Giants vs. Cowboys Preview and Prediction

By Joey Alibro

Twitter: @joeyalibro

We’re only days away from the best night of the week when the New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football live from Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. Although we’ve seen the same week one matchup three out of the last four years, these two teams never disappoint. The games are almost always competitive because of the intensity these two sides show in this classic rivalry, but Big Blue has been on the losing side of things the last four times. Things aren’t looking much better for this game either as Tom Coughlin & Co. are as much as 10 point underdogs against the ‘Boys.

Let’s take a closer look at this divisional matchup, and what each team will have to do to come out on top to start the new season.

New York Giants

The Giants started the offseason pretty quietly making minimal, but effective moves in free agency such as the signings of Shane Vereen, J.T. Thomas, and Dwayne Harris, a former Cowboy who I still think was grossly overpaid. Then, they made safe picks like Ereck Flowers, Landon Collins, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa (I proudly say that I did not have to look his name up to spell it right) to improve themselves on their worst spots the year before. Then, the fourth of July happened. As you definitely know by now, Jason Pierre-Paul had an incident with fireworks that caused him to have his right index finger amputated. JPP’s fingers, or lack thereof, caused a full on media explosion in East Rutherford as medical reports leaked. The five year pro finally arrived back at the team facility after a two month absence, but he still has yet to sign his franchise tag tender. Reportedly, the Giants and JPP’s agent were trying to hash out a new deal, but the two sides disagreed on his readiness.

With JPP aside, the Giants had a slew of injuries in their secondary including the loss of safteies Bennett Jackson, Nat Berhe, and Mykelle Thompson for the season. Also, star receiver Victor Cruz has been dealing with a nagging hamstring issue after fully recovering from a torn meniscus that will probably keep him out against Dallas. On top of all the injuries, the Giants were shaky all preseason which isn’t exactly a good sign. To win this game, the Giants NEED TO GET TO TONY ROMO. Do you hear that Spagnulo? Remember the last time the Giants faced Romo? The Perry Fewell led defense gave Romo not one, not two, not three, not four, but EIGHT seconds in the pocket to hit Dez for the game winning score. This vine wasn’t even long enough to show how horrendous the pass rush was.

Another key to the game for the G-Men is to protect Eli Manning. If the line can hold its own Eli and Beckham Jr. could be tearing it up all game. Another glance back to their last matchup. Chris Collinsworth got it right. “That may have been the greatest catch I’ve ever seen.” Sorry Brandon Carr.

OBJ One Handed Catch

Admittedly, as a Giants fan, this has been my screen background since November.

If the Giants control the trenches they actually have a shot at pulling off the upset.

Dallas Cowboys

During free agency, Dallas retained the services of starters Doug Free and Rolando McClain and added pass rusher Greg Hardy who is facing a four game suspension for domestic abuse. They also lost 2014 rushing title holder Demarco Murray to their other division rivals in Philadelphia and are replacing him with the tandem of Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden. They made a couple of splashes in the draft by picking freak athlete Byron Jones, a defensive back from Connecticut, and Randy Gregory, a projected top five pick before being busted for pot at the combine. Surprisingly, there hasn’t really been any drama in Dallas this offseason. Besides the occasional fight breaking out at training camp, things have been relatively quiet. Coming off a season in which they went 12-4, the ‘boys exude a quiet confidence that is frankly quite terrifying as a Giants fan. Out of the gate, Dallas is already a Super Bowl contender boasting the league’s best offensive line and an improved defense. The keys to the game for Dallas are pretty simple. Dallas needs to trust itself to run the ball behind that brick wall of a line. The past few years, New York has been subpar when it comes to defending the run so the Cowboys need to take advantage of that. Also, Dallas needs to lockdown reigning ROY, Odell Beckham Jr., with a mixture of double coverage and mind games. This game will be won in the trenches – like almost all football games- so if they can win that battle, then they’ll win the war.

Prediction

Cowboys 34 – Giants 31

The Giants come up short of pulling off the upset, but build momentum for the rest of the year by playing tough against a very good Cowboys team. The Dallas front line will be too much for the Giants pass rush and run defense to handle in the end.

Player of the game: Tony Romo, 20/26, 284 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs.

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