Even if Cowboys Nation hasn’t forgotten what went down in Carolina last week, the season is not lost. The Cowboys have still 15 games left to play on the year and it’s time to take things one game at a time. On Sunday night, an NFC East divisional match-up will be played at AT&T Stadium as the 0-1 Dallas Cowboys host the 0-1 New York Giants.
The Cowboys need to bounce back after a disastrous week 1 outing, and they might be lucky to face the New York Giants to do so. As concerned as Cowboys Nation is for this team’s offense, the Giants have a ton of reasons to be concerned about themselves too. In a match-up of two teams with question marks all around them, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys emerge victorious on this one.
Obviously, Dallas needs to dramatically improve on offense to be talking about a win. Assuming Scott Linehan gets his offense to establish a running game that lives up to Ezekiel Elliott’s name, the team will be in a much better position to throw the ball. This feels like a game that will be all about the running game.
Giants’ LB Oliver Vernon will not be on the field, which is a major relief for an offense that wasn’t able to move the ball against the Carolina Panthers. Dak Prescott and company will have another tough test against a pretty decent defense, but one that could be passed if Elliott can keep the chains moving.
That being said, judging by last week’s performance by the Cowboys defense and the Giants offense, I don’t expect the offense to be the difference maker on this football game.
If the Cowboys are to bag their first win of the season this Sunday, it will be by driving Eli Manning to the ground consistently. Even without Randy Gregory, the front seven has proven to be something pretty scary and against a very weak offensive line, DeMarcus Lawrence and company should be all over Manning.
In week 1 RT Ereck Flowers allowed 7 pressures, 5 hurries, 1 hit, 1 sack, and was called for 2 penalties out of 47 pass rush snaps. So 1 out of every 3 drop backs one of those things occurred. #CowboysNation
This numbers by fellow writer John Williams make my case here. There’s no doubt in my mind that when the Cowboys’ defense is on the field, the battle in the trenches will be won by Dallas every time. On the other hand, the offensive line didn’t live up to expectations last week, but I expect major improvement this time around.
Connor Williams had a very difficult time trying to guard one of the NFL’s finest DTs in Kawann Short, so his struggles are a bit justified. Joe Looney didn’t give up any pressures, so I’m pretty comfortable with him starting games at C.
The one reason I’d be very concerned about the Giants is Odell Beckham. This could be a low-scoring game between mediocre offenses and a play-maker like him could make the difference in just one play. We’ll see if Kris Richard’s secondary is up for the challenge.
Saquon Barkley will also put this defense to the test on his second career game. The second overall pick will challenge Ezekiel Elliott in a running game match and if the Cowboys can’t contain him, the game might get out of hand.
There are not many opponents on the Cowboys’ schedule that I’d rather see the team face this week. The Giants are a perfect opportunity to exploit this team’s strengths and get back on a good note to move on from week one’s performance.