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Week 1 Preview:
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Jets
Nothing about this game surpasses the importance of honoring the victims of September 11 and I am confident that the games scheduled for this day will pay wonderful tribute this emotional and difficult anniversary. This is a day of remembrance of the victims and of the unity this country is capable of showing.
The game itself will be highly charged and one that should be very physical. Here are the matchups:
Cowboys offense vs. Jets defense
Everyone who follows the Cowboys knows that they want to establish the run. Everyone who follows the Cowboys also knows that they will not be able to establish that run with regularity. The tendency is to expect Revis and Cromartie to bottle the WRs up almost completely. However, Dallas matches up well against the Jets in the passing game. The Jets loss of Ellis hurts them and they were not a big threat in the sack game to start with. With a very mobile and savvy Romo who can comfortably buy time, there should be a tremendous amount of pressure on the Jets defense. Expect Dallas to work the TE and RB screen game until the Jets declare single coverage on the outside on Bryant and Austin. Once that occurs, there will be big play completion or interceptions. Dallas will take their shots downtown. Unless there is a break out run by Jones or Choice (if he’s still on the team), the running game in the end will not appear to have been significant.
Jets offense vs. Cowboys defense
Dallas isn’t any more productive than the Jets in terms of the pass rush and in fact tallied fewer sacks than the Jets last year. Dallas is, however, more dangerous in the sack game and will occupy more of Rex’s time game planning against the rush. The Jets will pound the ball and work play action. They expect (and rightfully so) to have success running the ball gaining consistent chunks. The Jets will watch the safeties and try to hit Holmes and Edwards deep every time Dallas moves a safety into the box. There are opportunities for big defensive plays for Dallas with the heavy blitz packages Rob Ryan will have in the game plan because Sanchez will go for the easy reads to counter the blitz. Sanchez is still on a leash though it’s a bit longer than it was last year. With Newman, Dallas would be in better shape to jump the hot routes and take some chances dropping defensive lineman. Without Newman, they could be more conservative with the chances the corners and Ryan want to take.
The Cowboys360 favorite Individual Matchups
DeMarcus Ware vs. D’Brickeshaw Ferguson
Both big men have great feet and are terrific with their hands. Ware’s power is underrated and he easily will be the second quickest end that Ferguson has faced (Freeney). Ware has not faced many with the quickness of foot that Ferguson possesses but how do you go against Ware in any matchup.
Slight edge: Ware
Austin / Bryant vs. Revis / Cromartie
At some point early in the game Rex will declare and have single coverage on both of these receivers. I don’t think it will start out that way though. The receivers are explosive but these aren’t your regular corners. I like Bryant on Cromartie all day and even Austin a little but neither against Revis. He is simply the best.
Slight edge: Cromartie / Revis
Garrett vs. Ryan
This is a tough one. Garrett is not the rookie that some see him as. He has presided over this top ranked offense for many years and has been tremendous in Romo’s development. This reads as a chess match particularly up front. Rex schemes his way to QB pressure and is brilliant at it. He does not have a pass rusher that would scare anyone but they manage to post decent sack numbers. He has also been coaching in some big games which gives him an advantage over Garrett. Garrett will hit them with screens all day and Dallas will not back down from Revis Island. I would normally give the edge to Ryan but I can’t ignore his QB. Garrett rolls into New York with Romo, which is a significant advantage.