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Opposing Player Spotlight: Week 3, Dallas Cowboys

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The Dolphins are heading to Dallas for the team’s first road game of the season to face a fearsome Dallas defense led by a top tier pass rusher.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Welp, it can’t get any worse, right? Right!?

The Miami Dolphins got absolutely smothered by the New England Patriots last Sunday, and for a whole host of reasons, Ryan Fitzpatrick (and then Josh Rosen) and Miami’s offense failed to generate any points. Doing so won’t be any easier on the road against the Dallas Cowboys and a particularly stingy defense. Said defense has a stout front seven led by a group of fearsome pass rushers, and one of said pass rushers will be the focus of this week’s Opposing Player Spotlight.

Each week of the 2019 season, I am highlighting one player on the team squaring off with the Miami Dolphins that ‘phins fans should be watching out for. This week, that player is Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.

Do you have a player recommendation for next week’s spotlight? Let me know on Twitter @HierJustin.

Fact Check: DeMarcus Lawrence

Position: DE

Experience: 6th season

Age: 27

Height/Weight: 6’3”, 265 lbs

College: Boise State

Stat Review

Lawrence was rewarded this past offseason with a hefty five-year, $105 million contract extension in part because of his impressive production during his time in Dallas. During the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Lawrence accumulated a combined 25 sacks and six forced fumbles. Since 2017, he’s grown into one of the league’s elite pass rushers.

Over the first two weeks of this season, he’s recorded two tackles, 0.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. Rest assured, he’ll get his due over the course of the year as long as he stays healthy, something he’s managed to do over the past two seasons after struggling to stay on the field during the beginning of his career.

Key Matchups

Prior to his breakout season in 2017, Lawrence shifted over to the left side of the defensive line which allows him to take advantage of the fact that opposing teams’ right tackles are often not as accomplished as their counterparts on the left side of the offensive line. The same fact holds true for the Dolphins, where the team’s top offensive lineman, Jesse Davis, had to shift over from the right side of the line to left tackle to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick’s (and Josh Rosen’s) blindside.

Currently, the Dolphins’ depth chart has Julien Davenport listed as the team’s starting right tackle, but Davenport was injured in practice prior to Week 2’s game against the Patriots, leaving journeyman J’Marcus Webb to fill in on the right side. Despite his veteran presence on the o-line, Webb is simply outmatched in terms of talent when compared to Lawrence, so expect the Dolphins to deploy help in the form extra blockers, whether it be through running backs in the backfield or tight ends on the edge of the line.