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Flip Side: What's Tavon's Role In New York?


Here's a look at the two big matchups I think could help decide the outcome of this division rivalry game in New York.

Dallas Cowboys WR Tavon Austin vs. New York Giants CB Janoris Jenkins

The previous time these two teams met, it was Tavon Austin roasting Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown on the first possession of the game. This time, Austin will be making his first appearance in the lineup since suffering a groin injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Cowboys were never able to fully replace what Austin could present in the lineup with his explosive speed. Jerry Jones was excited for the opportunity of getting Austin back on the film and getting some "tape out there" on Austin, to make opponents have to prepare for him.

This will be a difficult matchup for Jenkins to prepare for. He doesn't handle the speed aspect of a receiver's game very well, evidenced by what Austin was able to do to him in Week 2. Where Jenkins does have an advantage is that he has the nerves of a cat burglar. He is not afraid to gamble or guess on routes. He has made a living in this league by baiting a quarterback into a throw he shouldn't make. He still has that ability to drive on the ball well in front of him, and his ball skills are top shelf.

This is where the Cowboys' quarterbacks need to be careful in this matchup. Just when you feel like you have an open shot at Austin, Jenkins is right there covering the ground. If Austin is going to win, it's going to have to be down the field and not inside. Making Jenkins chase him up the field will get the job done.

Dallas Cowboys DE Randy Gregory vs. New York Giants OT Nate Solder

This will be a good matchup for Randy Gregory this week. Nate Solder is a veteran tackle that has started and participated in numerous Super Bowls.

Solder has never had top-notch strength, nor has he ever played with much power -- but his athletic ability has always seen him through. Judging from the tape, though, it appears that Solder has lost a little bit of that edge when it comes to his athletic ability. There was a time where his foot quickness and lateral range were his calling card. I have noticed more snaps this year where the good edge rushers have taken him to task and are winning off that edge with more regulatory.

This is where Randy Gregory is going to give him some problems. When Gregory can win off that first step, it puts the tackle at a huge disadvantage. Solder is going to have to fight like heck not to allow Gregory to grab that edge. Solder protects Eli Manning, who doesn't have the mobility to deal with rushers that win quickly. He tends to crumble in the pocket when he feels that pressure from the outside and Gregory knows that.

Look for Gregory to attack Solder a couple of different ways: speed around the corner and the spin to the inside. Gregory is developed enough as a pass rusher that, by keeping Nate Solder guessing, he could affect the outcome of this game. I see Randy Gregory having a big game against the Giants this week.