Cowboys Offense vs. Bengals Defense:
The younger cornerback for Cincinnati - Leon Hall, whether he's on Patrick Crayton or Terrell Owens, that's a key match-up. They're banged up in the secondary. You have to abuse Hall. You have to take advantage of him. You can't let a young guy come in and somehow contain you and not make plays on him.
Bengals Offense vs. Cowboys Defense:
I think a key match-up is going to be Terence Newman vs. T.J. Houshmandzadeh. First of all, you're talking about Pro Bowler on Pro Bowler and Houshmandzadeh usually plays the slot. That's going to determine whether or not they're going to get off the field on third down. Critical, critical match-up. It won't be easy for Newman. The slot is the hardest place to cover. The guy is basically in the middle of the field. He has an option to go either way on you. You have to be fundamentally sound and hopefully you have some safety help, but even if a safety is playing well, the slot guy can make his catches. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is good because he runs a lot of option routes. He may start one way, then goes back the other way. You have to stay on him a little longer, very reminiscent of what (Antwaan) Randle El did last week. And Houshmandzadeh is one of the best slot guys in the game. For Newman, I think it's bad to get a guy like Houshmandzadeh when you're coming off one of your worst games as a Cowboy.
The Cowboys Win If . . .
If they can find a way to run the ball and get back on track. You have to run the ball against a team that is giving up 164 yards in rushing on defense, per game. You've got to run the ball. If you don't do that against that type of team, you lose the game. They have enough offensive power to match the Cowboys' offensive power.
The Bengals Win If . . .
They run the football against the Cowboys successfully on first down. Two things - if they run the ball, they control the clock. Secondly, if they're running the ball on first down, it puts them in a lot second- and third-and short. With Chad Ocho Cinco and Houshmandzadeh, I don't think the Cowboys can stop them. They can contain them, but they can't stop them. The secondary hasn't stopped anyone all year other than the Cleveland game. Greg Jennings went over 100 yards. DeSean Jackson had over 100 yards and Santana Moss had over 100 yards. They haven't stopped an offense yet, other than Cleveland. I don't think they can stop Houshmandzadeh and Ocho Cinco, if they're in short yardage every time.
I think the Bengals will score some points. I don't think the Bengals' personnel is indicative of a 0-4 team. They've been banged up. They've had turnovers. They've lost the ball. They've had their share of problems that they have to fix. But they're better than their record. But I think Dallas will find a way to win, Cowboys 28, Bengals 21.
Larry's Favorite Bengals Memory:
I remember a home game against the Bengals during my rookie season in 1991. It was the first time I ever saw a double-move. It was a receiver named Eddie Brown and Boomer was the quarterback. They didn't throw it on me. But when you're a young guy in college, you see a different selection of route running. I saw a post, corner, post. I didn't even know that route even existed. We got it knocked down. But I was like, 'What was that?' I've heard of a post. I've heard of a corner. But I've never heard of a post-corner-post. It's a quick route. But I had never seen that before. I'll never forget that.