Here's a look at the two big matchups I think could go a long way toward deciding this division matchup between the Cowboys and Eagles.
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence vs. Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson
The previous occasion when these two clubs met, Lane Johnson was out of the starting lineup dealing with an injury he suffered against Jacksonville the game before. Johnson is now healthy and the Eagles will need him to control DeMarcus Lawrence, who has been outstanding throughout the season.
Johnson is not a powerful guy, nor has he ever been. Lawrence, on the other hand, plays with power and it's one of his best traits. Johnson will have his trouble with that power, especially in the running game. Lawrence is outstanding when it comes to controlling opponents along the line of scrimmage. The power he has in his upper body and the snap he plays with are impressive.
It will take everything in Johnson's game from a strength aspect to be able to match Lawrence in this area. Where Johnson will have an advantage is with his athletic ability. Here is where Lawrence has to be careful in how he plays him. Johnson will be comfortable with his pass rush moves, so Lawrence needs to be prepared to go with more power initially than movement. Once he gets Johnson to settle his feet, then he needs to hit him with a quick dip either to the outside or back to the inside.
The more that Lawrence can keep Johnson guessing about his rush, the better chance he has at success. Being that this is a home game, the crowd noise always helps the big-time pass rusher. In this case Lawrence will have that advantage.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper WR vs. Philadelphia Eagles CB Sidney Jones
The Philadelphia Eagles have been struggling with injuries to their secondary, especially at the cornerback spot. As a unit they've had numerous lineup changes to try and account for those injuries.
The Cowboys always strive for offensive balance, but in this case, the best plan of attack with the game plan is to help your protection and throw the ball. I am not necessarily feeling like Scott Linehan would like my plan, but it might allow him to open up some things in the running game.
If Linehan does go this route, I like the matchup of Amari Cooper against any of these Eagles cornerbacks, but I'll focus on Sidney Jones. Last week the Saints tried to take Cooper out of the game by travelling Marshon Lattimore with him. Lattimore is one of the best cornerbacks in the league and Cooper was perfect against him on targets and receptions.
The closest thing the Eagles have to Lattimore is Sidney Jones. When you study Jones' game, there are some traits that he does share with Lattimore when it comes to size and movement, but the biggest difference is that Lattimore does a better job of denying the receiver the ball. Jones tends to play a little loose in coverage and this is where Cooper can take advantage of him. Cooper can put Jones in some situations that make him uncomfortable.
Despite this being his second season in the league, this is really Jones' first season playing. He hasn't had the opportunity to face a guy like Amari Cooper and the way he executes his routes. Look for Dak Prescott to find this matchup early and often in the ball game.