FRISCO, Texas – A closer look at what I think are the two biggest matchups of this game against the Green Bay Packers.
Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley vs. Green Bay Packers S Micah Hyde
When these two teams met in 2015, Dom Capers put Micah Hyde on Jason Witten. From the games I have studied before this matchup, Hyde has played out of the slot. Rather than move him, I believe Capers will still keep him there and let him work against Beasley.
It might appear to be a mismatch for the Packers because of Hyde's size (6-0, 196) and his ability to stay with a quicker receiver like Beasley, but that's not the case at all. Hyde has the movement skills in a short area where he can stay with Beasley. What Capers is also banking on in this matchup is that Hyde's size and length will give Beasley trouble. When opponents have turned it into a physical game for Beasley off the line, he has had his share of problems.
It's when Beasley has been on the move or allowed free access in routes where he has had the most success. So far this season, Hyde has shown the ability to be a physical player. I expect that we will see him line up across from Beasley and try to hammer him along the line every opportunity he gets. Capers wants to disrupt Beasley and take him away from Dak Prescott as an option. Capers wants to make Beasley have to make contested plays, which is the best way to slow him down.
Look for the adjustment from Scott Linehan to move Beasley around. Linehan needs keep him on the move and not allow Hyde to get his hands on him. This gives him the best chance for success.
Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence vs. Green Bay Packers OT David Bakhtiari
I am going to assume that DeMarcus Lawrence will be the starter at right defensive end against the Packers. After what we saw from him last week against the Bengals, there is no question that he is ready for more action.
While Lawrence was out of the lineup for those four games serving his suspension, this defense rushed four tackles and it showed. When these two teams met last season, it was Greg Hardy that drew Bakhtiari -- and didn't play poorly against him. Lawrence was on the opposite side working against Bryan Bulaga.
There is really nothing pretty in the way that Bakhtiari plays technique-wise. He tends to grab and hold more than he does punch. He likes to drive his man wide instead of take him along the line of scrimmage. I will say that he is playing stronger than when he was in college at Colorado.
Lawrence should be able to hold him in position in the running game, just because he is not a powerful blocker. The majority of his snaps, he plays in a two-point stance. It's rare to see him with his hand on the ground. Where Hardy was able to take advantage of him was with his quickness. Bakhtiari has good feet to stay in position, but there are snaps where you see him a little too top heavy and lunging forward.
Lawrence is similar in his movement skills to what Hardy had. I could see Lawrence using a quick arm-over move to work around Bakhtiari . This should give him some trouble due to how quick he wants to get his hands on the rusher and work to control.