IRVING, Texas – As of this writing, we don't know whether LeSean McCoy will be able to play through his injury this Sunday against the Cowboys.
Even if he can't, there are still playmakers available for the Buffalo Bills, and they very much fit the mold of what we're looking for in this write-ups. Buffalo sits at just 6-8 on the season, but don't let that fool you. The Bills boast one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL – not to mention a dangerous quarterback and an unheralded cornerback.
We're going to take a look at all three in this week's preview:
Nemesis: Marcell Dareus, DT
Highly competitive defensive tackle that is disruptive and powerful. He's physically tough to handle one-on-one. When he gets it going, he is difficult to control.
Dareus is a good one-gap player. Very good reactionary athlete. Mobility is outstanding for a man his size. Plays with body control, balance and agility. When he gets his hands on the blocker, he can control then shed. Can change directions easily and show the lateral quickness to get in on the play. Plays with lower body bend, not stiff moving at all. He can anchor down at the point and not give any ground. Can strike and explode with his hands. Plays with balance. There are not many snaps where you see him get knocked off balance or moved out of the play.
He competes every down. Motor and effort is impressive. Does not give up on a play. Will work outside the tackle box to chase a ball. Is the type of player that Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and La'el Collins will have to account for each and every play. Will be some snaps where he will need to be double teamed in order for the play to have any chance for success – especially in the running game. Have to be sure there is a hat on him. Can't allow him to push the front of the pocket especially with Kellen Moore at quarterback. Will be a big challenge to have to deal with in this match up.
Weapon: Tyrod Taylor, QB
This is not the normal type of NFL quarterback that you prepare for weekly. His offensive coordinator is a former successful college play caller and he has tailored the gameplan to play to Taylor's strengths.
Given his mobility, Taylor is more likely to beat you with his legs than his arm. He is a physical player with the ball in his hands. Can run himself out of trouble then finish the play. Not afraid to throw his body around in order to obtain a first down. Shows tremendous courage in the way he plays. Has arm talent and strength, but his accuracy can be all over the place. There are snaps where he has men open and he just overthrows them, then there are other times like in the Philadelphia game where he hits Sammy Watkins in stride.
He plays with poise and instincts. Has the vision to see the field and at times leads to some crazy chances. Tends to throw the ball on the move. Is not one of those quarterbacks that plays within the pocket, like this Dallas defense has seen the last several weeks with Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Fitzpatrick. Taylor is always on the move.
You have to make sure that you wrap him up in the pocket. I have seen him escape arm tackles and extend plays. He's one of the best in the league when it comes to escaping and avoiding trouble. Can improvise and create. This is going to be a game of chase not only for the linemen but the secondary as well. Taylor is not always going to be consistent delivering the ball, but he can put pressure on the defense to have to react, which makes things tough.
Under the Radar: Ronald Darby, CB
I really liked this kid when I scouted him out of Florida State for the 2015 NFL Draft. He is a press man corner, and he can stay with his man. You might be able to get him on the double-move, because he is so interested in driving on the ball to make a play.
Darby is quick footed and can transition. He had some problems locating the ball in college, but he appears to have improved in that area. He can redirect with the receiver when he goes inside. Plays with quick reactions. He will be able to run with any receiver that the Cowboys throw at him. Will fire his hand into the receiver then adjust. Is able to stay in position throughout the route. Has a ton of confidence in his ability to run and adjust. Plays with catch up speed if there is separation.
This was a grab-clutch guy in college, and there are snaps in the pros where you see him revert back to that. He can cover some ground when he is on the move. Will plant and drive on the ball. You have to be careful throwing the ball in his direction in that regard. Late throws will result in turnovers. Speed helps him with positioning in off coverage. Can mirror his man without problem.
Physically, he is not the biggest guy and that could give him trouble in having to deal with Dez Bryant. Teams have been attacking the other side of the field and Leodis McKelvin because of the way that Darby has played.