(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 Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.)
Team:Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 vs. Cowboys:The Cowboys and Buccaneers meet in Week 15 (Sunday, Dec. 18) at AT&T Stadium – the second matchup in as many years and the 18th meeting between the two franchises. The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 13-4.
What's the Deal:The third overall pick in the 2010 draft, McCoy has made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams in his first six seasons. A disruptive interior defensive lineman working from the three-technique position, McCoy plays well against the run and has averaged six sacks a year, including 26.5 in the last three seasons.
Expect This:McCoy should be one of the toughest matchups of the year for the Cowboys' interior offensive line (guards La'el Collins and Zack Martin). He had one tackle in last year's 10-6 Tampa Bay victory, but the Cowboys' offense did have trouble moving the ball against the Bucs' defensive front, settling for a pair of Dan Bailey field goals and only 216 total yards.
Previous Meetings:McCoy also faced the Cowboys in 2012 – a 16-10 Dallas victory – and sacked Tony Romo twice, forcing one fumble.
Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:
- When they draw up how three-technique should play in a 4-3 scheme guys like Aaron Donald of the Rams and Gerald McCoy are the first names mentioned.
- McCoy is a combination of explosive quickness and power. The way he comes off the ball presents issues for blockers to have to deal with. He is disruptive at the point of attack and if not completely taken care of on the backside, will chase the play and finish.
- Outstanding lateral agility and body control. Can really change direction and pursue. Can be difficult to handle when he is on the inside charge while on the move. When he hits the gap – he is a load to have to stop.
- Plays with lower body bend and balance. Understands how to keep his pads down and not give the blockers much to work with. Can anchor down at the point of attack in the running game. Will strike and explode with his hands to control blockers.
- Consistent in his technique and how he goes about his job. Not good one play then bad the next three. Nice run game instincts. Finds the ball and gets in position to make the tackle. A disciplined run defender.
- Plays with pass rush moves. Athletic enough to be used in games and stunts. Will see him rush in some three-man games with some effectiveness. Can defeat blockers one-on-one, which is why is he is doubled the majority of the time.
- Both Zack Martin and La'el Collins did a nice job on him when they played the Buccaneers in 2015. Was held off the stat sheet for the majority of the day, which is rare for him.
The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.