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3 Things To Watch As The Bengals Host The Dallas Cowboys

Giovani Bernard and the Bengals face a Dallas Cowboys defense that allowed 167.8 rushing yards per game this season.
Giovani Bernard and the Bengals face a Dallas Cowboys defense that allowed 167.8 rushing yards per game this season.

The Bengals begin a stretch with three of their final four games at Paul Brown Stadium to close the 2020 season. The first of those matchups takes place in Week 14 as the Bengals host the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are the three things to watch in Week 14.

1. Up and Down - These are two defenses trending in opposite directions. In their last three games, the Bengals have allowed the ninth-fewest points limiting opponents to 19.3 points per game. A significant part of the Bengals' resurgence stems from the play of safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell. The duo have created all three turnovers the past three games. Bates in particular is enjoying an All-Pro season grading out as the Bengals' top defender at 91.3. 

Conversely, Dallas has been gashed allowing 34 points per game in their last three contests, the second-worst mark in the NFL. A big reason for Dallas' struggles stems from the run defense. Since their bye week, the Cowboys have allowed an average of 200 rushing yards per game. In their last game at Baltimore, the Ravens rushed for 294 yards, with three different rushers racking up at least 71 yards for a team average of 7.9 yards per carry.

2. Up and Coming - Both teams feature a wide receiver in his prime and among the league's best and an exciting rookie who taking the league by storm.

Cincinnati's Tyler Boyd continues his quest for his third consecutive 1,000-yard season leading the Bengals with 73 catches for 797 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, opposite of Boyd is rookie sensation Tee Higgins. Higgins among rookies ranks second in yards (729) and third in catches (53).

For Dallas, sixth-year receiver Amari Cooper is on pace for this fifth Pro Bowl selection leading the Cowboys with 76 catches for 891 yards and four touchdowns. What's helped his numbers is the emergence of rookie CeeDee Lamb, who ranks second among rookie receivers with 696 yards and third with 59 catches.

3. Up and Running – Both head coaches stressed the importance of the run game in this matchup and it is easy to see why. The Bengals have only allowed two 100 yard rushers this season (Nick Chubb & Derrick Henry), but have allowed six players to rush for 90 or more yards, the third-most this season. 

Meanwhile, Dallas possesses the league's worst run defense allowing seven players to rush for 90 or more yards, which is the second-most in the NFL. In the fact the Cowboys 167.8 rushing yards per game allowed is the second-most in franchise history. The Cowboys allowed 186.8 in their inaugural 1960 season.


Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus. Broadcasters are Kevin Kugler (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Laura Okmin (reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).