Giants (7-3) Cowboys (7-3)
The Cowboys are coming off a strong victory
over the Minnesota Vikings. They handed one of the top teams in the league a 40-3
The Giants took a tough loss on Sunday to the Detroit Lions. It was
their worst performance of the year, losing the game at home to the Lions 31-18.
In 2018, the Cowboys won
the NFC East Division, and the Wild Card playoffs against Seattle before losing
in the Divisional playoffs to the Rams. They finished in second and third place
during the next two years, before landing atop the division in 2021 with an impressive
12-5 record. Only two other teams had finished with a better record in the NFL.
They went one and done in front of their hometown crowd, losing their Wild Card
game to the 49ers, 23–17.
Things did not start off well for the Cowboys in
the home opener this year. In a 19-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they also
lost starting quarterback Dak Prescott, who was out for five games. Despite that,
backup quarterback Cooper Rush won four of those, including a game against the
Giants. Prescott returned, and he's led the team to three wins out of four. The
Cowboys and the Giants have the same 7-3 record, and both teams trail the 9-1
Philadelphia Eagles in the division.
Dallas Cowboys Offense
The offense was clicking for them last week against the Minnesota Vikings, as
they scored on their first seven possessions.
They had only three more after that, and added one field goal. Dak Prescott missed
on only three of his 25 passes, and had 2 touchdowns. With the score out of hand,
Cooper Rush had an opportunity to play, and he took over for Prescott, and completed
four out of five passes. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott each had 15 carries.
Elliott ran for two touchdowns, but Pollard with 80 yards rushing, led the two,
and he averaged 5.3 yards a carry. Pollard was also the leading receiver, catching
all six passes including 2 for touchdowns.
Prescott has done well of late,
but despite the completions, overall he's thrown for 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb leads the unit with 58 receptions for 751 yards, and
5 touchdowns. You can't ignore those touchdowns, but it's surprising that the
top receiver has been targeted 93 times, and only 62 percent have been completions.
It's the running game that really makes this Cowboys offense work. The Giants
defense hasn't shown they are up to that task, and even if they manage that, their
secondary is weak due to recent injuries.
Micah Parsons was selected by the Cowboys in the first round of the 2021 draft,
and it was a good choice. Parsons was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year,
and went to the Pro Bowl. He had 13 sacks, and is already up to 10 with seven
games left to play. Parsons is not the only one the Giants will have to deal with.
There are defensive ends Dorance Armstrong, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Dante Fowler
Jr. with 7, 6, and 5 sacks in that order. The Cowboys are averaging over 4 sacks
a game, to lead the league with 42.
Daniel Jones was hit 12 times, and took
5 sacks the last time these two teams played in the third game of the season.
His offensive line was just breaking in then, and they did get better, but now
they are just broke, trying to deal with various injuries. That includes Shane
Lemieux coming off knee surgeries for his first game this season last Sunday,
was injured, and is out for this game. Josh Ezeudu, the player he replaced is
Jones ran nine times for 79 yards the last time against the Cowboys,
and seven of those runs resulted in first downs. Jones might see some opportunities
in the secondary if Darius Slayton can break free, but otherwise he and Saquon
Barkley will have to work together to get the ground game going. The Cowboys defense
has had troubles in that area. In the game before last, the Green Bay Packers
used a ground attack to overcome a 14-point deficit, and handed the Cowboys a
NY Giants Offense
from running back Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton has been Jones biggest go to
target. Slayton keeps the chains moving, as 20 of his 24 catches have gone for
first downs. Next on that list of favorites would be Wan'Dale Robinson and Richie
James, and each as 23 receptions. The bad news is that Robinson was injured last
game, and will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. David Sills hasn't
played in the last two weeks, but Isaiah Hodgins has. The Giants knew Hodgins,
and claimed him off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.
So far Hodgins has catches
on five targets for 70 yards, but Sunday lost a fumble that put the game out of
reach after Detroit then scored a touchdown off the good field position. The other
receivers Jones has available, Marcus Johnson, and Kenny Golladay, catch much
less than half the passes that come their way. Getting back to Barkley, he ran
for a season low 22 yards against the Lions.
He's had bad games before, when
he had only 53 yards against the Seahawks. It's no surprise the Giants lost both
those games, and if the Giants hope to win this one against the Cowboys, they'll
need that from Barkley. After the Seahawks loss, he ran for 152 yards, and the
Giants won against the Texans. Can Barkley do it with an offensive line that is
constantly dealing with injuries? The Cowboys defense has had trouble stopping
the run this season, and the Giants will need that from him.
The pass rush, where is it? Dexter
Lawrence leads this defense with 5 sacks, and the Cowboys field four players with
that and more. Last Sunday against Detroit,
the Giants had no sacks, and only three quarterback hits. Dak Prescott has completed
75 percent of his passes since he returned to the field, and the Giants don't
need to give him more time to aid his throws. To make matters worse, using
Adoree' Jackson as a punt returner last game, ended up hurting the Giants secondary.
Jackson is the Giants best cornerback, and he suffered a knee injury that will
have him sidelined for a number of weeks.
Like the Cowboys, the Giants run
defense is a weak spot. Against Detroit they gave up 160 rushing yards on 37 carries,
and 4 rushing touchdowns. It will be no treat for them to see Tony
Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott on the field this Thursday.
Say the words NFC East, and people stop and
listen. The division has gone from 'NFC Least' to 'NFC Beasts' as they continue
to beat up on the rest of the league. The Giants let the group down last week
with their loss to the Detroit lions, but we're sure they won't mind the Giants
losing a step in their division. The Giants fans will forgive them as well, if
they manage to take down the Cowboys on Thursday.
The Cowboys are the only
division team the Giants have faced this season, and it didn't go their way. No
one expected the Giants to go far this year, but the wins kept coming. They'll
exceed expectations again, If they can pull out another one here.
Thursday at 4:30pm Giants (7-3)
at Cowboys (7-3).
Sunday at 1:00pm Falcons (5-6) at Commanders (6-5).
at 8:20pm Packers (4-7) at Eagles (9-1).
The Cowboys, Commanders, and Eagles
are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
On The Air. Listen to the Radio Broadcasts.
TeamGiants on Twitter.
2 Chicago at Giants
Oct 9 Giants at Greenbay (London)