Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Football Team: 3 Key Matchups to Highlight

Connor McGovern, LG, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Connor McGovern, LG, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Connor McGovern, LG, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Connor McGovern, LG, Dallas Cowboys Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Matchup No. 1

Connor McGovern vs Jonathan Allen

After Connor Williams’ three penalty game against the Atlanta Falcons (a blowout game might I add) the coaching staff and front office felt that Williams’ untimely penalties were pretty significantly inhibiting the flow of the offense so it was agreed upon that former third-round pick Connor McGovern would take over the starting spot at left guard.

Ever since the team decided upon that move, the offensive line’s execution has been noticeably worse. McGovern hasn’t been particularly inspiring as in the last three games, he’s allowed 10 QB pressures, 8 QB hurries, and one sack. While Williams’ penalties were problematic, he had a top ten pass-blocking efficiency amongst guards at 98.5 percent; McGovern’s in the last three games is 96 percent. (A significant drop off) If you’re into PFF grades, he’s only had one game grade above 67 and it was because he earned a 75.7 run-blocking grade against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Taking the blame off McGovern for a bit, the Cowboys coaching staff also haven’t really done the offense any favors either. Their insistence on playing Terrence Steele over La’el Collins because Collins needed to “earn” his playing time has also resulted in constant shuffling on that side of the line. By far the most important thing for an offensive line is consistency, not only for the line as a whole but individually as well. The Cowboys coaching staff has essentially played fantasy football with this group after insisting last season that they weren’t going to do that.

Unfortunately, Dak Prescott and company are going to have to deal with the worse left guard starting for the rest of the season alongside a young center in Tyler Biadasz and All-Pro, but kinda injury-prone, tackle Tyron Smith. With 10 days passing between their last game and this one, hopefully, the team has done a thorough film study on this week’s opponent because the person playing across McGovern will most likely be former Alabama Crimson Tide defensive tackle, Jonathan Allen.

Allen has been incredibly dependable for the Football Team. After falling to them in the 2017 NFL draft due to medical reasons, a season-ending injury prematurely his rookie season. However, since that injury-shortened season, Allen has played almost every game for the team while putting up decent production from multiple spots on the defensive line. Ever since Ron Rivera’s hiring, Allen has moved inside playing anywhere from 2 to 4-technique and has been good enough to earn himself a nice contract extension this offseason.

Through 12 games this season, Allen currently has 6.5 sacks, 8 tackles for loss, and 23 QB hits. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Football team is currently without Chase Young and Montez Sweat due to injury and Covid-19 respectively providing the Cowboys the ability to double team players like Allen, but Washington came into the season fairly deep on the defensive line with players like Tim Settle, Matt Ioannidis, and Da’Ron Payne.

Washington’s defense is finally starting to play up to the hype it received in the pre-season, which is just fantastic for Dallas as their offensive line continues to be a work in progress apparently.

(All stats provided by PFF)