Titans at Cowboys: What to watch

Friday, November 2, 2018, Vol. 42, No. 44

Titans (3-4) at Cowboys (3-4)

Monday, Nov. 5

7:15 p.m.


Radio: 104.5 FM

1. A sense of desperation. Both the Titans and Cowboys are coming off bye weeks and have mediocre 3-4 records entering Monday night’s game. The Titans, losers of three consecutive after a 3-1 start, are running the risk of sinking toward the bottom of the AFC South with another loss.

2. Overcoming the mystique. These aren’t your father’s Cowboys. Nor your grandfather’s Cowboys. Neither Emmitt Smith nor Roger Staubach will be suiting up against the Titans. But that doesn’t mean that the Cowboys in a prime-time setting won’t be a dangerous foe. The best thing the Titans can do is to make a big play early to grab momentum and keep the crowd out of the game.

3. Marcus Mariota’s hand. Maybe the bye week has helped Marcus Mariota recover from his injured elbow and hand. Mariota has played well at times using the half glove on his throwing hand to help him grip the ball better. Will he be cured enough from the lingering nerve damage to be able to shed the glove anytime soon?

Matchups to watch

Amari Cooper vs. Titans secondary. Cooper will want to show that he was worth the first-round pick the Cowboys spent to get him from the Raiders. It will be interesting to see how much he can contribute and who the Titans assign to cover him from among Logan Ryan, Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler.

Ben Jones vs. Antuan Woods. Woods is a former Titan who spent some time on the active roster but more of it on the practice squad. He is making the most of his chance with Dallas. Jones and guards Quinton Spain and Josh Kline, presuming both are healthy, are key to getting the running game going for the Titans.