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Is This The Last Time The Manning-led Giants Face The Cowboys?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Is This The Last Time The Manning-led Giants Face The Cowboys?

The 2017 Dallas Cowboys have been a very dramatic football team, on and off the field. Among suspensions, injuries and devastating losses, things have been way more tense than expected. But the Cowboys are not the only ones with their fair share of drama in the NFC East.

This Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will head to New York to face a Giants team that's coming from a week of housecleaning. After a 2-10 start, not only was HC Ben McAdoo fired from the organization, but the Giants decided to part ways with their general manager, Jerry Reese.

Throughout all of this drama, Eli Manning's 210 consecutive starts streak was snapped thanks to McAdoo's decision to bench the veteran QB. Naturally, players, fans and the media didn't take this too well, and understandably so.

Even as a die-hard Cowboys fan, it's inevitable to feel bad for Manning. The Giants benched him for Geno Smith. Maybe, if they had benched Eli to give Davis Webb a bit of playing time, the reaction wouldn't have been as bad.

But Geno? Well, that kind of move gets you fired, and it did. It's been a dramatic situation, no doubt. A situation that brought a question to my mind.

Is this the last time the Manning-led Giants face the Dallas Cowboys?

Cowboys Headlines - 98

New York Giants QB Eli Manning Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It may sound extreme, but both the Giants and Eli could be interested in parting ways. Even with McAdoo out of the picture, the team will likely be looking at the QB position in the first round of the Draft, and Manning might just be looking for a chance with a team like the Jaguars or even the Broncos.

It'd be a very interesting scenario and it would only add more uncertainty to the QB market this offseason, but perhaps it's possible.

Although this is a Dallas Cowboys blog, I thought of writing about this. You see, the thing about players like Manning is that they're always there. As a very young fan, I don't remember watching football without him in the picture.

We've witnessed amazing duels between these two teams. We've seen Romo come back from behind in 2015, defeating the Giants... but we've seen Manning do similar things. More than once, Eli Manning ripped our hearts out.

I still remember the childish excitement I felt when the Cowboys played the first ever regular season game at the AT&T Stadium, then called Cowboys Stadium. I was only ten years old. Dallas was up 31-30, and with three and a half minutes to go, the Giants were holed up inside their own 15-yard line.

Manning drove the Giants offense down the field and and put his team in position to kick a game-winning 37-yard field goal as the clock went down to zero. After throwing for 330 yards and two touchdowns, Manning had ruined the Cowboys debut at Jerry World.

Not to mention when he threw for almost 350 yards and three touchdowns to win the division in the final game of the 2011 season. Or the time the Giants defeated the Cowboys in the divisional round of the 2007 playoffs.

Cowboys Headlines - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly For Cowboys Against Giants

Eli Manning and Dak Prescott (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

As a life-long Cowboys fan, I've always "hated" Eli and the Giants. I'm sure most of Cowboys Nation does, too. The two-times Super Bowl MVP is often regarded as an elite QB and some would argue he isn't. Between Cowboys and Giants fans, the Tony Romo VS Eli Manning debate always existed.

But even if we hate Eli, we can't deny that in a way, we kind of enjoy the fact that he's around.

At the end of it all, we're football fans. And for a long time, Manning has made the Cowboys-Giants rivalry a even more special one. Every time our Cowboys are playing the Giants, I wake up a bit more excited than I usually do. It's not your usual game day... it's Cowboys vs Giants game day.

Whether we're willing to admit it or not, Eli is a big reason why these games are better. I'd dare say that without Manning, the rivalry wouldn't be as epic as it is today.

Who knows where Eli Manning will be playing in the future, but for know, we do know he'll be the starting QB versus the Cowboys next Sunday. Hopefully, he loses.

Tell me what you think about "Is This The Last Time The Manning-led Giants Face The Cowboys?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL 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!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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Game Notes

Cowboys, Falcons Week 11 Injury Report

Jess Haynie

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Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons are both 4-5 and playing to keep their seasons alive. It's a mutual must-win game, and both will have to try to win it without some key players. Once again, we look at this week's injury reports.

Let's begin with your Cowboys, whose report is getting longer as the season wears on:

Dallas Cowboys

  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - OUT
  • DE Taco Charlton (shoulder) - OUT
  • DT David Irving (ankle) - OUT
  • DT Daniel Ross (calf) - OUT
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - OUT
  • DT Antwaun Woods (concussion) - Doubtful
  • G Zack Martin (knee) - Questionable
  • G Connor Williams (knee) - Questionable
  • DT Maliek Collins (knee) - Questionable
  • LB Joe Thomas (foot) - Questionable

The biggest news is the guy who won't miss tomorrow's game; All-Pro guard Zack Martin is expected to play despite his knee injury from last Sunday night. The Cowboys, already dealing with Travis Frederick's absence and now health issues at left guard, could ill afford to go without Martin in such a pivotal game.

Even if he was healthy, rookie Connor Williams might have a hard time getting in the game. Backup Xavier Su'a-Filo looked like an experienced former second-round pick last week, and he may be the better player for now.

The defensive line has been hit hard, particularly in the middle. With Irving and Ross out, Woods doubtful, and Collins uncertain, Dallas called up DT Christian Ringo from the practice squad. They will also be without Taco Charlton, who could play inside some. Veteran Caraun Reid will be seeing a lot of playing time.

Sean Lee's ongoing absence has become almost an afterthought now with the stellar play of Leighton Vander Esch. We've seen in the past when missing Lee meant disaster on defense, but Dallas' first-round rookie has helped mitigate the damage.

Atlanta Falcons

  • LB Deion Jones (foot) - OUT

It's a short list for Atlanta, but the one name on it is a big one. Arguably the team's best defensive player, Deion Jones will miss the game with a foot injury.

The Falcons' injury issues have been more in players suffering season-ending injuries. Both starting guards, Andy Levitre and Brandon Fusco, are on injured reserve. Star running back Devonta Freeman is also there, and those losses help explain Atlanta's 30th-ranked rushing offense.

Both starting safeties are also on IR; Ricardo Allen and Keanu Neal. Atlanta has one of the league's worst passing defense this year without them, ranking 30th in yards allowed and 28th in opponent passer rating.

So yes, the Falcons injury report compared to the Cowboys' may raise some eyebrows. But in terms of who has most of their key guys, Dallas is arguably still better off.



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Game Notes

Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta

The Dallas Cowboys play their next three games in 13 days, all critical to their hopes of winning the NFC East despite alternating wins and losses since week one. For the Cowboys to earn consecutive road wins, their first coming on Sunday night at the Eagles, they'll have to come out of Atlanta in much better shape than they did just a year ago.

As expected in the NFL, a lot has changed in this year. The Cowboys 27-7 loss at the Falcons in their first game without Running Back Ezekiel Elliott was the beginning of the end on a season that forced a multitude of coaching changes in Dallas.

The Cowboys stubbornness in allowing Falcons DE Adrian Clayborn to sack Dak Prescott six times by beating Chaz Green and Byron Bell is something they hoped to move past when new positional coaches were brought in at OL, TE, QB, and WR.

It took the team admitting that these moves below Offensive Coordinator Scot Linehan were not all correct two weeks ago for the Cowboys to see any real progress, but with their win last week there's hope that the Cowboys are the improved team expected weeks ago - arrived just in time for Thanksgiving.

Firing Offensive Line Coach Paul Alexander was the first move, as the Cowboys named Marc Colombo OL Coach and Hudson Houck his assistant. Colombo told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas this week that he has injured Center Travis Frederick on a headset during games as well.

Colombo, Houck, and Frederick have the Cowboys offensive line confident in their ability to play to their strengths, rewarded with a renewed faith in the zone blocking scheme that was forgotten under Alexander.

If the Cowboys offensive line was their first problem in last year's Falcons loss (it was), it's becoming their biggest strength at the right time in the season.

The Cowboys necessary changes didn't stop here though.

In desperate need of a play maker on the outside, the Cowboys are seeing their investment into Wide Receiver Amari Cooper pay off so far. Cooper is averaging 3.2 yards of separation on his routes this season, ahead of Cole Beasley's 2.6 yards as the next closest pass catcher.

Cooper's presence was a big part of Ezekiel Elliott's 151 yard rushing performance at the Eagles. A player that can win on the outside with ease and dictate coverage has benefited Prescott and the Cowboys game plan on offense enough to send away a first round pick.

It will be up to this "rebuilt" Cowboys offense to match the Falcons on Sunday. Atlanta is averaging 27.1 points per game this season, but a much more dangerous 32.2 at home. After a 1-4 start, the 4-5 Falcons are playing in front of their home fans for the first time in two weeks, losing at the Browns in week ten.

The Cowboys felt they'd be prepared for games like this after their offseason moves, instead needing to show the type of in-season urgency that's been rare for Jason Garrett's team. The same can be said about a Falcons team that's experienced playing with their backs to the wall much sooner than the Cowboys have this season, setting up a big NFC match up in the early slot Sunday.

Dak Prescott will be thankful that Chaz Green nor Byron Bell are protecting him, wanting nothing more than to deliver another win for the Cowboys to take into Thanksgiving against the division-leading Washington Redskins. Not all of the coaches responsible for the lack of adjustment in last year's game are gone. What the Cowboys do have are tangible new ideas from coaches that understand they need more than a win at the defending Super Bowl champions to call this Cowboys season a success.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Have Already Corrected Biggest Mistake From 2017 Loss in Atlanta" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Game Notes

Do Or Die: Chidobe Awuzie Must Improve Sunday, Or Cowboys Season Could End

Kevin Brady

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Will Chidobe Awuzie's Return Benefit The Cowboys' Defense?

Coming into the season there was a lot of hype surrounding the Dallas Cowboys' cornerbacks. With Byron Jones moving from safety full time, and now second year player Chidobe Awuzie playing opposite Jones after a promising rookie season, there was a lot for Cowboys fans to be excited about.

Through the first 10 weeks of the year, though, only one of those two has maintained fans' excitement. While Byron Jones has been arguably the best cornerback in all of football, Chidobe Awuzie has been damn-near an automatic completion when thrown at.

Awuzie has a -5.8 coverage rating this season, 65th among cornerbacks in the NFL. Coverage rating is a metric which factors in how often a cornerback is targeted as well as how many passes they've defensed per target. Quarterbacks also have a 116.6 passer rating when targeting Awuzie, compared to just 64.5 when targeting Byron Jones. For comparisons sake, Jones' coverage rating is a +45! So you can see why "cornerback opposite of Jones" is becoming a need for the Cowboys.

What's perplexing about Awuzie's season, though, is that he is only giving up an average 0.95 yards of separation, 27th in the league (courtesy of playerprofiler.com). So while Awuzie is playing relatively sticky coverage, he's still being targeted often, and he's still allowing completions way too often.

This week, Chidobe Awuzie will be tested once again, this time by the dynamic passing game of the Atlanta Falcons. The match-up many fans are focusing on is that between Byron Jones and Julio Jones, but how Awuzie does against Calvin Ridley and Mohamed Sanu may play a bigger factor in the result.

Both Ridley and Sanu are solid supporting receivers, and considering how much attention the defense typically has to pay to Julio Jones, they tend to get man coverage often. This allows for a precise route runner like Ridley to take advantage of opportunities, and come away with the types of big plays we've seen from him this year.

When matched up with either of these weapons, Awuzie will need to continue to stay close, but play and defense the ball better. He must continue to make it hard on these receivers and force them into contested catches, but hopefully he can improve on his play when the ball gets to the catch point.

Sunday will be another big test for the Cowboys' young defense. And as well as they have played most weeks, this game has the potential to be a season ender if certain guys do not step up. One of those guys who will certainly play a key role in influencing the result in Chidobe Awuzie.



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