Dallas Cowboys vs Buffalo Bills: Key matchups and X-factors in battle of the QBs

Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
2 of 3

3 key Cowboys defensive matchups vs Bills

Markquese Bell vs James Cook

The Cowboys are hoping that their secondary will be able to contain the Bills receivers but Josh Allens' outlet when he gets into trouble has to be accounted for as well in both the running game and passing game and that's James Cook. The Cowboys' answer for him needs to be Markquese Bell who's done a great job covering backs out of the backfield this season. Bell's speed will make it easier for him to attack Cook in the running game and track and cover him out of the backfield when Allen is looking for his outlet.

Cook over the last four games has 411 total yards and is averaging 4.9 yards per carry and 17.0 yards per reception. Bell is going to have his hands full dealing with Cook in this game, but he has shown he can handle it. If he can corral Cook it will make things that much easier for the Dallas defense to slow a rejuvenated Bills offense.

Stefon Diggs vs Stephon Gilmore

The focus of this Cowboys secondary will be stopping Stefon Diggs and to do that they will look to Stephon Gilmore to get it done. Last week Gilmore was instrumental in the Cowboys win taking on the task of covering A.J. Brown and slowing him down in an eventual Dallas win over the Eagles. This week he faces a different challenge in Diggs who has more wiggle to his game with speed to match, but Gilmore's football IQ will help in this matchup.

Gilmore's preparation heading into a game allows him to find more tells in a receiver's game that give him tips on routes he's running and when he cut out of his breaks. He's going to need to delve deep into his bag of tricks to slow down Diggs who's looking to burst out of a slump he's been in over the last few weeks. Do that and he takes away Josh Allens' favorite target and handcuffs this Bills offense even more.

Micah Parsons vs O'Cyrus Torrence

The right guard for the Bills O'Cyrus Torrence has had his ups and downs this season but did play well against the Chiefs in the big win last week. If there's one area Torrence struggles, it's against speed rushers giving up 31 pressures on the season, and the Cowboys have done a great job of getting Micah Parsons lined up over the more vulnerable offensive linemen in space to make it a one-on-one matchup. Look for the Cowboys to send Parsons at Torrence testing the rookie early and often to try and get pressure on Josh Allen quickly.

If Parsons can get into the head of the rookie early it could force him to start making mental mistakes, Torrence has been flagged for 6 penalties this season, and having Parsons lined up across from you could only lead to more and put this Bills offense in long distance and down situations which is exactly what the Cowboys defense needs and wants.