Cowboys vs Bengals Week 2: history, key players, projection
By Riley Donald
Cowboys vs Bengals: Gut projection
Projection: Cincinnati Bengals 24, Dallas Cowboys 17
A projection with that result is a bit of a conundrum. On one hand, Cooper Rush is 1-0 in his career with a 300-yard performance under his belt. It isn’t impossible for the Cowboys to have lightning in a bottle with Rush as a reliever but it just doesn’t seem all that likely.
This isn’t an indictment of Rush at all as it really is more of the entire offensive showing last weekend. Posting 173 passing yards and 71 rushing yards with a lonely field goal won’t cut it against anyone. Toss in 10 penalties and there is little this offense showed to exude confidence.
Maybe CeeDee Lamb explodes. Maybe vintage Zeke shows up. Maybe Tony Pollard steals the show. They are all possible. Rush handled himself well last start and the team feels confident in him to step up. Rush finds the end zone twice Sunday to do his part.
The Cowboys’ defense looked stellar against a loaded Bucs group of receivers and Tom Brady. Diggs looked solid in coverage. The run defense was strong as long as it could be until they were stranded on the field by the offense. Micah Parsons was a monster with two sacks and constant pressure. He gets another sack this week to start his season off with sacks against a couple of top quarterbacks in this league.
Ultimately, the Bengals are healthier, hungry coming off of a loss, and have an upper hand at the quarterback position. It feels like a lot against the Cowboys, and with all the circumstances in Dallas right now, not a favorable matchup.
The Cowboys have proven us wrong time and time again. Don’t hold this projection as gospel as it could happen again. There have been much crazier things in Cowboys games than a backup quarterback shocking people. Either way, it stays closer than most think.