“They’re definitely beatable.” Nick Bosa fancies his 49ers defense against a formidable Cowboys offensive line

The Dallas Cowboys have had injuries and rotations on their offensive line this year leading Nick Bosa to believe he'll be able to make a large impact.

Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa

The 2021 wild card matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys features an intriguing matchup between star edge rusher Nick Bosa and Cowboys offensive tackles Tyrone Smith and La’el Collins. The major narrative in the media during this week of build-up has been the physicality of the 49ers’ defense vs. the finesse of the Cowboys’ offense. That being said when it comes to the trenches, it’ll be a physical battle regardless of how the Cowboys go about their offensive game plan.

The Cowboys and immense offensive line play are two things that have become synonymous over the past 10 years now. Much of that comes from their two best linemen, Tyrone Smith, and Zach Martin. A huge part of maintaining that high level of play is their bulk of the line staying healthy and not having to rotate players and position very often unlike a team like Seattle for example. The 2021 season has been different for the Cowboys on the injury front, however.

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Injuries on the Cowboys offensive line

Tyrone Smith
Tyrone Smith

Where historically the Cowboys have managed to stay healthy up front, this year both of their star tackles have dealt with injury issues. Tyrone Smith has only played 60.18% of the team’s offensive snaps and on the other side, La’el Collins has played 54.72%. These injuries have meant the backups have had to start. Despite this, the Cowboys still ranked tied 11th in total sacks given up with 33 and 6th in total times the QB was pressured at 130. A big factor on the injury front is that their tackles, for the most part, missed time early in the season and won’t have to deal with breaking off any rust come Sunday’s wild-card matchup.

Nick Bosa suggest the Cowboys can be broken

Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa

Star pass rusher for the 49ers, Nick Bosa was quoted on The Athletic saying “They’re definitely beatable. There’s tape on them getting beat, and we’re trying to do the same. They’ve definitely been in and out of the lineup a lot this year. The game plan is just to make them work.” His statements most certainly are true and if there were a player to challenge the Cowboys it’s definitely Nick Bosa. After a season cut short due to injury he came back this year stronger racking up 52 total tackles, 15.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss, and 32 QB hits. His comments about the Cowboys having moments when they’ve been beaten certainly is true but for the most part that has to do with injuries on the line that have now been sorted out. So while it is true that the Cowboys’ offensive line has been rather lackluster for their standards, the one we’ll see on Sunday should be at its best, at least on paper.

Had this been a midseason matchup it would be clear to see that Bosa would have the edge and would live in the backfield but such is the way of the playoffs that players normally find their way back and play through the beatings the season gives them. I’m sure 49ers fans would’ve hoped that the Cowboys weren’t at their best but for the neutral it means we get to see stars clash with everything on the line. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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