The Dallas Cowboys have a short turnaround this week, as the Las Vegas Raiders come to town on Thanksgiving Day. Dallas must be ready to go just days after a disappointing performance against the Kansas City Chiefs in week 11.
Dallas might be without a handful of key contributors on Thursday — even more than what the team was without against Kansas City. In addition to Amari Cooper missing the game due to COVID-19 protocols, and all of the injuries on the roster, CeeDee Lamb’s status is up in the air.
Lamb suffered a concussion versus the Chiefs that forced him to miss the second half. Because of the short week, there is some doubt that he can play on Thanksgiving. Additionally, the Cowboys are still in wait-and-see mode with Tyron Smith.
The Cowboys need all hands on deck, because the Raiders present a similar challenge that the Chiefs did. That means that the Cowboys offense — specifically the offensive line — must be ready to go.
RAIDERS HAVE PASS RUSH THAT CAN BOTHER COWBOYS
Kansas City had its way with the Cowboys offense and offensive line on Sunday. Chris Jones dictated the tone of the game, and Frank Clark and company feasted on the Cowboys passing attack. No matter what Dallas did, the Cowboys had no answer for the Chiefs’ defense.
Las Vegas, meanwhile, is bringing in one of the best pass rushes in the league. Maxx Crosby has emerged as one of the better ends in football, as he consistently beats offensive tackles and gets into the backfield. Opposite of Crosby is Yannick Ngakoue, who has proven to be among the best at his position for years.
This spin move from Raiders DE Maxx Crosby vs. Bengals RT Riley Reiff is exquisite.
Also: Crosby led the NFL in pass rush win rate as an edge rusher in Week 11 (ESPN/NFL Next Gen) pic.twitter.com/zBddumTzSI
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) November 23, 2021
Crosby leads the NFL in QB pressures and is a constant terror off the edge. That is not what you want to hear if you’re the Cowboys after allowing the Chiefs to live in the backfield. La’el Collins struggled at right tackle versus the Chiefs, and Terence Steele is a big drop off from Smith at left tackle.
Dallas was unable to get anything going offensively because the Chiefs won the line of scrimmage. Tyron Smith potentially returning to action is good news, but the rest of the line as a whole needs to up its game.
The Raiders have had their struggles this season, but their pass rush is legit. Neutralizing Crosby and Ngakoue would go a long way in the Cowboys getting back in the win column on Thursday.
Featured image via Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports