6 Notes Heading into Jets vs Cowboys

The New York Jets will head into Arlington, Texas to face the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 of the NFL season. The Jets are coming off a roller coaster 22-16 win over the Bills at home while the Cowboys are coming off a 40-0 blowout win over the Giants.

Today let’s take a look at the Jets’ keys to victory, x-factors, and biggest matchups to watch.

6 Notes Heading into Jets vs Cowboys

Jets Offensive Key: Utilize Zach Wilson’s Mobility

The Jets quarterback room took a devastating hit on Monday Night as Aaron Rodgers suffered a Torn Achilles four snaps into his Jets career. The Jets will now have to rely on third-year quarterback Zach Wilson for the near future. After coming in on Monday Night to replace Rodgers, Wilson finished 14/21 for 140 yards, a touchdown, an interception, and a Rating of 81.4.

To say Wilson’s career thus far has been bumpy is an understatement, but one strength to Wilson’s game even through the tough times is his legs. When Wilson has struggled it has been in the pocket where he has held onto the ball for too long and taken sacks or has panicked into a wrong decision. However, some of his better moments have come on the run rolling out of the pocket where he isn’t overthinking the situation.

One of the big things with Wilson has been his ability to make the tough throws but miss on the easy throws. Former offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur did not do a good enough job utilizing Zach Wilson’s mobility. Part of that could have been he was a first-time OC, now the Jets have Nathaniel Hackett who will be on the field and has experience as an OC.

Expect Dallas a defense that sacked Daniel Jones seven times last week to stack the box forcing Wilson to throw the football. The Jets should set up designed runs for Wilson and allow him to make throws both in the pocket and rolling out.

Jets Defensive Key: Continue To Force Turnovers

This sounds very obvious but it is true and a big piece heading into this game especially when you look at what the Jets were able to do last week. The Jets were able to force four turnovers against the Bills including three interceptions from Jordan Whitehead. Josh Allen also had a fumble where the Jets were able to jump on it.

One of the knocks with the Jets’ defense last year was their inability to force turnovers or take advantage of balls that were poor throws or on the turf. That changed on Monday Night and needs to continue. Last week the Jets took advantage of a turnover-plagued quarterback in Allen and this week they look for the same outcome from their defense.

Dak Prescott is coming off a win where he played mistake-free football. However, he is coming off a rare turnover-plagued season in 2022. Last year in 12 games Prescott was tied for the most interceptions thrown in the NFL with 15. If the Jets can take advantage of mistakes like they did in week one it will put them in a position to come out on top in this road matchup.

Jets Offensive X-Factor: Offensive Line

This unit is coming off an up-and-down week in the opener on Monday Night. The pass protection was not good but the run blocking especially coming from the tight ends was solid. Behind the tight ends and offensive line, the Jets were able to rush for 172 yards. 127 of those coming from Breece Hall on just 10 carries. This week presents another big challenge against one of the best fronts in football.

The Cowboys are coming off a week where they tallied seven sacks, 12 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss, and 31 pressures. Micah Parsons being the biggest piece on the Cowboys’ defense is going to give the Jets’ tackles all they can handle. Protecting Wilson and this run game is huge for the Jets.

Expect Dallas to stack the box and blitz at times forcing Wilson to throw the ball and make decisions quickly. One of Wilson’s weaknesses is staying calm when under pressure and stepping up in the pocket to make throws. It is massive for this unit to pick up the blitz and give Wilson time to get the ball to his weapons.

Jets Defensive X-Factor: Safeties

One of the knocks to the Jets’ defense last year was the safety play, especially in coverage. That was not an issue in week one. The Jets safeties showed up in a big way on Monday Night and it was a big reason why they came away winners. As mentioned earlier in the article Jordan Whitehead was able to pick off Josh Allen three times in Week 1.

Those three interceptions were good enough for Whitehead to hit a $250,000 incentive in his contract in just the first game of the 2023 campaign. If the defensive line continues to get pressure and the Jets continue to hold up on the back end specifically the safeties it will put this team in a good spot to start 2-0.

Jets Offensive Matchup To Watch: Garrett Wilson vs Trevon Diggs

For the second week in a row, Garrett Wilson will face up against another big-name corner this time Trevon Diggs. Wilson is coming off a week where he had five catches for 34 yards and one big touchdown that came in the fourth quarter. That touchdown reception was against Tre’Davious White and through Week 1 is the best catch of the young season.

This week, Wilson needs to be one of the focal points on the Jets’ offense if they want to win this game on the road. As for Diggs, he is coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons and looking for another this year. Diggs last week allowed three catches on four targets for 31 yards and one pass defended.

Jets Defensive Matchup To Watch: Jets Defensive Line vs Cowboys Offensive Line

Similar to the Cowboys defensive line the Jets defensive line is extremely dominant and will go up against a Dallas line that is dealing with injuries. For the second week in a row, the Cowboys are expected to be without guard Tyler Smith who is doubtful for this week’s matchup. Replacing him is former Jet Chuma Edoga, who the Jets should take advantage of.

Coming off of week one where the Jets made Josh Allen’s life miserable sacking him five times and tallying nine quarterback hits, they will look to do the same against Prescott. Quinnen Williams and Quinton Jefferson in the interior against Edoga is a matchup that favors the Jets. Getting pressure on Prescott and forcing him into bad decisions like Allen, will go a long way for the Jets in winning this matchup.


Cowboys win 20-16.

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