The Cowboys can clinch a division title and perhaps more with a win over the Giants tonight. They also seek to avenge their only loss so far in 2016.
After playing a Thursday night game a week ago, Dallas has a few extra days rest going into this game. Still, they will be missing one of their defensive starters.
The following is based on the teams’ final Friday practices:
DNP – Did Not Practice
LP – Limited Participant
OUT – Already Ruled Out
- OT Tyron Smith (back) – LP
- OT Chaz Green (back) – OUT
- DE DeMarcus Lawrence (back) – LP
- DE Jack Crawford (foot) – LP
- LB Justin Durant (hamstring) – LP
- CB Morris Claiborne (groin) – OUT
- CB Orlando Scandrick (foot) – LP
- SS J.J. Wilcox (thigh) – OUT
Morris Claiborne remains out with his groin injury and will certainly be missed against the Giants’ receivers. He would have likely matched up with Odell Beckham Jr. on many plays. With Orlando Scandrick battling plantar fasciitis, we will likely see rookie Anthony Brown covering OBJ more than any other corner.
DeMarcus Lawrence missed the last two days of practice with back issues. This could be a major blow for the Cowboys if he can’t go. Though he only has one sack so far in 2016, Lawrence has been the most consistently disruptive pass rusher and getting pressure on Eli Manning is critical.
The extra rest will be critical for veteran battling chronic issues. Tyron Smith and Orlando Scandrick will greatly benefit and have critical responsibilities in their matchups against New York.
Although not injury related, it’s worth noting that receiver Lucky Whitehead will miss the game after a violation of team rules. We will likely see Lance Dunbar handling kickoff returns and Cole Beasley on punts.
New York Giants
- WR Dwayne Harris (ankle) – LP
- G Justin Pugh (knee) – LP
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (core) – OUT
- DE Owa Odighizuwa (knee) – LP
- DT Jonathan Hankins (quads) – LP
- LB Mark Herzlich (concussion) – OUT
- CB Coty Sensabaugh (ribs) – LP
- S Nat Berhe (concussion) – OUT
Obviously, the injury to JPP looms large for New York. He has seven sacks this year and is the catalyst for their defensive line. He would normally line up against the right tackle, so this is huge as Doug Free has been struggling in pass protection as of late.
The absence of Pierre-Paul will allow Dallas to focus on Olivier Vernon. They will likely trust Tyron Smith to handle business but may be able to give him some help if needed. None of the Giants reserve pass rushers are proven, but they will still want to make sure that Free isn’t making one of them a breakout star.
No other injury is nearly as significant, but there are a few notables. Former Cowboy Dwayne Harris missed most of the week and was limited on Friday. He is their return man on kickoffs and punts and had a 100-yard touchdown against Dallas last year.
Guard Justin Pugh is expected to return after missing the last four games with a knee injury. He is the Giants’ best offensive lineman and a key to any rushing success they hope to have.
Starting defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins only practiced on Friday and was limited with a quadriceps injury. If he can’t go or isn’t playing at full speed, that only compounds the defensive line issues they already have with JPP’s absence.