Week one of the regular season is finally upon us as the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in the first of two meetings with their division rival in 2019. When we last left this matchup in 2018, the Cowboys and Giants played a 36-35 shootout that saw Dak Prescott hit Cole Beasley deep in the back of the end zone to bring the game within a point. The Cowboys would go on to win on a Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup two-point conversion attempt.
It was a fantastic game that showed off just what Dak Prescott could do in an offense that allowed him to sling the football around. On that Sunday before the playoffs, Prescott completed 27 of 44 passes for 387 yards and four touchdowns. He posted a passer rating of 120.2.
Tight End Blake Jarwin was the leading receiver on the day catching seven passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Against the Giants, Jarwin provided a glimpse of the potential that the Dallas Cowboys have seen in him over the last couple of years. His huge game created hype and hope that the team may have found the tight end of the future when Jason Witten decides to retire for good.
The biggest storyline heading into this game will focus on Kellen Moore and his ability as a play-caller. On Sunday afternoon, Kellen Moore will give us a better indication of what his take on the offense will look like. We’ve talked about it for months and now we’ll get to see it in a game that matters. If the preseason is any indication, the Cowboys offense has taken to the wrinkles that he’s added this year.
- The Dallas Cowboys lead the all-time series 66-46-2. Jason Garrett is 10-6 vs the Giants in his career as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.
- After losing twice to the New York Giants in 2016, the Dallas Cowboys have gone 4-0 against their division rival since. The Cowboys have an average margin of victory of 11 points over the last four games. The closest victory by one point in the week 17 contest from last season.
- With Odell Beckham Jr. off to Cleveland, the New York Giants’ leading receiver that is returning is Sterling Shepherd. In six games against the Dallas Cowboys in his three-year career, Shepard is averaging 3.6 receptions per game and 38.83 yards. He’s only scored one touchdown against the Cowboys, his rookie debut back in 2016.
- The New York Giants scored more points over the course of the season than the Dallas Cowboys did in 2018 by 30 points. The big difference in their season outcomes is that the Dallas Cowboys defense allowed 88 fewer points or 5.5 points per game less than the Giants.
Inside The Numbers
For the second time in three seasons, Ezekiel Elliott led the NFL in rushing. Hot on his tail was Saquon Barkley, who put up a tremendous rookie season of his own. It’s very likely that these two will be battling it out for the NFL’s rushing title again in 2019.
In Eli Manning’s last eight games against the Dallas Cowboys, he’s had a passer rating of 90 or better only two times. In that time frame, the Cowboys are 5-3 against the New York Giants.
Jason Witten, Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford and Jamize Olawale represent the only starters for the Dallas Cowboys over the age of 30.
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In six games against the New York Giants, Dak Prescott’s posted a passer rating better than 90 four times. He’s also had two games with a passer rating greater than 120. Each of the 90 or better passer rating games have come during the Dallas Cowboys four-game win streak over the Giants.
Both times Dak Prescott posted a passer rating above 120 against the New York Giants happened in a game without Ezekiel Elliott.
In 2018, the Dallas Cowboys were fifth in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game with 94. Though they were really good in this area for most of 2018, games against the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Rams in the playoffs reveal that the team still has room for improvement. With upgraded depth along the defensive line and at linebacker, there’s reason to believe that the Cowboys can make that improvement.
The number of times Eli Manning has been picked off by the Dallas Cowboys over their last six contest. The only game in which Manning didn’t throw an interception against the Cowboys over that span was the week two contest that the Dallas Cowboys won 20-13.
Despite Saquon Barkley’s tremendous rookie season, the New York Giants ranked 24th in the NFL in rushing yards in 2018.
Represents the average age of the Dallas Cowboys 53-man roster in addition to Ezekiel Elliott who’s yet to be added to the roster. In 2019, they’ll be one of the youngest teams in the NFL yet again, but they’re a team with a lot of experience at the same time.
This Sunday will mark Eli Manning’s 30th regular-season game against the Dallas Cowboys including the 2007 playoff game. In his career, he’s gone 13-16 in his career against the Cowboys. Though the regular season hasn’t been kind to Mr. Manning, posting a passer rating under 90 in 14 of the 29 matchups, he is 1-0 against the Cowboys in their lone playoff matchup back in 2007. In that game, Manning posted a passer rating of 132.4, though he only attempted 18 passes in the game.
Dak Prescott will sling the ball around more against the Giants than any other team. He averages 37 attempts per game against the Giants for his career, and has 6 touchdown passes of 30+ yards against them.
As Bobby Belt points out, Dak Prescott averages 37 attempts per game against the New York Giants in his career. Over his 48 game career, Prescott averages 30 attempts per game.
The New York Giants have done a tremendous job keeping Ezekiel Elliott in check since entering the league in 2016. In four games, Elliott averages just 68 rushing yards per game. For his career, Elliott is averaging 101.2 rushing yards per game. Elliott has only two 100 yard games against the New York Giants and he’s never run for more than 107 yards in those five games.
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With the difficult schedule, the Dallas Cowboys face in the second half of the season, it’s vitally important that they get off to a hot start against the New York Giants in week one. There are no gimmes in the NFL, but this matchup against a much less talented Giants squad is as close as you’ll find aside from any team playing the Miami Dolphins this season.
The Dallas Cowboys are simply the better team in this matchup, though being a divisional game, anything could happen. The Dallas Cowboys need to come out firing on all cylinders. They can’t allow the Giants to hang around in the game and risk losing it. If there’s one change I hope is made in the offensive philosophy in 2019 is that it’ll get more aggressive.
Everything is set up nicely for the Dallas Cowboys to make a run at their sixth Lombardi Trophy, but now it comes down to what the players and the coaches do once they hit the field. I fully anticipate the Cowboys to come out ready to exploit and take advantage of a Giants defense that doesn’t have the skill to match the Cowboys talent on offense.