Coaches Corner: Divisional Clash/Giants at Dallas

By Michael Stewart/@golferbad

The New York Giants are entering week 5 winless at 0-4 and will facing another team that’s struggling; the Dallas Cowboys who are 1-3 after surrendering 49 points in a lost to the Cleveland Browns 49-38.

Offensively: Each team are going in separate directions as the Giants rank last in the NFL in points per game with 11.8 and the Cowboys are ranked 3rd in points per game with 31.5. The Giants offense has only generated a total of three touchdowns; which is mind-boggling in itself.

Defensively: The Giants defense has had one bad game and that was against the 49ers; surrendering 36 points. Overall, their defense has been doing the job. That can’t be said about the Cowboy’s defense; which is giving up 36.5 points per game ranked last. Here are my top 5 things the Giants must do to win the game:

Ready to Play: In the first 4 games, the Giants have had slow starts, resulting in only scoring a total of 3 points in the 1st quarter. This is the Giants first divisional game and if they can’t come out of the gate ready to play with high energy and urgency; then they might as well pack it in for the remainder of the season.  

Pressure into Sacks:  The Cowboys have a total of 8 sacks over the 1st four games led by Aldon Smith with four.  The Giants must keep Smith and the Cowboys pass rush at bay and give Jones a little more time to throw the ball. If not, it’s going to be another long day for Danny Dimes. The Giants have sacked the quarterback 10 times thus far, but have had a higher number of pressures on opposing quarterbacks without collecting a sack. This could be as big as the red zone for the Giants in this game as they must make life in the pocket uncomfortable for Dak Prescott and force him into making poor decisions.

Big Plays: On either side of the both after the four games, the Giants just don’t have or haven’t shown the ability of anyone stepping up and making a big play that alters the game. On the other end, The Cowboys have several players; especially on offense (Elliott, Cooper, Lamb, Prescott) that the Giants must keep at bay to avoid a blown out.

Takeaway/Giveaways:  The Giants are -4 in turnover differential and the Cowboys are at -7. It’s not often that the Giants at on paper have an advantage against their opponent. The Giants need to play a near flawless game against the Cowboys as they need to create a few turnovers and at the same time; they need to secure the ball offensively.

Final Thoughts: The New York Giants are currently 0-4 and based on the strength of schedule; own the 1st overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. The Cowboys can put points on the board and the Giants defense is keeping them in the game for the most part.

The Giants offense can’t score points and the Cowboys defense can’t keep opposing teams out of the end zone; something has to give here. This game has blowout written all over it, but we could see a closer game than you think. The Giants haven’t done well against the Cowboys over the last several seasons and throw in the fact that the Giants playing on the road.

I expect a closer game than expected between these division rivals , but the Giants must play nearly a perfect game; which they haven’t thus far. This is a homecoming for former Head Coach of the Cowboys Jason Garrett and emotions will be high, so maybe Garrett will open up the playbook in this game.

The Cowboys are currently 9.5 point favorites, but if the Giants offense can’t find a way to put more points on the board and make big plays on both sides of the ball; the results will be a 0-5 start, matching their record set in 2017.

Final Score: Cowboys-23/Giants-13

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