(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth.)
Name: Andrew Whitworth
Position: Offensive Tackle
2016 vs. Cowboys:
The Cowboys and Bengals face off Oct. 9 at AT&T Stadium in the fifth game of the 2016 season. It'll mark only 12th meeting between the teams and the first since 2012. The Cowboys lead the all-series, 7-4.
What's the Deal:
Whitworth has been a model of consistency in Cincinnati. Since getting drafted in the 2006 second round, he has started 148 of 152 possible games for the Bengals and missed only eight games in a decade. He's a two-time Pro Bowler, including last season when he made The Associated Press All-Pro First Team. The Bengals ranked 13th in rushing yards (1,805) and Andy Dalton enjoyed a career season with a 106.2 passer rating that ranked second among starting NFL quarterbacks.
The Cowboys play Cincinnati in Week 5, which means defensive end Randy Gregory will be set for his season debut after serving a four-game NFL suspension. (There have been reports for weeks that DeMarcus Lawrence will appeal a possible four-game league suspension, too, though no announcement has come from the league to date.) The Cowboys need both to help pressure Dalton, and Gregory would likely match up with Whitworth working from the right end spot. The Cowboys also signed restricted free agent Benson Mayowa to give them speed off the edge. The entire defensive line will face a challenge up front from Cincinnati; Dalton was sacked only 20 times last season.
Previous Meetings:Whitworth has made two career starts against the Cowboys (2008, 2012). The Bengals averaged 299.5 total yards and 20.5 points in the two meetings, both Cowboys victories (31-22 in 2008; 20-19 in 2012).
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- Starter at left tackle. Able to ride the rusher past the quarterback. Gets away with playing straight legged.
- Able to kick wide and his size makes it hard for defender to get past him. Has to be careful not to lean forward – when he does, he has problems with his balance.
- Long arms keep defender off his body. Better when he has to block wide. If rusher goes inside there are problems with his power step to shut down the inside. Has to work hard to finish his block.
- Has some problems with quickness. Will hop inside on cutoff block. Tries to control with his hands and upper body. Likes to shield instead of drive. Catch, then steer. Will sustain once he becomes engaged.[embeddedad0]
- Does not have the quickest feet. Not always smooth with his passing of stunts. Likes when rushers go down the middle against him; can sit down and control. Surprised the number of times he will get walked back.
- Athletic ability is that of a right tackle. Doesn't always play in balance.