If you've been reading my posts in the comments sections about Cowboys/Giants over the last couple weeks you'll note that in the discussion of our secondary I keep coming back to 1 player that no one else talks about: Orlando Scandrick. Orlando Scandrick has been an absolute siv against the Giants.
The great Bob Sturm wrote a fantastic, if highly pessimistic, article on Cowboys/Giants today and included the statistics to back up what my eyes have told me. Below are Eli Manning's numbers against Jenkins and Scandrick over the last 3 years.
That's astounding. Eli Manning has almost a perfect QB rating throwing to Orlando Scandrick. Over the last few years he's racked up over 400 yards and 5 TDs on a player that is a nickle corner. It's really hard to overstate just how bad Orlando Scandrick has played against the Giants. I've included Jenkins' numbers in here, a man who'se known for giving low-lights to the Giants including his non-tackle of Brandon Jacobs, and these numbers include the "give up" season of 2010. Even so, Jenkins has a respectable 70 passer rating and Scandrick is obscenely twice as high as Jenkins'. Also note an extremely important stat - even though he's been thrown at 43 times, Orlando Scandrick has never intercepted Eli Manning in his career.
The New York Giants gameplan is simple and you will see it again tomorrow:
1) put 3 wide receivers on the field.
2) line up Victor Cruz in the slot so he draws Orlando Scandrick
3) throw to Victor Cruz early and often
4) If in trouble due to the pass rush, just throw the ball at Oraldno Scandrick because he won't intercept you
You will see no better example of #4 in particular than Eli Manning literally getting spun around by the pass rush and lobbing this duck up in the air: http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/09000d5d825a142e/Manning-throws-bomb-to-Cruz
So you will hear a lot about Ware, you'll hear a lot about Dez, you'll hear a lot about our offensive line, you'll hear a lot about their pass rush but those aren't the real keys to the game. The Dallas Cowboys will not win the game if the Giants can get 100 yards and 1-2 TDs just off our nickle corner.
The one matchup you need to watch tomorrow, the key to the game no one else will tell you about is Orlando Scandrick. If Scandrick is the same Scandrick he has been for the last 3 years we are in huge trouble. If Scandrick has undergone an evolution with Jerrome Henderson and is no longer the guy you can throw at 43 times and get 5 TDs with 0 interceptions, then we've got a new ballgame.
I have faith in Henderson but I know I'll be holding my breath the first time the Giants go 3 wide and Eli calls for the snap.