Giants (5-10) Cowboys
Cowboys got off to a slow start in their game with the Philadelphia Eagles last
Sunday. Once they pulled ahead, there was no stopping them. The Cowboys held the
Eagles scoreless while they added 17 more points to finish with a 37-17 win.
Giants were no match for the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of their game
last week. They found themselves trailing 20-3. The Giants did better after that,
holding the Ravens to just one more touchdown, but they still lost 27-13.
Things are looking up for the Cowboys,
at least up as much as any of the other teams in the NFC East, except for one.
The Washington Football Team controls their own destiny, and they will decide
who wins the division title on Sunday night based on the outcome of their game
with the Philadelphia Eagles. If the Cowboys win Sunday against the Giants, and
if Eagles can't stop Washington, it will be the second year in a row they determined
the fate of the Cowboys.
In 2019, the Eagles finished the season with a four
game win streak. If they hadn't beaten the Cowboys in the next to last game, the
Cowboys would have won the division. The Cowboys
have only six wins on the year, but three have come in the last games they've
played. If they close out their season by wining four, they'll be beholding to
the Eagles to play their best against Washington.
Dak Prescott was injured in the first game the Cowboys played with the Giants.
Andy Dalton came in and the Giants greeted him with a sack on his first play of
the season. Dalton came right back at them with an 11 yard pass to CeeDee Lamb.
Ezekiel Elliott finished the drive with a 12 yard touchdown run. As the game moved
on, it looked to be headed to overtime with the score tied 34-34, and less than
one minute left. Dalton started at the Cowboys 12-yard line, threw an incompletion
before completing three long passes, and then a 34 yard field goal won it for
One of those passes went to Amari Cooper, and two to Michael
Gallup. Dalton has made good use of the Cowboys three top receivers, especially
last week. Cooper, Gallup and Lamb caught 13 passes for a total of 307 yards and
3 touchdowns. On the year, they each have caught 5 touchdowns. Lamb added one
rushing touchdown to his list on a 19-yard run last game. Ezekiel Elliott had
none, but he averaged 5.5 yards a carry, running for 105 yards on 19 carries.
Elliott also caught all four passes thrown his way for 34 yards. It was thought
that the Cowboys top running back wouldn't be at full speed or maybe not even
play after missing the first game of his career the week earlier due to a calf
injury. In that game against the Niners, Tony Pollard had 69 yards rushing and
touchdown runs of 1 and 40 yards. The Cowboys have depth on offense, are putting
it all together, and wish they hadn't lost both low scoring games to Washington,
or they'd already hold the division title.
year the Cowboys gave up an average of just about 20 points a game, and this year
it's 30. That's one of the reasons you get a 6-9 record. However, over the past
three games, they have allowed an average score of only 19 points a game, much
better than the near 33 points per game they allowed previously. Maybe they are
finally understanding the new defensive scheme instituted by Mike Nolan, who replaced
former defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. Teams can get hot, and over the past
three games, this defense has forced 10 turnovers. Before that they had 11 turnovers
in 12 games. The secondary has picked off opposing quarterbacks 4 times in the
past two games, resulting in four total interceptions compared to 5 in the previous
Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence is always a problem for opposing
offenses. His sack output has dropped in the last two years, 5 last season and
5.5 now, because he's double teamed. That does create opportunity for others.
Defensive end Randy Gregory has 3.5 sacks after missing all of 2019 due to suspension,
and an additional six games in 2020. Getting back into things, he finished last
week with three forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks. The Cowboys secondary is not the
best, but as other teams have come to realize, Darius Slayton has to be covered.
Those teams learned from watching Slayton play in the first game against the Cowboys
where he caught 8 of 11 passes for 129 yards.
Last week they put up 13 points
with two field goals and one passing touchdown. That's not going to win many football
games. Daniel Jones hasn't thrown an interception in the last five games he's
played. The downside is that he's thrown only 2 touchdowns during that span. In
two of those three games he won, Jones ran with the ball 15 times for 83 yards,
and 1 touchdown. In the last two games, both losses, Jones scrambled 1 time for
3 yards, was sacked 6 times in each game, and threw for two of his three lowest
What's going to change for this game? It felt as though
Jones was on a leash last game, just slightly longer than it was the week earlier.
If Jones is as close to being healthy as some believe he is, that would be the
game changing dog the Giants need on Sunday. If he could make the Cowboys defense
worry about his mobility, that would help the entire offense get the running game
off to a good start.
There wasn't much opportunity to run last week, and Wayne
Gallman led the Giants with just 27 rushing yards on his six carries. Not counting
Jones scramble, there were only five more runs in that game, as the Giants were
trailing and had to throw. Jones did that 41 times, and Sterling Shepard had a
season high total 9 receptions for 77 yards. Tight end Evan Engram was next with
7 receptions for 65 yards. Darius Slayton was well covered and caught only 2 passes
for 26 yards.
last time the Giants faced the Cowboys, Andy Dalton completed 9 of 11 passes for
111 yards, and he wasn't fully prepared to play in that game. Dalton came in when
Dak Prescott was injured, and the Giants secondary was actually doing better when
Prescott was throwing the ball. Dalton was injured two weeks later and missed
two games. In the past three games Dalton has thrown 7 touchdowns and just one
interception. Now with their offense stabilized, this Cowboys team is doing major
damage to opposing defenses. The Giants let the Ravens run on them for 250 yards,
and the Cowboys will be eager to also try to control the game that way using Ezekiel
Elliott as much as they can. Elliott, who came back after missing one game, showed
that he is at full strength.
Last game against the Giants, Elliott carried
the ball 19 times for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tony Pollard added 30 yards on
6 carries. You can't score if your offense can't get on the field, and that's
one of the things that happened to the Giants last week. If the defense plays
tough up front, they will still have to deal with receivers in the secondary.
The Cowboys are ranked seventh in the league overall in passing yards using receivers
they can count on. The Giants did not register
a sack against Lamar Jackson last week, ending their streak of 18 consecutive
games with at least one. Dalton is not anything like Jackson, or Prescott for
that matter, with his mobility. If the Giants can bring it, they better bring
it all for their last shot at the division title.
The last time these two teams met, the Giants
were 0-4, and the Cowboys 1-3. Both teams have 'improved' their win total over
the season, adding five more, but in the process, also added six more losses.
While they are respectively 5-10 and 6-9, both have a shot at the division title
by winning their game on Sunday. The loser is out for sure. Washington has the
lead, and doesn't care about any of this. They know they have to win their game
in Philadelphia or they will forfeit that lead and the division title will go
to either the Giants or Cowboys.
Sunday at 1:00pm Cowboys (6-9)
at Giants (5-10).
Sunday at 8:25pm Washington (6-9) at Eagles (4-10-1).
The Cowboys and Washington are favored to win in these games.
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scored 34 points in their first game with the Cowboys, their highest on the season.
Gano has made 29 consecutive field goals, and one more breaks the Giants record
for the most.
The Cowboys have started
four different quarterbacks this season.
Ezekiel Elliott needs 63 yards to hit 1000 on the year, as he had every year except
for his suspension-shortened 2017 season.
have lost to the Cowboys in the last 7 games they've played.
Giants win combined with a Washington loss - Giants would be the first to the
playoffs after starting 0-5.
3 Cowboys at Giants