The Giants defense has struggled to create pressure this season, but will their newest addition be able to make an immediate impact?
DL LEONARD WILLIAMS:
The Giants this week acquired the sixth overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft in a trade with the Jets, who will receive a 2020 third round selection and a 2021 fifth round selection that could become a fourth.
The Giants aren’t the only team to make a trade for a defensive linemen before the deadline. Former scout Bryan Broaddus gives us his final thoughts on Monday night’s game, including our first look at the team’s new pass rusher.
I will be interested to see how much Michael Bennett plays in his first week with the club. Bennett has slowly worked his way through these practices, lining up at both tackle and end. I expect we will see him primarily playing at tackle in those nickel situations next to Maliek Collins.
While Michael Bennett may be the newest member of the defensive line for the Cowboys, we must not forget that this will be the first time Robert Quinn gets to tee off against the Giants since joining the team.
The Matchup: Right Defensive End Robert Quinn vs Nate Solder
Quinn was serving a two-game suspension when the Giants played Dallas in Week One. In the five games since, he has wreaked havoc with six sacks, three quarterback hits and 14 hurries, according to PFF. He has been a blur coming off the edge with the bend and flexibility to get around and past left tackles. He has also shown a relentless effort to continue to pursue a play even after he has been run out of it. Nate Solder will have his hands full all day.
The good news for this game is that despite Cameron Fleming’s calf, the team is coming off the bye pretty healthy. Here is the Cowboys final practice report.
While health shouldn’t be an issue for the Cowboys in this game, what about the cold weather?
The Cowboys held practice outside to help simulate the weather conditions in New Jersey, but could that lead to a new accessory for the Cowboys quarterback?
Quarterback Dak Prescott, for example, has experimented all week with a glove on his throwing hand. He doesn’t anticipate using it Monday, but if he becomes more comfortable, he said that he could wear a glove on his right hand during a road game at some point. The final three road games — at New England on Nov. 24, at Chicago on Dec. 5 and at Philadelphia on Dec. 22 — could be far colder than any chilliness Monday.
Prescott, who’s never worn a glove on his throwing hand during a game, said his new equipment doesn’t have “the sticky palm” seen in receiver gloves.
Giants vs. Cowboys: A full arsenal for Giants when they have the ball? - Ed Valentine, Big Blue View
Our sister site over at Big Blue takes a look at some things to keep an eye out for, including how this Cowboys revamped defensive line could feast on a quarterback who has a tendency to hold the ball too long.
Handling the edge pressure It doesn’t take a former NFL player and brilliant NFL analyst like Brian Baldinger to figure out that the Giants have struggled to handle edge pressure this season. Shaq Barrett of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had four sacks and four quarterback hits against the Giants. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings combined for three sacks. Chandler Jones of the Arizona Cardinals destroyed the Giants for four sacks and the same number of quarterback hits.
Giants’ left tackle Nate Solder has been charged, per Pro Football Focus, with seven sacks and 33 total pressures. Right tackle Mike Remmers has been charged with one sack and 25 pressures allowed.
Dallas ranks only 22nd in the league with 17 sacks, but per ESPN the Cowboys are third in the league in pass rush win rate at 55 percent. Dallas defensive end Robert Quinn is tied with T.J. Watt of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the league lead with a pass rush win rate of 33 percent. That means that Jones is not going to be able to sit back in the pocket and hold the ball endlessly, as has been his habit too often in his six NFL starts. It also means that, while it’s apparent he doesn’t want to, Shurmur really should consider giving Solder and Remmers more help in the former of chip blocks from backs or extra tight ends kept in to block on passing plays.
Despite all the resources the Giants have added along the offensive line in recent years, this group is still having problems. And that’s never a good thing for a rookie quarterback to deal with.
NEW YORK GIANTS ON OFFENSE
The focus remains the development of Daniel Jones. After a few rough games, he bounced back with his second 300-yard game of his young career and threw for four touchdowns. I keep saying it, but his progress won’t be linear. Expect ups and downs, especially this week as the New York Giants offensive line appears to be regressing and the Dallas Cowboys have one of the most formidable defensive front sevens in football.
Nate Solder has turned into a train wreck. In addition, the Giants once again misjudged their center position. Some of the offensive line breakdowns appear to be due to Jon Halapio not making the correct line calls. Will Hernandez has not taken the step forward that was anticipated and Kevin Zeitler may be playing hurt. Mike Remmers has been better than Chad Wheeler, but not by much. ONCE AGAIN, the Giants are going into an offseason desperate to find MULTIPLE new starters on the offensive line. It seems like the Giants just keep spinning their wheels here. I hope some of the back-ups see some time before the end of the season.
Let’s get to some game predictions...
Rosenthal has the Cowboys winning in a shootout.
MONDAY, NOV. 4
Dallas Cowboys 33, New York Giants 24
8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN) MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)
Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence and Leighton Vander Esch all appeared to be rounding into shape before Dallas’ Week 8 bye. This should be the healthiest the Cowboys have been all season, with Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb and both offensive tackles fresh. Michael Bennett should make a sneaky-big impact on this squad, especially when lined up against erratic Giants tackles Nate Solder and Mike Remmers. With two weeks to prepare, this is the type of matchup a Super Bowl contender should win with authority. Much like Jerry Jones, that’s exactly how I see these Cowboys.
ESPN’s Todd Archer and Jordan Raanan make their game predictions and offer up a couple things to watch.
Bold prediction: The Cowboys will hold Saquon Barkley to fewer than 100 rushing yards. Barkley has two 100-yard outings in three games against the Cowboys, but he has needed runs of 68 and 59 yards to reach 109 and 120 yards in those. The Cowboys’ run defense has been only OK, but it is as healthy and as confident as it has been all season. -- Todd Archer
What to watch for: Dak Prescott and the Cowboys bring the NFL’s No. 1 offense (437.9 yards per game) to Monday Night Football. That could spell trouble for a Giants defense that ranks 25th against the pass. Prescott has thrown 13 touchdowns passes and no interceptions in his past five games against the Giants. -- Jordan Raanan Stat to know: The Cowboys have done most of their damage this season using 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE and 3 WRs). They are averaging an NFL-high 7.5 yards per play out of that package, with 18 offensive touchdowns. Only the Chiefs have scored more touchdowns using 11 personnel this season (20).
Archer’s pick: Cowboys 27, Giants 17
Raanan’s pick: Cowboys 34, Giants 26
Pete Prisco’s NFL Week 9 odds, picks: Chiefs’ losing streak continues vs. Vikings, Panthers get back on track - Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Pete Prisco from CBS Sports also has the Cowboys winning in his weekly rundown of this week’s action.
Cowboys (-7) at Giants
The Cowboys are coming off a bye, but they need to be careful here since they lost to the Jets in this same building a few weeks ago. The Giants have shown some life on offense with Daniel Jones, but I think the Cowboys defense will be ready here. The Cowboys win it.
Pick: Cowboys 27, Giants 16
Mike Florio and Michael David Smith from NBC Sports both have the Cowboys winning comfortably.
Cowboys at Giants
MDS’s take: Dak Prescott will have a big day against a bad Giants pass defense. The Cowboys should win easily.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 31, Giants 20.
Florio’s take: The Cowboys get a chance to redeem themselves at MetLife Stadium, not long after losing to the Jets there. Look for Dallas to get an early lead and then suffocate the Giants.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 31, Giants 17.
Sporting News has the Cowboys winning by two touchdowns.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
Because the Cowboys limped through three straight losses before their bounce-back win over the Eagles a couple weeks ago, it’s easy to forget they have the NFL’s No. 1 offense in terms of yards per game. It’s not as easy to forget the Giants, losers of four straight games, have one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Dallas was upset by the other New York team at MetLife Stadium a few weeks ago thanks in part to a handful of key injuries. Those players are healthy now following the Cowboys’ bye week, so they should be able to complete the season sweep of the Giants.
Pick: Cowboys 31, Giants 17