If you ask old school scouts what is required to field a championship contender, they will quickly tell you that it takes eight to twelve blue-chip players to compete for a title. This premise has been the standard for general managers around the league and I rely on it to help me identify the players to watch on game day.
With that in mind, let's identify the players to watch on the Cowboys' next opponent. Here's a quick report on the current blue-chip players for the Commanders.
Brian Robinson, RB: The rookie runner has added some balance to the offense as a rugged runner between the tackles. Robinson leads the Commanders with 797 rushing yards and sets the tone with the physicality and toughness he displays with the ball in his hands.
Terry McLaurin, WR: The Commanders' WR1 is a big play specialist with outstanding speed, quickness, and burst. McLaurin averages 15-plus yards per catch with 15 big plays (20-plus yard catches) and four scores on his 2022 resume. With the Pro Bowl wideout also displaying explosive running skills with the ball in his hands, the Cowboys must be aware of his whereabouts on every play.
Curtis Samuel, WR: The hybrid WR-RB is a dynamic playmaker with the potential to create splash plays in various ways on the perimeter. Although Samuel is averaging just 10.4 yards per catch and 5.2 yards per carry, the sixth-year pro is a versatile weapon with the speed and quickness to take it the distance from anywhere on the field.
Jahan Dotson, WR: The rookie pass catcher has emerged as a key contributor as the Commanders' WR3. Dotson leads the team in touchdown receptions (7) while boasting a 14.1-yard average. As a polished route runner with sticky hands and superb ball skills, the Penn State product is an explosive playmaker on the perimeter who needs constant monitoring.
Jamin Davis, LB: The second-year pro has settled in as the Commanders' designated playmaker on the second level. Davis leads the team in tackles (104) while flashing outstanding instincts, awareness, and diagnostic skills. With the former first-round pick also flashing pass rush skills (three sacks) and disruptive playmaking ability (nine tackles for loss), Commanders' defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will design a few plays to help No.52 make a handful of plays on the ball.
Jonathan Allen, DT: The hard-working defender is a talented pass rusher with a mix of finesse and power that overwhelms blockers at the line of scrimmage. Allen is a destructive force who can dominate the game from his defensive tackle spot as a designated playmaker.
Daron Payne, DT: The monstrous interior defender with strong hands and a relentless spirit has quietly dominated opponents this season. Payne leads the Commanders with 11.5 sacks while displaying a wrecking ball mentality as he destroys opponents at the point of attack.
Montez Sweat, EDGE: The ultra-athletic pass rusher flashes the size, speed and quickness to whip blockers with an assortment of maneuvers off the edge. Sweat's first-step quickness and explosive closing burst create problems for offensive tackles unable to match his quickness in space.
Kendall Fuller, CB: The crafty corner has a knack for stealing picks on tipped passes and overthrown balls. Fuller's exceptional awareness, anticipation and diagnostic skills force quarterbacks to pause before throwing the ball to his side of the field.