It's rivalry week! The best of the best from the NFC East division will finally be squaring off with one another in what will help determine who the divisional champs will be in 2023. This Week 9 matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles is no doubt the game of the week, and one that should be full of big hits and trash talk.
The natural dislike between the Cowboys and Eagles only makes this matchup all the more interesting. These are two of the most talented teams in the entire NFL and one of them could be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. To the victor go the spoils and you can bet both teams will be doing everything within their power to earn the "W" this week.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at a few key matchups this week that could help sway the game in the Dallas Cowboys favor, or not.
Cowboys' C Tyler Biadasz vs. Eagles' defensive line
In truth, this is more of a war of the trenches between both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia's offensive and defensive lines, but as individual matchups go, keep an eye on Tyler Biadasz. Expect the trio of Jordan Davis, Fletcher Cox, and Jalen Carter to all have a go at Dallas' center to find out who can get the better of him and wreak the most havoc. Biadasz will need to hold his own for Dallas' offense to have any chance of success.
On the flipside, Osa Odighizuwa is someone to keep an eye on. He has been just short of phenomenal this year. He's currently seventh in pass rush win rate among iDL and seventh in run defense grade according to PFF. Dallas needs him to have a big game as both a run defender and pass rusher to help them walk away with the "W" against the Eagles this week. Getting the better of Philadelphia's iOL though won't be easy.
Cowboys' WR Brandin Cooks vs. Eagles' secondary
We can probably expect the Philadelphia Eagles to shift the majority of their focus on containing CeeDee Lamb in this Week 9 matchup. He is currently the Cowboys most targeted and leading receiver with 46 catches for 633 yards (13.8 ypc) and three touchdowns. All other Cowboys WRs have 49 catches for 517 (10.6 ypc) and three touchdowns. With the focus on No. 88, someone else needs to step up.
This is where Brandin Cooks comes in and why the Cowboys traded for him in the first place. As the No. 2 WR, his job is to pick up the slack when CeeDee Lamb is receiving the majority of the attention from opposing defenses or help free up No. 88 when needed. With the way things could be shaping up, it's looking as if Cooks should receive some favorable matchups and the Cowboys would be wise to take advantage of those.
Cowboys' KR/PR KaVontae Turpin vs. Eagles' special teams
The Philadelphia Eagles are surprisingly one of the better special teams units the Dallas Cowboys have faced so far this season. They are currently ranked third in the NFL in special teams DVOA so far in 2023, the Cowboys are currently sixth. That could change though in this Week 8 matchup considering the Eagles have yet to face a return man as talented as KaVontae Turpin, who has already been a problem for them in the past.
In Week 6 last season Turpin had a big 63-yard kick return against the Eagles, so they are well aware of his proficiency in the return game. If they weren't, they are now after watching him last week have a big game against the Los Angeles Rams when he had another 63-yard return on a free kick and another return for a touchdown that was eventually nullified due to a holding penalty. Another big game from No. 9 this week could prove beneficial for Dallas.