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Dallas Cowboys 2023 opponent preview: New York Jets

Today we check out the Cowboys week two opponent, the New York Jets.

NFL: OCT 13 Cowboys at Jets Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jets File

2022 Record: 7-10 (4th in AFC East)

Last Meeting: 10/13/2019 24-22 New York Jets Win | Dallas Cowboys lead series 7-5

Head Coach: Robert Saleh (12-23 as a head coach)

Key Additions: QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Allen Lazard, WR Randall Cobb

Key Departures: LB Kwon Alexander, G Nate Herbig, DT Sheldon Rankins

2022 Overview

The 2022 New York Jets, simply put, were just not good enough. Everyone from the top down acknowledged that fact and vowed to aggressively attack the offseason to ensure that they would be a more complete team in 2023.

The Jets defense is talented and one of the best young groups in all of football, but the problems resided on the offensive side of the ball, specifically at quarterback. The Jets understood that if they wanted to go places, Zach Wilson was not going to be able to lead them there.

Well, things change in the NFL in a blink of an eye. Aaron Rodgers’ shocking, and abrupt season-ending Achilles injury cut his 2023 campaign down after just four plays. Now the Jets turn back to the forgotten man they were ready to put on ice, to try and keep the team’s hopes and dreams alive this season.

The team has put resources into adding talent on the offense by bringing in Dalvin Cook, Allen Lazard, and company to go with some already budding stars like Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. There is enough talent in the room now to help Wilson play his best, and the Jets hope that they did enough as a Wilson led offense is their new reality now once again, what ever that may look like.

Player to watch… CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Gardner is one of the brightest young stars in the NFL. The reigning Defensive Rookie of The Year is widely viewed as one of the games best cornerbacks and surely it will be a fun match up every time he lines up across from CeeDee Lamb on Sunday afternoon.

Monday night against the Buffalo Bills was a rough outing for Gardner and he will surely be looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance against Stefon Diggs. Elite level players like Gardner typically bounce back well after a tough performance and the Cowboys should expect to see the best of “Sauce” on Sunday afternoon.

In addition to his less than ideal night in Week 1, Gardner isn’t known for traveling with WR1’s as he usually sticks to one side of the field most games. If that holds true again, it could present well for the Cowboys on Sunday. Dallas could opt to avoid Lamb being covered by Gardner all together and scheme the game plan up for Lamb to be on the other side most of the game. One could wonder if Lamb’s skill set and presence is enough to cause a change in philosophy for the Jets as they may look to try and take Lamb out of the game plan by having Gardner travel, either way the Cowboys have to prepare their other weapons to get involved as well.

The matchup with Gardner will be an intriguing one and just how it all unfolds with the game “within the game” will go a long way in deciding the outcome on Sunday.

Don’t forget about… RB Breece Hall

Buffalo Bills v New York Jets Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

With so much fanfare and anticipation for Aaron Rodgers and Dalvin Cook, it feels like not enough attention was being paid to dynamic Breece Hall. Understanding Hall is fresh off a season-ending knee injury and those things typically take time to come back from, however, Hall literally hit the ground running in Week 1. He carried the ball 10 times for a whopping 127 yards against the Bills on Monday night proving that he may be back to his old self and picking up where he left off in 2022 where he was a front runner for Offensive Rookie of The Year.

The Jets have a truly dynamic one-two punch with Hall and Cook, and with everything changing for the team at quarterback, the heart and soul of this offense resides within their running game. The Cowboys have a massive task on their hands on Sunday when it comes to stopping the run. The offense will literally run through the duo and the key will be to bottle up Hall and company on the ground and try your luck with the ball in Wilson’s hand. Play the run well, have their offense behind the chains, force the ball into Wilson’s hand in third and long situations, and prosper.

With Hall playing such a pivotal role in Week 2, he is an easy selection for this weeks player that we shouldn’t forget about and after Sunday for better or worse, it’s fair to say he will not be the forgotten man at all.

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