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Big Picture: 10 big storylines for Jets & Cowboys 


The Cowboys are coming off their most lopsided shutout in franchise history. The Jets figured out a way to record a big win, after suffering an even bigger loss early in the game.
But now they square off in Week 2 this Sunday at AT&T Stadium in an NFC/AFC matchup between a pair of 1-0 teams.

Here are the 10 big storylines for the week, with five for the Jets and five for the Cowboys.

NY Jets:

  1. Rodgers' season over – All the hype. All the excitement and hope for the Jets' 2023 season took a massive hit, and it took just one offensive series to do it. But Aaron Rodgers made his Jets' debut Sunday night against the Bills but suffered a torn Achilles injury early in the game, promptly ending his season. The 39-year-old and future Hall of Famer had pumped some life into the Jets' fan base starving for a return to glory. While Rodgers has definitely dominated the Cowboys with an 8-3 record, his backup Zach Wilson will get the start in Week 2.
  2. Jets still found a way – Give them credit for bouncing back after Rodgers' shocking loss. The Jets found themselves down 13-3 in the second half but managed to claw back, behind the Wilson-Wilson combination of Zach to Garrett, coupled by a tough Jets defense. After getting the game to overtime, rookie Xavier Gibson won the game with a walk-off punt return of 65 yards, giving the Jets a 22-16 win over Buffalo.
  3. Second-time around for Zach? – Being the No. 2 overall pick in 2021, Zach Wilson has had a humbling start to his career, that saw him get benched last season, only starting nine games. Wilson then saw the Jets go out and acquire Aaron Rodgers, hoping that he would turn around the franchise that hasn't made the playoff since 2010, giving them the longest current postseason draught (12 years) in the NFL. Now, Wilson gets the chance to take what he's learned this offseason from Rodgers and apply it as a starter once again.
  4. Pick party for Whitehead – Jets defensive back Jordan Whitehead had a career game against the Bills, picking off Josh Allen three times in the New York's 22-16 overtime win. Whitehead, ironically, had an incentive in his contract for a $250,000 bonus if he notched three interceptions in a season. He was able to trigger that incentive in the first game.
  5. Breece-way – Running back Breece Hall showed that he's fully back from an ACL injury he suffered last October. The shifty running back not only had an 83-yard run against the Bills, but finished with 127 yards on just 10 carries. Coupled with veteran Dalvin Cook, Breece and the Jets could have the most dynamic running back duo in the NFL.


  1. Avoiding a letdown – Coming off a 40-0 win over the Giants on Sunday night, the Cowboys now must shift their focus to another New York team as the Jets come to town for the first time since 2015. The last time the Cowboys had such a decisive Week 1 blowout, was a 37-7 win over the Steelers in 1997 on the road. However, they came back and lost to the Cardinals, 25-22 in overtime the following week.
  2. Missing Rodgers – The Cowboys are 3-8 all-time against Aaron Rodgers, including 0-2 in the playoffs. Dak Prescott defeated Rodgers and the Packers back in 2016 at Lambeau Field. The focus shifts to Zach Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the draft back in 2021, one pick ahead of Trey Lance, who was drafted by the 49ers but since traded to the Cowboys.
  3. Getting healthy? – To think the Cowboys dominated the Giants like that and still had some key players missing on both sides of the ball. Cowboys owner/GM Jerry Jones said he believes players such as Jourdan Lewis (foot), Tyler Smith (hamstring) and Donovan Wilson (calf) are "on the cusp" of returning this week. Both Smith and Wilson were listed as doubtful for the game last week.
  4. Kicker found? – Another quote from Jerry Jones regarding his players this week was centered on the kicker. Although Brandon Aubrey missed an extra point attempt early in the game after the first touchdown, he came back to make two field goals and four more extra points, prompting Jones to say he thinks "we've got a kicker." Aubrey was also impressive on his kickoffs, hitting touchbacks every time.
  5. Defense – So what's next for this defense? The Cowboys already stifled a Giants offense that featured Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, and now they get a Jets squad that will have Zach Wilson in the starting lineup with playmakers such as Brece Hall, Dalvin Cook and Garrett Wilson. But the key for the Cowboys will be the pass rush, after posting seven sacks in Week 1, led by two each from Dorance Armstrong and Osa Odighizuwa. Micah Parsons was the most disruptive player of the bunch and also recorded his first sack of the season.

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