After getting upset on the road last week by the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys look to get back on track against the New England Patriots in Week 4. This is a matchup that favors the home team, the Cowboys, but just like last week it's also one that could get away from them if they don't play up to their normal standards.
Today, we are going identify and discuss some the key matchups that could help sway the game one way or the other. It's going to be really interesting to see how some of these head-to-head battles play out and which team ends up ultimately walking away with the victory.
Cowboys' red zone offense vs. Patriots' red zone defense
This could very well have been a Mike McCarthy versus Bill Belichick matchup, but in the end it could all come down to how both teams perform in the red zone. Through the first three weeks the Dallas Cowboys have reached the red zone a league high 15 times, but unfortunately are ranked 27th in red zone offense, scoring a touchdown 40% of the time. On the flipside, the New England Patriots are ranked 21st in red zone defense, giving up touchdowns on 66.7% of red zone trips. Whichever team wins this battle likely earns the "W".
WR CeeDee Lamb vs. CB Christian Gonzalez
The New England Patriots secondary has been banged up in the early portions of the 2023 season, but fortunately for them their first-round pick this year Christian Gonzalez has been better than advertised. Whether he is tasked to shadow CeeDee Lamb down after down in Week 4 or not, this is one of those best against best matchups that could help sway the game one way or the other. It'll be really interesting to see how much Dak Prescott test the Patriots rookie CB or if he decides to attack their secondary elsewhere.
DE Micah Parsons vs. LT Trent Brown
While Micah Parsons was able to add yet another quarterback sack to his total last week against the Arizona Cardinals, it was pretty obvious he wasn't playing up to his normal standards. He'll look to get back to his dominant self this week against New England Patriots, but it won't be easy going up against Trent Brown, the highest ranked offensive tackle in Week 3 according to Pro Football Focus. Will Brown have similar success against Parsons or will it be the other way around? Keep an eye on this matchup as it unfolds.