Top 50: In Week 1, Cowboys Will Face This Rival Pass Rusher For 11th Time

(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 New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.)

Name: Jason Pierre-Paul
Team:New York Giants
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight:6-5/278
Experience:6 seasons
College: South Florida

2016 vs. Cowboys:

The Cowboys and Giants will meet for the 109th and 110th time in Week 1 at AT&T Stadium and Week 14 at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 62-44-2.

What's the Deal: Pierre-Paul missed both division games against Dallas last season, still recovering from the reported July 4 fireworks accident that badly injured his right hand last summer. Wearing a protective pad on his hand, he appeared in the Giants' final eight games and produced 21 tackles, 6 pass breakups and a sack. In March he signed a one-year deal worth $10.5 million to return to the Giants.

Expect This: The Giants further bolstered their pass rush by signing Olivier Vernon to an $85 million deal in March. It remains to be seen how New York plans to use Vernon and Pierre-Paul together on the defensive line, but if Pierre-Paul continues to line up at left defensive end as he did in the last half of the 2015 season, he'll be matched up against Cowboys veteran right tackle Doug Free.

Previous Meetings:

In 10 career games against Dallas from 2010-14, Pierre-Paul tallied 7 sacks, a safety and an interception return for a touchdown. The Giants were 4-6 in those meetings.

Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:

  • Lines up as a left defensive end for the Giants. Rushes from a wide technique. Will stand up at times as well.
  • Very aware as a player, hard to fool. Assignment sound.
  • Initial quickness off the ball. Nice push on inside charge. Sees his share of double teams. Will finish when he is in position. Can dip his shoulder and rush. His body control and bend make him a difficult defender to handle when trying to block.
  • Can extend his arms and control blockers while working down the line to the ball despite only having one good hand to operate. He does a very nice job of keeping those blockers off his body and when he gets into position to make the tackle he has the ability to shed his man and finish the play.[embeddedad0]
  • As a pass rusher he rarely gives the tackle the same move. He can be sneaky in the way that he will start up field wide, then while putting all the tackle's weight on his up-field foot, cut back underneath to the quarterback.
  • He is productive with his counter moves and while he is throwing them you see him continuing up the field, not slowing down one bit.
  • Has always been the type of player who can play the run just as well as the pass. Tyron Smith was drafted to handle guys just like him. 

The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.

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