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Giants - Cowboys
Game 3 preview
Monday Sept 26, 8:15 PM - Cowboys at Giants

Giants (2-0) Cowboys (1-1)
Both teams won their games last week. The Cowboys were playing at home, and they handed the Cincinnati Bengals a 20-17 loss. The Giants, In their home opener, defeated the Carolina Panthers 19-16.

Dallas Cowboys
In 2018, the Cowboys won the NFC East Division with a 10-6 record. They won the Wild Card playoffs against Seattle before losing in the Divisional playoffs to the Rams. After finishing in second and third place during the next two years, they found themselves atop the division once again, this time with an impressive 12-5 record. Only two other teams finished with a better record in the NFL in 2021, and hopes were high. They went one and done in front of their hometown crowd, losing their Wild Card game to the 49ers, 2317. If the fans felt bad then, think about how things started off for them this year. Once again it was a Cowboys home game, and not only did they lose it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-3, they lost their starting quarterback Dak Prescott for four to six weeks.

Dallas Cowboys Offense
The Cowboys overcame the disadvantage of not having quarterback Dak Prescott available, and came up with a win. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush had only started in one career game since being undrafted in 2017. Rush got a second opportunity last week, just as he did one time last year for the Cowboys. Rush gave them what they needed, and once again came up with a win, improving his own personal record to 2-0.
While he wasn't overly impressive coming off the bench to fill in for Prescott in the first game, Rush may have allayed some of the fans fears, when he led the team to touchdowns on the Cowboys first two drives, which put the team up 17-3 at the half. Later on in the fourth quarter, the Bengals tied the score. With less than a minute left in the game, Rush was three for three on his passes, helping get the team in position for a 50-yard field goal to win, which they did.
In that game, CeeDee Lamb, the leading receiver for the Cowboys last year, was the biggest target for Rush. Lamb caught 7 of 11 passes for 75 yards. The Giants will have to be aware that Michael Gallup looks to be back on the field. Gallup missed the first two games, still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered late last year. Running backs Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott are active in the passing game. The rushing attack for the Cowboys had them ranked 9th in the NFL last year..

Dallas Cowboys Defense
Linebacker Micah Parsons was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Parsons had 13 sacks and 3 forced fumbles, and is off to another great start this year. Parsons already has 4 sacks, and that easily puts him on track to break the record shared by Michael Strahan and T.J. Watt, who each had 22.5 sacks in a single season. Overall the Cowboys have 8 sacks after playing two games this season, and they rank 6th against the pass. They were able to hold the two quarterbacks they faced, Tom Brady and Joe Burrow, to just one touchdown in each game.
They have a strong secondary, and Trevon Diggs had 11 interceptions last year. That helped the team finish at the top of the NFL with 26 total interceptions. The Cowboys rushing defense is ranked 19th, and they'll be paying attention to how the Carolina Panthers dealt with the Giants offensive line, and running back Saquon Barkley. They were especially effective in the first half of that game limiting, Barkley to just 3 yards on 5 carries. Barkley after that though, ran the ball an additional 16 times for 69 yards.

NY Giants Offense
The Giants are struggling to put points on the board, and this week they're up against a team that is allowing just 18 points a game. The Giants offensive line will have to deal with Micah Parson, who faced arguably better ones fielded by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cincinnati Bengals. Parson did well against those teams with 4 sacks, 7 quarterback hits, and 13 total pressures. So far in two games, Daniel Jones has been sacked eight times, and no one claims that Jones is hanging onto the ball too long.
The offense started slow in their game against the Carolina Panthers last week. By the end of the first half they had gained just 60 total yards on 5 possessions, and had just 4 first downs. The Giants moved the ball better in the second half, and finished up with 18 first downs on 12 possessions, with 162 yards passing and 103 rushing.

Jones sought out Sterling Shepard in that game on nearly one third of his throws. Jones targeted Shepard 10 times, and he caught 6 passes for 34 yards. Richie James caught 5 of 6 passes thrown his way for 51 yards, and James leads the team with 10 catches for 110 yards. The offensive line has to do as well for Jones as they have for Saquon Barkley. Barkley leads the NFL with 236 rushing yards, and has 9 catches for 46 yards.

Giants Defense
The defense will be glad to take the field and see that receiver Amari Cooper is not on it, having since been traded to Cleveland. CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup will be enough to deal with, considering the Giants are far from having the strongest secondary in the league. Also, with Cooper gone, Noah Brown has stepped up, and he currently leads the team with 10 receptions for 159 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown.
The Cowboys like to run the ball with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard, and the team runs the ball on nearly half their plays. It helps keep pressure off the quarterback, and the Cowboys will be more anxious to do that now with Cooper Rush filling in for Dak Prescott. Last week the defense held Christian McCaffery in check except for one long 49-yard run. McCaffery finished with 102 yards rushing, on 15 carries, and the Giants can't afford to give up big plays like that against the Cowboys rushing duo.
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams hurt his knee in the game last week, and has missed practice. Cornerback Aaron Robinson was out last week after having his appendix removed, and his status is unclear. Pass rushers Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux have missed both games and they are 'day-to-day'.

Overall
In just two weeks, the number of unbeaten teams has dropped from 32 to 6. Some of the names in that grouping are not surprising. They are the Kansas City Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two others both had winning records last season, the Miami Dolphins, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Then you have the Giants who won just 4 games and lost 13.
Can the Giants defeat the visiting Dallas Cowboys on Monday night in front of their fans, and hang with the winning teams? Getting off to a better start would certainly help. In the Giants first game they had no points at halftime, and in the second, just 6 points on two field goals. If you see the offense click in the first half, expect them to win this game.

NFC East Games
Sunday at 1:00pm Eagles (2-0) at Commanders (1-1).
Monday at 8:15pm Cowboys (1-1) at Giants (2-0).
The Eagles and Giants are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Next Games
Oct 2 Chicago at Giants
Oct 9 Giants at Greenbay (London)

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