Thursday, September 21, 2023 Sep 21, 2023
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What I’m Watching: Red River Showdown Week!

Plus, the Mavs are back, while the Cowboys face another pesky mobile quarterback
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Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Rangers baseball is gone, but Mavericks basketball is back — and, of course, football isn’t going anywhere for quite some time. Here’s what I’m watching this week.

Wednesday 10/6: Jazz at Mavericks7:30 p.m., Bally Sports Southwest

Yes, it’s NBA preseason, but it’s also our first glimpse at the Jason Kidd era. What will his Mavericks team look like? And how fresh will Luka Doncic look after the most grueling offseason of his career? Don’t bank on the stars getting too much run, but the first new head coach since 2007 working his first game is guaranteed intrigue no matter who is on the floor.

Saturday 10/9: The Red River Showdown11:00 a.m., ABC

I don’t have to explain this one, right?

But if there’s one player I’m watching, in particular, it’s Longhorns tailback Bijan Robinson, who is staking his claim to be the best player in the country at his position. He’s electric, and I can’t wait to see what he does on the big stage.

Sunday 10/10: The Cowboys’ run defense versus Giants quarterback Daniel Jones3:25 p.m., FOX

Sunday’s six-point win over the Panthers wasn’t as close as it appeared, but it did reveal an important defensive vulnerability: containing a mobile quarterback. Sam Darnold scored two touchdowns on the ground versus Dallas, both of which were improvised from busted pass plays. Now Dallas must contend with Jones, who ranks third leaguewide among quarterbacks with 188 rushing yards.

The Cowboys should win this game no matter what Jones does, and Keanu Neal could be a big key toward ensuring it might not be much if he’s activated from the team’s COVID-19 list in time for Sunday, as Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan looks to be the case. The rangy former safety can close down space unlike any other linebacker Dallas plays — rookie Jabril Cox has a similar skill set but has yet to spend much time on the field — and that dimension was sorely missing against Darnold. But if the Giants do make a game out of this, it’s probably because their quarterback is making plays with his legs, not just his arm.

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