3 key Cowboys defensive matchups vs Dolphins
Osa Odighizuwa vs Robert Jones
The Dolphins injuries along the offensive line are substantial and the Cowboys need to exploit that if they want to beat a high-powered Miami offense Sunday. Jones is in for the injured Robert Hunt and is going to be facing off against Odighizuwa in a match up that will be critical for the Cowboys in this game. When pressure is put on quarterback Tua Tagovailoa he’s very quick to get rid of the football, but where this really matters in in the running game.
The Cowboys are going to need Odighizuwa’s ability to make plays in the backfield if they want to stop the Dolphins' rushing attack and running backs with homerun ability. The Cowboys are going to need to rely on a four-man rush in this game to put pressure on this Dolphins offense and outside of Micah Parsons, Odighizuwa is the player that can do it on a consistent level.
Micah Parsons vs Liam Eichenberg
The Cowboys need to attack new center Liam Eichenberg this weekend, Jones is starting in place of former Cowboys left guard Connor Williams who moved to center for the Dolphins. We’ve seen how the Cowboys have attacked centers this season and we should see it again this weekend with Micah Parsons lined up over the center to create a one-on-one matchup. Last week against the Jets Eichenberg didn’t have the best game giving up a sack and three pressures, now just imagine him with Parsons lined up against him this week.
Eichenberg has speed issues and that’s exactly what Parsons can use against him in this matchup to get around him and disrupt the Dolphins' running and passing games. The Cowboys and Parsons must get pressure on Tua early and often to disrupt the timing of this offense.
DaRon Bland vs Tyreek Hill
The speed of Tyreek Hill is an issue for anyone who’s covering him in a game, it would be much more so for Stephon Gilmore which means it will be up to DaRon Bland to cover the speedy receiver. Ever since his game in Seattle Bland has been rather quiet but has been playing well hopefully, he can keep that going against Hill who’s coming off a nasty-looking ankle injury. The Cowboys can’t make the same mistake others have made covering Hill, they need to jam him at the line immediately to throw off the play's timing and give their pass rush more time to get to Tua.
Bland also can’t be baited by Hill who likes to kneel before the ball is snapped and then bursting out of his stance into a full sprint. If he can keep Hill in front of him that will be considered a success and take away one of the Dolphins' best and biggest play threats.