Dallas Cowboys: Week 15 matchup preview


The Dallas Cowboys will take on the Oakland Raiders in what should be an exciting matchup. Here are some of the biggest factors heading into Week 15.

The Dallas Cowboys will be taking on the Oakland Raiders on Sunday Night Football. The Cowboys will be looking to continue their winning streak as they are still on a quest to make the playoffs. The Raiders will be looking to steal a victory from the Cowboys at home. Let’s take a look at some of the best matchups of the afternoon.

Michael Crabtree against the Cowboys secondary: Crabtree will be the healthiest starting wide receiver on the Raiders as Amari Cooper will sit this game out. Crabtree should be in for a ton of targets as should tight end Jared Cook.

The Raiders could be running the football more as Marshawn Lynch is a bruising runner who could give the Cowboys some trouble if he gets to the second level. Crabtree will be the Raiders primary target in this matchup so it will be interesting to see how the Dallas Cowboys will approach him with coverage.

The Cowboys defensive backs have been getting better with every game but they will face a pretty stiff test with Crabtree.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys pass rush vs Raiders offensive line: The Dallas Cowboys will be without David Irving for the second game in a row as he deals with a concussion, that means the team will expect more out of rookie Taco Charlton.

The former Michigan Wolverine had a terrific game last week and should be in line for more snaps in Week 15. The Raiders have not been terrific this season at protecting Derek Carr and creating holes for their ground game.

There is also Demarcus Lawrence, a player who is having a whale of a season and someone who could dominate any offensive lineman he faces. The Raiders offensive line will be tested as they go up against a very difficult and interesting group of pass rushers.

Raiders secondary VS Dez Bryant: Dez Bryant finally broke free last week and got into the end zone. He ended the game with 73 yards on three receptions which is pretty good.

He still sees favorable one on one coverage at times throughout ball games and Dak Prescott seems to favor that matchup more and more in close games. The Raiders will also be without starting cornerback David Amerson who is dealing with a foot injury.

Dexter McDonald will likely start in his place giving an advantageous matchup to any Cowboys wide receiver matched up with him on the outside. Travis Carrie will be the starting cornerback opposite of Amerson’s replacement and it is likely he will be asked to shadow Bryant on the outside.

The Raiders will also be missing both their first and second 2017 round draft pick, cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Obi Melifonwu. Both of the Raiders rookies were placed on IR marking the end of their season.

Can Rod Smith continue his hot streak? Smith has been was on fire last week against the New York Giants. A receiving and rushing touchdown for Smith last week gave him the best game of his young career.

It is imperative that the Dallas Cowboys continue to press his hot streak and keep him heavily involved in the offense. The Cowboys need to dominate the ground game and time of possession to put the Oakland Raiders away and Smith should be the man for the job.

Next: Should the Dallas Cowboys re-signDemarcus Lawrence or Anthony Hitchens?

Smith is a more complete receiver than Alfred Morris but both players should play a significant role in this contest. The Raiders defensive front is one of the more friendly matchups the Cowboys offense has seen this season and in a must-win situation, Dallas will likely lean on what makes them great.