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Andy Dalton Prepared To Face Familiar Foe


FRISCO, Texas – The faces have changed, but the name and the location should be familiar for Andy Dalton – another trip to Baltimore.

It's an interesting juxtaposition for this cross-conference matchup. Because the Cowboys and Ravens only play every four years, there's only a handful of veterans on this roster who played in the 27-17 win against the Ravens back in 2016.

Consider that the Cowboys' last trip to M&T Bank Stadium was all the way back in 2012, and the number is tiny. Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford and L.P. Ladouceur are the only Cowboys players left from that 31-29 loss who will be in uniform on Tuesday night.

And then there's Dalton, who is quite literally the opposite. As the longtime quarterback of the Cincinnati Bengals, Dalton started 16 career games against his division rival.

"Historically, the Baltimore defense has been really good," Dalton said. "So, just facing them so many years from time in Cincinnati, understand they have had a lot of good games against them."

Dalton put together a solid 8-8 record against Baltimore in those matchups – though his road record was 3-6.

If he's going to improve that on Tuesday night, he's well aware of what he needs to key on.

"I think the biggest thing is you have to keep having positive plays," he said. "They're really good on third down. They got a good rush, good scheme with all the pressures that they bring. So, you have to stay ahead of the chains."

That challenge is going to carry over from the Thanksgiving loss to Washington. The Cowboys lost both starting tackles, Cam Erving and Zack Martin, at the outset of that game, and Washington took advantage of it the rest of the day. Both Erving and Martin have already been ruled out of this game.

Dalton said he trusts the offensive line in front of him – a group that will likely feature Brandon Knight, Connor Williams, Joe Looney, Connor McGovern and Terence Steele. But he also knows he'll need to make decisions quickly to weather this Baltimore pass rush.

"I think you trust the guys that they're going to get their job done," he said. "So, I think it just comes down to knowing what we're doing, knowing the offense, knowing the play design, and making those quick decisions."

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