Let’s be clear. The upcoming game for the Cincinnati Bengals versus the Dallas Cowboys isn’t a freebie.
Even though Dak Prescott will miss the inter-conference matchup, it would be a mistake to see it as a lock. It’s not.
This isn’t an overreaction to the Bengals’ loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers or anything like that, either. It’s just how the NFL works.
In fact, Cincinnati is only seen as a 7.5-point road favorite versus what’s now Cooper Rush’s (the Cowboys’ backup QB) team.
We saw Trubisky beat Burrow, Geno beat Wilson, among many other crazy results in Week 1. And at the end of the day, this is a league of match-ups.
And after watching what happened last weekend, there’s one position group in Dallas that the Bengals should be prepared for.
Cowboys’ defensive front
Micah Parsons doesn’t always line up at the line of scrimmage to rush the passer, but when he does, you’re in trouble.
His 23% pressure rate in 2021 was the most by any NFL player since 2017.
And if you’re asking yourself if he was a one-year wonder, the guy sacked Tom Brady twice last Sunday night.
But that’s only the leader of the pack.
The Bengals will face a deep defensive front that also features DeMarcus Lawrence and lesser-known yet disruptive defensive tackles that are coming into the season significantly improved.
One of these is Osa Odighizuwa who was among the league’s rookie leaders at his position last year.
As a team, the Cowboys had the fourth highest-pressure rate in the NFL.
While plenty about Dallas is usually based on hype, this group is legit.
And what should concern Cincinnati, even more, is the fact that Dan Quinn will get creative with those blitzes.
His multiple fronts will force plenty of communication, an area the Bengals have struggled with.
If we learned one thing about the Bengals’ offense last weekend is that the issues at the offensive line aren’t solved yet.
Yes, the team added significant talent to the starting lineup and that counts. But this isn’t Madden football.
The unit hasn’t quite gelled and it’s likely to take time.
Not to mention, the Bengals’ pass protection schemes weren’t ideal in 2021, so we’ll see how Cincinnati adjusted this season as a coaching staff.
After facing a tough defensive front in Week 1, the Bengals’ offense has another huge test ahead next Sunday.