By Michael Stewart
Introduction: The New York Giants travel to face the Dallas Cowboys in week two; which should be a very physical game against two division rivals. The Cowboys have QB Dak Prescott and RB Zeke Elliott as their two main offensive weapons to go along with arguably the offensive in the NFL. The Giants will counter with a well balance offense attack with their two primary weapons in WR Odell Beckham Jr. and RB Saquon Barkley. Despite the immense talent on the offensive side of the ball for both teams; this game could be decided by which defense makes the big plays.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Giants front defensive seven-vs-Cowboys offensive line: The majority of NFL games are won and lost at the line of scrimmage and this one should be no different. The Giants need to put enough pressure on QB Dak Prescott to affect his timing and also contain Elliott enough to keep him in check and not dominant the game.
- Giants running game-vs-Cowboys running game: The Giants drafted Saquon Barkley to be the difference maker in the running game; which has been basically non-existent for the past several seasons. He will be measured and compared with Elliott moving forward as both play in the same division and their head to head matchups should be epic battles. If Barkley can give the Dallas defense concerns on the ground, it will certainly open up the passing game for Eli Manning.
- Turnovers: Many of the games between the Giants and the Cowboys have been fairly close and the team that usually wins the take-away department; usually wins. This game should not be any different to determine the outcome..
Final Score Summary: These two teams have met 111 times with Dallas holding a 64-46-2 record against the Giants. Both teams are currently 0-1 to start the season and I expect this to be a very physical one and close as well. The Cowboys invested a great deal to build a dominant offensive line and with a young talented weapon in Elliott, he needs to have at least 25-30 touches in order for their offense to be effective. Elliott only had 15 carries compared to Prescott attempting 29 passes and that’s not a good recipe for success. The Giants should continue to involve Saquon Barkley as their main weapon and give him 25-30 touches (run and pass) as well; which would really open up their offense and give players like OBJ, Shepard and Engram open lanes in the passing game; which would make life a lot easier for Eli Manning. Although this is only the second game of the season, it could set the tone for the team that comes out victorious in a division that historically has been very tight in the standings. I project this game to be decided in the final five minutes and could be determined on whoever has the ball last on offense.
Final Score: I believe the Giants will rebound after playing one to best defensive teams in Jacksonville last week and play well enough to outlast Dallas. Giants-21/Dallas 16