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Jets vs Cowboys: 5 Questions with Blogging The Boys

We check in with SBN’s Dallas Cowboys site, Blogging The Boys, to get some insight into the 2023 Cowboys

Syndication: NorthJersey Danielle Parhizkaran/, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The New York Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills in overtime on Monday Night Football to open their 2023 campaign in a tough matchup to start the year. Now the Jets move on to Dallas to take on the Cowboys on short rest in another very tough matchup. The Dallas Cowboys got their 2023 NFL campaign off to a rousing start with a 40 - 0 annihilation of the New York Giants last Sunday. This is a deep and formidable opponent, and the Jets will have their hands full trying to keep pace on Sunday. Previewing this matchup, David Halprin of Blogging The Boys was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the 2023 Dallas Cowboys.

Check out the Q&A below, and be sure to check out DraftKings Sportsbook for all your betting needs this season.

1. Most people thought the Dallas Cowboys were one of the top three teams in the NFC coming into this season, but I doubt many people were prepared for what they saw last week against the New York Giants. That looked like one of those early season games in college where Alabama plays South West Northern Podunk State and it’s over halfway through the first quarter. The Giants were a playoff team last year, but they didn’t look like they belonged in the same league as the Cowboys. Are the Cowboys that good, the Giants that bad, or was it just one of those crazy opening week games where everything is unpredictable?

I really think that it was a combination of the things you mentioned. The Cowboys defense has been very good for the past few years, among the best in the league, and this year they have added some players like Stephon Gilmore that has just made them better. But everything revolves around the play of Micah Parsons, and he looked unblockable in training camp this year and that has continued. The Cowboys pass rush is so deep and impactful, it is the best position group on the team. The Dallas offense has also been potent the last few years, at least until playoff time, so they really do have a balanced team. And the Giants, when you look at some of the advanced stats from last year, were really getting lucky in some ways on their run to the playoffs. Many pundits had them as a team that would regress this year, and as long as their offensive line plays the way they did in Week 1, they are really going to struggle. Then there was the weather, which wasn’t ideal for football as the conditions were very wet. It was also a crazy Week 1 game where everything seemed to bounce the Cowboys way.

But in the end, Dallas is a really, really good team. How far that will take them is hard to say because they have had good teams in the past and still came up empty in the playoffs. So we’ll see.

2. Dak Prescott seems like a bit of a controversial figure for the Cowboys. There are some who love how prolific the Cowboys offense has been under Prescott, and others who don’t love the relative lack of post-season success for a team that has seemingly had the talent to go further. Where do you stand with respect to Prescott? Is he the quarterback to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, or should the Cowboys think about finding another quarterback?

Dak Prescott is a high quality quarterback and there is no doubt he has the skills to take a team to the Super Bowl. But Dallas is a team that never seems to put it all together at the same time. One year Prescott might struggle. The next year the defense is off. The next year they get ousted from the playoffs by Aaron Rodgers. It’s just a cavalcade of problems that seem to come year by year and knock the Cowboys off the Super Bowl path. So I don’t really question if Prescott has the skills to get this team to a Super Bowl, just looking at his stats over the years makes that plain. But to get to a Super Bowl you need so many things to go right at the same time, and Dallas just can’t seem to figure out the puzzle.

3. Could you let Jets fans know who the more important additions and subtractions of this team from last year are, and also give us a short review of how the Cowboys’ 2023 draft class is faring?

I already mentioned Stephon Gilmore above, he is now paired up with Trevon Diggs to give the Cowboys a formidable cornerback tandem. They also added Brandin Cooks to give some support for CeeDee Lamb. Cooks adds an element of speed to the team that they have been lacking. They have also added punt returner KaVontae Turpin to the offensive rotation. Technically he was on the team last year, but he was really only used on special teams. This year they are going to utilize his speed and quickness on offense. As far as subtractions, guard Connor McGovern and tight end Dalton Schultz were a couple of the more significant departures, but they weren’t major hits to the team.

The draft class is just barely getting playing time because the Cowboys roster was already pretty stacked coming into the season. First-round pick Mazi Smith is a run-stopper who played around 17 snaps in Week 1. Tight end Luke Schoonmaker was taken in the second round but was little used in Week 1. The draft pick most fans are excited about is Deuce Vaugh at running back. He had a great preseason but only saw mop up duty in Week 1.

4. If you were the head coach of a rival team, how would you go about attacking this Dallas Cowboys team on offense and on defense?

The Cowboys are most vulnerable on defense to the run. They can sometimes be gouged up the middle of the line although they have taken steps to correct that. They also sometimes struggle to contain mobile quarterbacks so a healthy dose of RPO’s can get them off their game. Don’t hold the ball as a quarterback. If you are going to pass have checkdowns ready because the Cowboys pass rush is fierce. You have to be smart with the ball or they will get turnovers. They have led the league in turnovers created the last two years.

Against their offense, don’t blitz a lot. Prescott is very good when blitzed and will pick you apart. The Cowboys are trying to implement some West Coast elements in their offense and Prescott clocked the fastest average release time (2.37 seconds) in the league last week. So press your coverage up and leave safeties over the top. The Cowboys like to run behind Zack Martin and Terence Steele on the right side, so that should be one of the keys for the defense. Overall play a more conservative defense that tries to force Prescott into holding the ball and make multiple reads. He can get off-target or even throw an interception under those conditions.

5. If you were a betting man which team would you bet on winning this game and why?

Without Aaron Rodgers, it will probably be very difficult for the Jets offense to keep pace with the Cowboys. Both teams have excellent defenses, but the Cowboys have a superior quarterback and offensive line. So I would take the Cowboys to cover.