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 /
4 of 4
dallas Cowboys
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Matchup No. 3

Terry McLaurin vs Trevon Diggs

I mean… duh!

Terry McLaurin is a top ten receiver in this league and created many problems for Diggs last season when they faced off. His athletic ability combined with his improving releases are creating problems for defensive backs working down the field by simply being one step ahead of his route breaks. I don’t really think there’s much else to say about McLaurin at this point; his resume speaks for itself.

Diggs has been great this season headlined by his nine interceptions, currently a league-high.  According to Pro Football Reference, Diggs has allowed 45 completions and three touchdowns on a 54.9 completion percentage while holding opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of 56.4. In fact, his average depth of target allowed has significantly reduced from last season (13.3 to 8.8 yards) but he’s allowed nearly twice as much YAC (yards after catch) boasting a missed tackle percentage of almost 20 percent.

It would seem that Diggs vulnerability to allow the big play isn’t because based on him being out of position to play the ball, it’s on him being out of position to finish the play. We’re aware of certain instances like the Kendrick Bourne touchdown against New England and the Tim Patrick touchdown versus Denver where Diggs just flat out got beat, but keep in mind those make up two of the three touchdowns he’s allowed this year.

Diggs has definitely improved from last year as has McLaurin making the competition between these two this weekend a must-see. McLaurin will have his moments and Diggs will have his moments, but the notion that McLaurin should eat up Diggs seems a bit naive knowing how things have transpired the last three months. Diggs’ high variance play style lends itself to receivers like McLaurin to gash him, but the moment McLaurin stops paying attention Diggs likely takes a pass away from him.

In both games last season, McLaurin caught seven passes for at least 90 yards. If everything goes as expected, Washington likely passes the ball a lot lending McLaurin more opportunities to catch passes. The eye test (and defensive EPA allowed) will likely be the final measurement to see who truly won Sunday’s matchup.

Next. 3 Dallas Cowboys that need a narrative change. dark

A division rivalry with this wide receiver/cornerback matchup just adds to the general excitement of everything. The Cowboys are getting healthy at a time where the team is still figuring out their identity. A statement win against a trending Washington team could do wonders to the team’s morale as well giving them an edge in a tight playoff race to end the season.