The playoffs have finally arrived and the Dallas Cowboys are one of the teams to earn a spot in the winner-take-all event. Unfortunately, they are also arguably the most confusing and frustrating team in the postseason as well. When they’re on their game they can compete with anybody, but when not, they are easily beatable.
It’s going to be really interesting whether it’s Jekyll or Hyde who shows up in the Wild Card Round against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Monday night. The Buccaneers are hoping for a repeat victory like they had in the 2022 season opener in Week 1, but the Cowboys are hoping the opposite is true.
This Wild Card game could very well come down to which team ends up taking advantage of certain matchups in this contest. Today, we are going to take a look at a few of those key matchups that could end up swaying the game either in the Cowboys favor or against it.
Cowboys’ secondary vs. Buccaneers’ QB Tom Brady
With the offensive weapons Tom Brady has at his disposal, he could very well easily pick apart the Dallas Cowboys secondary, that has as of yet been able to find a suitable replacement opposite Trevon Diggs after Anthony Brown was lost to a season-ending injury. Dallas has signed multiple vet options, but sadly, so far, no one has been capable of locking down that job. You can bet TB12 is fully aware of this and will be testing whoever lines up at CB2 for the Cowboys early and often. This matchup alone could very well sway the game one way or the other.
Micah Parsons vs. Buccaneers’ LT Donovan Smith
Donovan Smith has been dealing with a foot injury and ended up missing the regular-season finale because of it. If the Cowboys hope to put some pressure on Tom Brady, attacking the less than 100% Buccaneers LT with their best pass rusher, Micah Parsons, is the most logical solution. If Dallas can in any way fluster TB12 and keep him from picking apart their banged up secondary, the chances of walking away with the “W” increases significantly. For that to happen though, No. 11 will likely need to win this matchup more times than not.
Cowboys’ run defense vs. Buccaneers’ RBs Leonard Fournette/Rachaad White
In the Week 1 2022 season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, RB Leonard Fournette had what ended up being his most productive game of the year against the Dallas Cowboys. On 21 carries he rushed for a total of 127 yards, averaging six yards per carry. Since then, though, Fournette and the Buccaneers run game has struggled, although newcomer Rachaad White has injected some life into it. On the flipside, Dallas’ run defense has improved. It will be really interesting to see if Tampa Bay can find the same kind of success on the ground or if the Cowboys can stop that from happening.