The Dallas Cowboys looked downright dominant in Sunday’s effort against the New York Giants, and look to do the same against the Denver Broncos in Week Two.
The Dallas Cowboys had several standout players in their 19-3 shellacking of the New York Giants. Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee and several others made big impacts last weekend. Here are five players who could do the same this week for Dallas.
1. Byron Jones
Byron Jones had a quiet, yet effective game against the New York Giants Sunday night. Against Trevor Siemien and Denver’s mundane downfield passing attack, Jones will be more of a playmaker in the defensive backfield. With only one interception under his belt, Jones may be in the market to double his career mark this Sunday.
La’el Collins more than held his own against one of the premiere 4-3 defensive ends in the league, Jason Pierre Paul. Collins will face an even tougher test against All-Pro linebacker Von Miller and Denver’s front seven, but he should rise to the monstrous occasion with his first career start at right tackle under his belt. Collins will continue to get better at his new position, and prove he’s an upgrade over Doug Free on the strong side of the offensive line with another serviceable game against a big name pass-rusher.
Maliek Collins stat line from last week won’t jump out at you (one combined tackle) but the defensive tackle certainly passed the eye test against the New York Giants. Collins continued to prove he’s stout against the run, as well as an effective pass rusher in the three-technique spot.
On DeMarcus Lawrence‘s first sack, Collins occupied both right guard John Jerry and right tackle Bobby Hart on a stunt, which led to a free rush lane for Lawrence. Although that play didn’t show up on the stat sheet for Collins, it speaks volumes as to how much of a difference-maker the second year player is on the Cowboys’ defensive line.
When the Cowboys’ best cornerback, Orlando Scandrick, was ruled out for the rest of the game with a broken hand, Dallas’ defense didn’t miss a beat. Why? Well, for starters, rookie Chidobe Awuzie looked more than comfortable filling in for the veteran Scandrick.
Although Awuzie wasn’t perfect, he showed a lot of promise going forward as a versatile defensive back. With Scandrick most likely out for the Cowboys’ Week 2 matchup against Denver, look for Awuzie to build upon the success he found in his first NFL regular season action.
5. Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant was held in check by the Giants’ Janoris Jenkins, but that won’t be the case in Week 2. Bryant, who was overthrown on a potential touchdown catch from Dak Prescott, as well as the victim of several questionable non-calls against Jenkins, should have a bounce back game against Denver’s vaunted secondary. Aqib Talib is one of the best cornerbacks in the league, but Bryant’s strength and physicality could prove to be too much for the gangly defensive back.