The Cowboys take on the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2 of the 2022 season. The matchup will be a home game for Dallas after visiting Cincinnati in 2020, where the Cowboys won 30-7.
The Bengals finished 10-7 in 2021, winning the AFC North for the first time since 2015. Their AFC Championship victory over the Kansas City Chiefs advanced them to Super Bowl LVI, where they lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams.
Quarterback Joe Burrow, the reigning Comeback Player of the Year, led the NFL in completion percentage and threw for 4,611 passing yards and 34 touchdowns. He also finished second in the league with a 108.3 passer rating.
Burrow will again be throwing to receivers like Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd, making up one of the league’s best wide receiver corps. The former won Offensive Rookie of the Year and was a second-team All-Pro selection, while Higgins and Boyd combined to record 1,919 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.
Running back Joe Mixon returns for his sixth NFL season, all with the Bengals. He’s coming off a career year in 2021, recording career-highs with 1,205 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Mixon also posted career-highs in receiving with 314 yards and three touchdowns.
Cincinnati’s offensive line received a significant upgrade this offseason. Center Ted Karras, guard Alex Kappa and former Cowboys tackle La’el Collins arrived in free agency to give Burrow much-needed protection. Karras and Kappa were signed from the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively. Dallas released Collins on March 17 and signed by the Bengals three days later.
Cincinnati’s pass-rush includes the duo of Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Hendrickson recorded a career-high 14 sacks to earn his first Pro Bowl selection, while Hubbard recorded 7.5 sacks. On the inside is nose tackle D.J. Reader, who recorded a Pro Football Focus grade of 79.5 last season.
Logan Wilson leads the Bengals’ linebacker corps, flanked by Germaine Pratt. Both recorded 55 tackles last season and combined for five interceptions and six passes defended. At safety, Cincinnati brings back Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, the former being regarded as one of the league’s best safeties:
At cornerback, former Cowboy Chidobe Awuzie leads the way alongside Eli Apple and 2022 first-round draft pick Daxton Hill. Awuzie is coming off one of his best seasons in 2021 and picked off Rams QB Matthew Stafford in the Super Bowl.
Hill, a first-team All-Big Ten safety at Michigan, will play cornerback for Cincinnati. Mike Hilton also returns at cornerback for the Bengals.
The Cowboys will take on the Bengals on Sunday, September 18th at 3:25 p.m. CT on CBS.