The Dallas Cowboys need this game. They need a win to stay afloat in the divisional race, but it is also important that they start demonstrating that they are capable of playing four quarters of good football. The game against the New York Giants offers up some matchups the Cowboys can win and the team needs to take advantage to get them back in the win column. It's time for the Cowboys to shake, rattle, and roll their way to victory on Sunday.
The beginning of the game is going to be a battle of wills to determine who can keep their offense in manageable third down situations. Both offenses will try to establish the run and use the short passing game to string together positive gains. There will be no secret to this game plan so both defenses will bring the resources to stop it.
We all know how the Cowboys have shaken things up recently by adding some new offensive players to the mix. The plastic wrap will be taken off Matt Cassel, La'el Collins, and Christine Michael as they have an opportunity to show what they bring to this offense. The names on the back of the jerseys may be different, but don't expect the game plan to change. Dallas will continue to rely heavily on the ground game. Defenses have been camping out on the line of scrimmage just in case a would-be ball carrier happens to swing by, but that hasn't deterred the Cowboys coaching staff as they continue to stay the course. It's going to be running and more running.
For the Giants, they may not have a backup quarterback behind center, but they too will want to do everything they can to avoid putting Eli Manning in tough down-and-distance situations. The Giants offense doesn't wow anyone, but they have been getting the job done. They are right in the middle of the pack, averaging 23.2 points per game. A large part of their success comes from how well they do on on first down. The Giants have done an outstanding job getting productive plays by using a good mix of running and short passes. The Cowboys defense will need to close in on receivers quickly and tackle well to limit the Giants positive gains.
These battles will be important in moving the chains as the situation starts to dim when these teams get in third and long situations. It could come down to which quarterback blinks first.
Eli Manning is just itching to turn the ball over. I can just feel it. Sunday's game will be a perfect opportunity for Eli to just unleash a series of terrible plays. A blindside sack/fumble, a corner jumping a route, or even just one of Manning's "what-were-you-thinking" errant throws would work nicely. The Cowboys need to turn the corner when it comes to generating turnovers and this is the game to get it started.
The widely anticipated, full-strength pass rush of the Dallas Cowboys will finally be revealed so Manning should spend most of the game under duress. The last time these two teams faced off, Manning did a great job of getting rid of the ball quickly so the Cowboys defense is going to have to get there fast. But the defense will try to keep the ball in Manning's hands by sticking the coverage. With the defense playing man coverage, there hasn't been a lot of separation from the wide receivers this season. Odell Beckham Jr. is the Giants biggest offensive weapon, but he is ailing as he deals with a hamstring injury. But another obstacle he'll have to overcome will be the solid play from Morris Claiborne. If the Cowboys can taking away the quick stuff, this could mean trouble for Eli. And if the Cowboys can rattle Eli Manning, then that could open the flood gates in generating some much needed turnovers.
While the efficiency of the short game will be instrumental in putting together scoring drives, the big plays will be golden ticket. Both offenses will be conservative, but the quarterbacks must take advantage of any chances the have to burn the defense. The Cowboys haven't been able to get their passing game rolling in recent games, but this is a good chance to buck the trend. The Giants defense are near the bottom in passing yards (298 yards, rank 31th) and sacks (8 sacks, rank 30th) so it's not going to get any easier to get the passing game going than it will be against the Giants. And with a new quarterback that is a little more likely to make throws downfield, the Cowboys could get some dividends from the wide receivers.
The Cowboys passing game has been restricted to mostly Jason Witten and Cole Beasley. The Patriots showed how to stifle the offense by taking those guys away. If the Giants try to do something similar, then Dallas has to be able to connect with other receivers for the offense to be successful. Terrance Williams is one of those other receivers. It would be great if Matt Cassel was able to lock in with number 83 and develop some good chemistry.
Remember those deep slants and comeback routes that Terrance Williams had in the playoffs where he took it to the house? It's about time to see that again.
|Don’t forget to resister for our Blogging the Boys meet-up!
Oct 24-25, 2015
Cowboys-Giants in the beautiful Poconos
|Three awesome Cowboys-centric events!|
|Saturday, October 24
(8:00-10:00 PM): Dinner the night before the game
|Sunday, October 25
(9:00 AM - 1:00 PM): Pre-game brunch
|Sunday, October 25
(4:30-8:30 PM) Cowboys-Giants game, with free buffet
|Click Here to RSVP||Click here for more information on pricing, lodging, etc.|