FLORHAM PARK — A star-studded matchup in Arlington certainly has changed over the last 72 hours when the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys battle in Week 2.
Once touted as a heavyweight bout between Aaron Rodgers and the team he has dominated for the better part of the decade, the season-ending injury has forced the Jets to turn to backup quarterback Zach Wilson to pull off what is now a major upset. It certainly won’t be easy. The Cowboys are coming off a 40-0 win over their rival New York Giants and have plenty of firepower to overwhelm any team they face.
We have everything you need to know about the matchup Sunday, and what the Jets need to do to pull off the upset here.
New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys
Where: AT&T Stadium
When: Sunday, September 17th, 2023
Kickoff Time: 4:5 pm – ET
How to watch: CBS
Line: Cowboys -9.0
Keys to the Game
Can the Jets’ O-Line contain Micah Parsons?
Parsons is one of the best defensive players in all of football. He almost single-handedly beat up the Giants on Sunday night. When playing Dallas, the first key must always be to find a way to limit Parsons so you can attack their run defense or quick pass defense. Like many historically great defensive players (Lawrence Taylor, Bruce Smith, etc.) a way to combat their quickness is by running directly at them. That makes them think and slows them down.
Other teams have done that to Parsons to great effect. If the Jets pull off the upset, limiting the dynamic playmaker will be a major key.
Who guards CeeDee Lamb in the slot?
Dak Prescott’s offense can kill you in several different ways. It’s not uncommon for the Jets’ vaunted defensive group. The Cowboys have one major point on offense though: slot receiver CeeDee Lamb. Lamb works the majority of his snaps inside and uses his speed to beat through other slot defenders. It’s a mismatch the Cowboys are all too happy to use.
With the Jets, they have two of the best corners in football on the outside, and Michael Carter II is a very good slot corner. To beat the Cowboys’ passing attack, will the Jets move Sauce Gardner or D.J. Reed inside? Can either play inside to deal with Lamb’s impressive route-running ability?
To stop Prescott offensively, taking away his top target will go a long way.
Will the Offense limit turnovers?
The M.O. for the Cowboys’ defense has been consistent for the last few years: turnovers. Dallas forces turnovers better than any defense in football and did so on Sunday night against the Giants. If the Jets want to have any shot of beating the Cowboys on the road, they need to limit the turnovers as much as possible.
It is that simple. There are plays to be had in the running game against Dallas. We know the Cowboys will try and take that away from New York early. If the Jets can win the turnover battle, that will go a long way to pulling off a major upset here.