance of avoiding going 0-2 to start the 2022 season. Mixon is coming off a 27-carry, 82-yard rushing game against the Steelers last week and will be looking to improve those numbers against a porous Cowboys run defense in Week 2. Dallas simply can’t allow that to happen if they want any chance of coming away with the “W”.
DeMarcus Lawrence/Micah Parsons vs. La’el Collins
This could easily be the Cowboys pass rush versus the Bengals offensive line after giving up seven QB sack to the Steelers, but the storyline about former teammates squaring off against one another was too good to pass up. Last week against Pittsburgh, La’el Collins struggled in his first career start with the Bengals. Both DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons will be looking to capitalize on Collins’ Week 1 struggles, hoping it carries over into this week’s matchup. Even if it doesn’t, these two should already know how to get the best of their former teammate.