Giants (2-6) Cowboys (4-3)
The Cowboys were on their bye last week, after
coming off a 37-10 win over the Philadelphia Eagles the week earlier.
week the Giants stayed close in their game in Detroit. They tried to overcome
a mixture of good and bad plays, but ended up losing to the Lions 31-26.
this time last year, the Cowboys added wide receiver Amari Cooper to the team
before the trade deadline. The Cowboys had a 3-4 record, and with Cooper boosting
their passing offense, they went 7-2 down the stretch. Jerry Jones' trade deal
was a smart move that helped them secure the NFC East division title. The Cowboys
recently lost defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford (hip surgery) for the season,
and so this year they picked up defensive end Michael Bennett to help on that
side of the ball. Right now the Cowboys lead
the division, and judging by all the numbers, Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' first
year offensive coordinator, appears to have the team headed in the right direction.
This offense ranks 6th in
points per game, 4th in rushing yards, 3rd in passing yards, and 1st in overall
yardage. Except for the rushing yards which were 10th, those are vast improvements
from the 20+ rankings they finished with last year. Dak Prescott was struggling
back then working without tight end Jason Witten who had retired, and Dez Bryant
who was released. This year the Cowboys had Amari Cooper from the start, and after
coming out of retirement, Witten is back on the field again.
Cooper is the
leading receiver, and Witten is third, and just one catch behind Michael Gallup.
It's easy to see the value these two players bring to the team. Ezekiel Elliott
was the leading rusher and receiver last year. He's been limited to being responsible
for 25 percent of the offensive output, compared to 34 percent last season. Elliott
leads the team with 135 carries for 602 yards and has 6 touchdowns. This
Cowboys offense leads all teams in the NFL, converting on nearly 52 percent of
their third-down opportunities.
the bye week, the Cowboys traded with the New England Patriots for defensive end
Michael Bennett, giving up a conditional seventh-round pick in 2021. Bennett signed
on with the Patriots just this year, and after one start in six active games,
they were willing to let him go. Bennett had 2.5 sacks in his limited role, and
will be anxious to show in his first outing that the Patriots made a big mistake.
Defensive end Robert Quinn leads the team with 6.0 sacks, despite missing the
first two games, and he works opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, who is second with 3.5
Defensive tackle Maliek Collins leads the team in total pressures,
and with Bennett in the mix, you have the makings of a great pass rush using just
those four players. Behind them, you have aggressive linebackers Jaylon Smith,
who leads the Cowboys in tackles, Leighton Vander Esch, who led the team last
year, is second, and Sean Lee. In the secondary you'll likely remember speedy
cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who caught up with Saquon Barkley on his 59-yard run
in the opener to prevent a touchdown.
Last week Daniel Jones threw 4 touchdown
passes and had no interceptions, but the Giants still lost the game. It didn't
help that Jones' incomplete pass to Saquon Barkley was ruled a lateral and picked
up by Detroit for an easy touchdown return. Jones threw 2 touchdown passes to
Darius Slayton, and one each to tight end Evan Engram and running back Saquon
Barkley. That has Engram and Slayton tied for the team lead with 3 touchdowns
The Giants offense was clicking in Detroit, when they had 370 offensive
yards including 24 first downs. In the last three games before that, they had
season lows of 265, 213, and 211. They also converted on 7 of their 12 third-down
opportunities, which was their second highest total of the season.
Giants met with the Cowboys in the first game, they were without Golden
Tate. This time it looked as though Sterling
Shepard would be missing, but he cleared concussion
protocol. That means Jones will have all his weapons, Shepard, Tate,
Barkley on hand for the first time this season.
They'll need everything they have because the Cowboys have a tough defense.
Sterling Shepard is back in the concussion protocol and will miss this next game.
The Giants are still struggling
with a relatively young defense, and even though their four sacks on Matthew Stafford
last week tied a season high, it wasn't enough to get the job done. During the
week, the Giants added more experience to the unit by trading with the Jets for
lineman Leonard Williams. He was the sixth overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft,
and the Jets, who will receive a 2020 third-round selection, and a 2021 fifth
or fourth round under certain conditions.
The Giants feel that the combination
of Williams playing along side of Dexter Lawrence,
will increase the pressure they can bring up the middle. Markus
Golden picked up his team leading sixth sack when he tackled Stafford for a nine-yard
loss in the fourth quarter. Lorenzo Carter, Dalvin Tomlinson, and Grant Haley
had the other sacks on him.
The Cowboys had no problems handing the Giants
a 35-17 loss on the road in week 1. They have beaten every team in their division.
If you take that, and look at all their stats, you would expect them to be leading
the NFC East, as they are, but with a better win-loss record (4-3).
The Cowboys are healthy coming off their bye
week, and anxious to distance themselves from the pack.
Giants are struggling, trying to figure out what they can, and cannot do while
working in their rookie quarterback. They are 1-1 in the division, and can't afford
to lose a second game to the Cowboys. With their overall 2-6 record, they actually
can't afford to lose any games. If there's even a slim chance for the Giants to
make a playoff run, it will have to start in this match up on Monday night.
Sunday at 1:00pm Redskins (1-7)
at Bills (5-2).
Sunday at 1:00pm Bears (3-4) at Eagles (4-4)
Sunday at 8:15pm
Cowboys (4-3) at Giants (2-6).
The Eagles and Cowboys are favored to win in
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have lost five consecutive games to the Cowboys.Giants
have recorded at least two sacks in every game this year except for the first
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Nov 10 Giants at Jets.
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Nov 24 Giants at Chicago.