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Game Notes

Cowboys Vs Giants: Who Has Better Chance Of Winning?

Brian Martin



Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Vs Giants: Who Has Better Chance Of Winning? 1

WHAT: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

WHEN: Sunday, 3:25 PM (CT)

WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas


There is really only one guarantee heading into the Week 1 division rival match up for the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants, and that is it will be a hard-fought battle between two teams that know each other extremely well.

In 2015, the Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a last-second victory to open up the season, but the Giants got their revenge later in the year when former Cowboys special teams ace Dwayne Harris returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

There is no reason to believe that the 2016 season opener for the Cowboys and Giants will be any different.

Below I will attempt to explain how both the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants can start their 2016 season with a victory or defeat.

Dallas Cowboys win if…

All eyes will be on two of the Dallas Cowboys rookies Sunday afternoon in Texas, and rightfully so.

There are high expectations for both Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott for the start of the 2016 season. Prescott because he is taking over the starting QB position for an injured Tony Romo and Elliott because he was drafted so highly with the thought he was a perfect fit for the Cowboys offensive scheme.

If the Dallas Cowboys are going to win this game, Prescott and Elliott will have to have big games and limit any kind of rookie mistakes.

As rookies, they are going to be asked to carry the load at arguably the two most important positions on the offensive side of the ball. No other players touch the ball as much as a quarterback or running back, which is the reason why they need to focus on the task at hand and not get caught up in the bright lights of the NFL.

If both Prescott and Elliott come out and perform the way we all expect them to, then the Dallas Cowboys should be able to start the 2016 season with a W in the win column.

New York Giants win if…

I think the best chance for the New York Giants to win their season opener against the Dallas Cowboys lies in their wide receiver core.

Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, and rookie Sterling Shepard are a really tough group to open up the season against for the Cowboys secondary.

Beckham has already established himself as one of the best WRs in his short time in the NFL. Cruz was a nightmare for Cowboys defenders prior to his injury issues and if healthy could be so once again. Shepard is somewhat of an unknown, but I have a feeling he might just be the most dangerous of the three Sunday afternoon against the Cowboys.

I fully believe that if the New York Giants win this game it will be because of their wide receivers and how they can exploit the Cowboys secondary.


Dallas Cowboys lose if…

I think it would be too easy to say that the Dallas Cowboys lose this game if Dak Prescott struggles and doesn't play like he has been in the preseason. Instead, I'm putting the outcome of this game on the Cowboys defense.

We can all agree that the Cowboys defense is the weak link for this 2016 team. There are still questions about the pass rush and how they are going to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Eli Manning is known for getting rid of the ball quickly making the pass rush less of a concern.

Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli needs his defense to perform better than a lot of people are expecting. They don't need to be great, they just need to be the type of defense that bends and doesn't break.

If they are unable to get the Giants offense off the field in some key situations, then the Cowboys will lose their 2016 opener.

Holding the Giants to field goals instead of scoring touchdowns might be the determining factor in the outcome of the game Sunday afternoon.

New York Giants lose if…

The New York Giants spent nearly $200 million in the off-season to bring in Janoris Jenkins (CB), Olivier Vernon (DE), and Damon Harrison (DT) in hopes of improving their team on the defensive side of the ball.

Was it money well spent?

Well, I know the Giants are hoping so, but I'm not so sure.

Odds are Jenkins will be the one to cover Dez Bryant the majority of the game. I think that's a match up Bryant wins 9 times out of 10.

Vernon got the better of Tyron Smith as a member of the Miami Dolphins last season, but I don't see that happening again. Vernon doesn't nearly have the same type of supporting cast along the defensive line that he had in Miami, so I will give the edge to Smith.

Harrison has the tough task of going up against Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and La'el Collins the entire game and I think we can all pretty much agree that is a match up that  swings in the Cowboys favor.

If the Giants overpriced additions can't win their battles, they lose. Simple as that.

Who do you think has a better chance of winning?

Let me hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below..

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

  • Franklin Jones

    Still comes down to harassing Eli, making him force the issue. I LOVE that look of frustration on his face, when he flails his arms in despair and anger as an INT or a fumble is returned for a TD.

    ….sweeter than honey.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for commenting Franklin. I think for the Cowboys to harass Eli Manning it’s going to have to come from the interior of the defensive line. If they can get some push up front and collapse the pocket, it should frustrate Manning enough to where he might make a mistake or two.

  • David Lamon

    I’m a Cowboys fan but penalties will rob the team of field position in critical situations and rookie mistakes will turn the ball over to the Giants enough the Giants leave with a victory. The Dallas Defense didn’t show much of anything during the preseason games although they all played vanilla. I just don’t see from what I have observed this Dallas defensive line having the ability to stop any running game.

    • Brian Martin

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment David. I think the defensive line will be just fine in the running game. It’s the pass rush that I worry about. I can’t disagree with you about the penalties so. That has been a problem for the Cowboys for a while now. I do disagree with you about rookie mistakes. Both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are already showing poise on the field like they are veteran players. I just don’t see them making very many mental mistakes that you see in most rookies. I really think this game is a tossup and could go either way.

Game Notes

Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles

Kevin Brady



Film Room: WR Ryan Switzer Showed Flashes Vs. Eagles
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There's no doubt the Dallas Cowboys passing game faltered in 2017. Though never expected to throw for many yards, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys failed to maximize their attempts down the stretch. The passing game was simply inefficient and ineffective.

One reason the passing game took a step back was the disappearance of slot receiver Cole Beasley. Whether you blame defenses adjusting their coverages on third downs towards Beasley, Beasley growing another year older, or quarterback Dak Prescott, Beasley simply didn't look like the same player in 2017.

In the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected a wide out who many anticipate could replace Beasley, in time. Rookie wide receiver Ryan Switzer rarely got chances to make an impact on offense this season, designated as the return man for much of the year. With Cole Beasley out for the season finale, however, Switzer got his chance to make a name for himself.

While the numbers were far from gaudy, Ryan Switzer showed some things we should be excited about for the future.

dalvsphi2018 switzer - Streamable

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Ryan Switzer's first target came on a third down -- something Cowboys Nation should get used to heading into 2018. Switzer is lined up inside in trips on the near-side of the formation. The Eagles show man coverage pre-snap, and with just one safety over top and the other rotated down on top of Jason Witten, it is clear to Dak Prescott they plan to bring some pressure.

As soon as Prescott gets the snap, his eyes go to Ryan Switzer.

The cornerback plays Switzer with inside leverage, refusing to be beat with a hot slant route. Switzer instead keeps the defender on his back hip and creates separation with an out-breaking route.

Prescott delivers the ball towards the sideline where the defender can't catch up to it, and Switzer comes away with the first down.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 2 - Streamable

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Later in the game, we once again see Ryan Switzer targeted from this inside-alignment.

Switzer is a pretty prototypical slot receiver, and if used correctly he should win in man coverage situations often. The cornerback attempts to maintain inside leverage on Switzer and get physical at the top of his route. Ryan Switzer does a nice job of fighting through that physicality and crossing the defender's face over the middle. He flashes open pretty quickly, and Prescott delivers a strike for the completion.

If Switzer can create this type of separation often, I see no reason why he shouldn't be a focus of the offense in 2018.

dalvsphi2018 switzer 3 - Streamable

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Switzer's third target is actually an incompletion, but it is worth studying, regardless. Switzer is in the slot on the far side and the Cowboys once again are in trips alignment. The cornerback over Switzer is in man coverage, but gives him room to breathe at the line of scrimmage.

Switzer exploits the cornerback -- who is cheating to the inside -- with his footwork and route running. He gets to the sticks, breaks to the outside, and creates enough separation for a first-down completion. Prescott delivers the ball a bit late and behind Switzer, causing an incompletion instead.

I'd still like to see Switzer adjust to the ball and make this catch, but I put more of the blame for this play on Prescott.

With a full offseason to work within the offensive system, as well as to develop chemistry with quarterback Dak Prescott, Ryan Switzer will prove to be an important piece to the 2018 Dallas Cowboys.

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Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game

Mauricio Rodriguez



Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer's Good Game 1
AP Photo / Michael Ainsworth

The Dallas Cowboys put an end to a long, long season last Sunday after they defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia in a game that had absolutely no meaning for either team. Surprisingly, the Cowboys played with their healthy starters most of the game, but were barely able to put six points on the board, which were enough to take the win home.

The Cowboys might've lost more than what they actually won, and most of the fans were unhappy with the victory. Despite it being a pretty boring football game, we still learned a few things about the Dallas Cowboys.

The season's finally over. It wasn't easy, but we're still here. Here's to 2018. Let's hope it's a good one for our Cowboys. Here's this week's edition of Takeaway Tuesday!

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Coaching Staff Didn't Help Its Cause

It's more than fair to say that a lot of us want to see changes in Dallas. And specifically, changes in the coaching staff. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention, Jerry Jones said Jason Garrett's job was not an issue. Now, Jerry's even talking about Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan being back in 2018. Who knows if it's true.

While I don't think we'll see a new head coach anytime soon, I'd dare say that after the horrible game versus Philadelphia the front office at least got to thinking.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott, HC Jason Garrett

Coming into this game, the team had a choice to make: play with the starters to win it, or let guys like Cooper Rush in the game and see what happens. A loss would've meant a better draft position for the Cowboys and a chance to see what rookies and other young players could bring to the table.

But they decided to manage the game like it was a "real action" game. Being conservative. Not going for it when there was nothing to lose. They did so after a team that, with the NFC's #1 seed secured, basically played with its B team. Not only that but for the Eagles, most of the game was played by a third string QB.

Despite all this, the Cowboys could hardly beat the Eagles 6-0. Poor execution and all, I can't help thinking about the coaches.

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Cowboys Should Keep Datone Jones for 2018

In late November, the Dallas Cowboys signed Datone Jones after he was released by the San Francisco 49ers. The former Packers' first-round pick made an impact when he was given the chance. His play at DT was pretty solid and he showed very promising flashes.

DatoneJones - Streamable

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Jones will be under contract in 2018 and I'd be surprised if the Cowboys don't keep him another year. Per Over The Cap, he'll be paid $790,000 next year which isn't at all expensive for a 27-year-old player.

The Cowboys would add depth and even a potential starter at DT for next season.

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Ryan Switzer Can Play as a Wide Receiver

With Cole Beasley missing the game because of an illness, we finally got to see Ryan Switzer at WR. We had already seen good things from him as a kick returner, but on offense, he hasn't been as involved as Cowboys Nation expected him to be.

Last Sunday though, Switzer was used for more than a jet sweep.

SwitzerWR - Streamable

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He still has a long way to go, but I was impressed by his ability to create separation. I really hope he's used more next season.

At the end of the day, he's a fourth-round pick. He should be playing more on offense, not just on "gadget plays" or special teams. Could Ryan Switzer be Dak Prescott's best friend in the future? Only time will tell. Right now, it's too optimistic to expect something like that.

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Dan Bailey's Confidence is Shattered

Dallas Cowboys K Dan Bailey

Dan Bailey's 2017 season hasn't been easy at all. We've seen him miss kicks we never imagined he would, including extra points. One of the most painful moments of the Cowboys' season came late in the season finale when he lined up to kick a simple 20-yard field goal.

The ball went up, but failed to split the uprights. Dan Bailey stood in complete disbelief, with a blank look in his face. His confidence, shattered.

For kickers, it's all about confidence.

For years, we referred to Dan "Automatic" Bailey as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. Now we're not sure about calling him "Automatic" anymore. Bailey will have a lot of time to pick himself up though, and will probably be back at it next year.

Let's hope that's the case.

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For now, the only thing left to say is one of the most encouraging, yet sad phrases in sports... Maybe next year. We're on to the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Datone Jones Should Be Back, Switzer’s Good Game" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Game Notes

Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win

Sean Martin



Sean's Scout: Cowboys Starters Produce Uninspiring Week 17 Win

Playing more than enough of their starters in hopes of ending this 2017 season on a high note at the Eagles, the Cowboys produced a lackluster 6-0 win that will surely leave a bad taste in the mouths of Cowboys Nation - despite it being a victory.

The win put the Cowboys at 9-7 on the season, and it is a shame they had nothing to play for in this regular season finale. Once again in week 17, it was the offense holding back another fantastic performance by Rod Marinelli's defense.

We'll discuss both units in this final 2017 Dallas Cowboys version of Sean's Scout.

  • You have to love the way Chidobe Awuzie was able to bring physicality to a young Cowboys secondary that had another solid game. 

There were times earlier in this season when it seemed the Cowboys' second-round pick would have a lost season due to multiple hamstring injuries, but Awuzie quickly tuned around his rookie campaign by coming in and playing with exceptional technique and awareness.

With enough length to turn and run, Awuzie thrived in this zone scheme by keeping everything in front of him, as he did on his interception of Nick Foles. With Dallas in Cover 2 on the play, Chidobe read Foles' eyes the whole time to the boundary and was in position to cut off the pass.

This is a topic we'll now have much more time to discuss, and it is a hollowing one considering it was truly the Cowboys offense that kept them from the playoffs this season. The need for new talent at WR is clear, but the need for a target that better suits Prescott's strengths going into year three is even more important.

His pass catchers, along with inconsistencies in pass protection, were the main reasons Prescott struggled in 2017, although in this game it seemed like the only time he was affected in the pocket was when forcing the ball late to Bryant.

Coming from a spread system in college, Prescott simply does not have experience throwing his receivers open -- relying on route combinations and separation ability to hit open targets. Dez Bryant hasn't been that type of player through his career, and certainly isn't now that he's lost a step.

  • 9 wins for a team unlike their usual selves up front offensively is still pretty impressive. 

The Cowboys got nearly no impact from any of their free agent signings this season, which is why the depth of the team held them back once again. Veteran Byron Bell was brought in as a backup swing tackle, but he is simply not a scheme fit at tackle here.

Dak Prescott should not have been playing with Bell as his LT, and eventually Joe Looney at LG after Jonathan Cooper went down.

Bell lacks the quick-twitch ability and athleticism needed to be successful on every down, and it showed as he was again beaten by both speed and power against the Eagles.

The Cowboys have proven their acumen drafting young OL talent that performs at a high level early and often. So, instead of relying on more free agents, like Bell and Looney, drafting talent up front to spark the running game and give Prescott adequate protection is likely the best answer.

  • Ryan Switzer's ability to separate late in the down really stood out, as he finally got his chance at WR without Cole Beasley

Growing calls for more of Ryan Switzer on offense will surely take root this offseason after he caught four passes for 32 yards in the absence of Cole Beasley yesterday. More of a one-speed player at North Carolina, Switzer's spacial awareness and smoothness in giving Prescott somewhere to throw the ball as plays developed was really impressive.

In order to be a great team at the NFL Draft, you have to accurately scout your own roster. It will be fascinating to see just how the Cowboys feel about their current pass catchers, with not only Ryan Switzer but the likes of Lance Lenoir and practice squad addition K.D. Cannon in the fold as well.

  • The Cowboys found themselves a valuable addition to their rotation at DT with Datone Jones. 

Jones was able to push the pocket throughout this game in Philadelphia, and has done so consistently since getting here, at both the 1T and 3T positions. Using his hands to generate power as a down-the-line player, Jones plays with great pad level. That allows him to shoot gaps when needed, or anchor the line of scrimmage.

The Cowboys have not prioritized adding premier talent at DT in recent years, and may forego it again this offseason as well. The Cowboys expect Maliek Collins to contribute further with another season at 1T and David Irving back at 3T.

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To everybody who made this 2017 season at Inside The Star as enjoyable as ever, I would like to thank the readers of Sean's Scout. All this aspiring scout can ask for is to enhance the fan experience through both wins and losses, and your feedback on this series helped me to confidently do just that.

As we prepare for an even better 2018, Sean's Scout won't be going anywhere! I'm shifting my full attention towards the NFL Draft, looking for prospects that could help the Dallas Cowboys reach the playoffs again next season.

Thank you for another roller-coaster ride we call football season, Cowboys Nation. Truly the best fans anywhere.

Tell us what you think about "Sean’s Scout: Cowboys Starters Uninspiring in Week 17 Win" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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