Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys next opponent. This week, that opponent is the New York Jets.
The Opponent: The New York Jets, aka Gang Green, aka the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets (dumbest chant ever).
The Line: Jets by 4.5. Such a shame that you never see an team actually win a game by 4.5 points. Oh, what fun it would be if a sack counted a half a point.
Last Game: A 24-19 loss to the Steelers in the AFC title game, keeping New York one game away from the Super Bowl for the second consecutive year.
The Coach: Rex Ryan. You know all about Rex by now, and you know of course that his twin brother Rob is currently your defensive coordinator. If you think that the close bond between brothers might make for an equally close ball game, you could be right. The last time Rex squared off against his own brother, the Jets needed an overtime TD grab from Santonio Holmes to beat Cleveland. I'm sure Rob Ryan spent plenty of time debriefing the Cowboys' offensive coaching staff this week.
The Offense: This is one of the better offensive lines in football, but there is some upheaval with Wayne Hunter now manning the right tackle slot with Damien Woody gone. Also, Braylon Edwards is out and in his place are Derrick Mason and Plaxico Burress, who demonstrated in the preseason that he still has some juice left in him. The Jets will again do their very best to establish themselves as a running team, with Shonn Greene expected to carry more of the load than he did last season. Greene had fumbling issues last season, so we'll see if Rob Ryan has his hounds try and strip Greene like they're opening a Christmas gift. Mark Sanchez is erratic but will always pull out a nice throw when you least suspect it.
The Defense: You couldn't have asked for a more stern test for this retooled Cowboys o-line. Ryan disguises blitzing schemes game by game, so it's likely Tony Romo will be seeing packages tonight that he's never seen on tape from the Jets before. Darrelle Revis usually takes the left side of the defense, with baby daddy extraordinaire Antonio Cromartie doing all the grunt work on the opposite side. I expect Jason Garrett to try and get Dez Bryant covered by Cromartie a lot.
Key Matchup: Phil Costa vs. Bart Scott & the crowd. Costa has been battling injuries this week, and now he's set to debut on the road in a hostile stadium against a notoriously difficult team to identify blocking schemes for. No bunny slopes for Costa. He's going right into the teeth of the wolf.