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Cowboys vs. Giants: “Week 1 vs. the Dallas Cowboys, Manning gives the Giants the best chance to win games.”

We talk with a Giants expert to learn more about the Cowboys rival.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With a regular-season game on the way versus the New York Giants, we go to an expert on the G-men. Ed Valentine of Big Blue View took the time to answer some questions about the upcoming game.

Blogging The Boys: The Giants have revamped their offensive line, do you feel confident in what they have now?

Big Blue View: I’m confident in the starting group. There are no Tyron Smith or Zack Martin type stars. There are a group on solid, hard-working veteran players who are all capable, smart players and should function pretty well together. The results in a limited preseason sample size were good. What I’m not confident in is the depth. Spencer Pulley is fine as backup center, but I’m not sure how good Chad Slade is and both Nick Gates and Eric Smith have never played an NFL snap.

BTB: Eli Manning vs. Daniel Jones. What do you think and what are the Giants thinking?

BBV: I think starting Week 1 vs. the Dallas Cowboys Manning gives the Giants the best chance to win games. I think Jones got off to a good start in preseason, and showed the ability to make some throws that scouts weren’t sure he could make, and threw the ball with better accuracy than had been anticipated.

Plan-wise, I think the Giants will stay with Manning as long as they believe they have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. Once they are eliminated, or if they start so badly it’s obvious that won’t happen, then I think Jones will play. Many in the fan base want Jones to play now, but I’m fine with handling it that way. It respects Manning’s time as a two-time champ and the longest-tenured player in franchise history, and also could get Jones experience if things don’t go well.

BTB: Okay, go ahead and gush about Saquon Barkley.

BBV: I want to focus on Barkley off the field. It’s easy to see what he is on it. It’s off the field that is incredibly impressive. He’s one of the team captains. He really is the leader of this team, and pretty much any veteran player I’ve asked will point that out. There was a whole redesign of the Giants locker room this year at the practice facility with a ping-pong table, couches, corn hole game and probably other stuff added. That’s all Barkley. He bought the table. This kid seems to do the right things and say the right things all the time.

BTB: What’s the state of the Giants defense? Give us the good and the bad.

BBV: The defense is interesting, let’s put it that way. Rookies Dexter Lawrence, DeAndre Baker, Corey Ballentine, Oshane Ximines, Julian Love and Ryan Connelly could all have roles. Second-year guys B.J. Hill, Tae Davis, Lorenzo Carter Grant Haley and RJ McIntosh are part of the mix.

There are veterans like Antoine Bethea, but this is a largely inexperienced group and it’s hard to know what we’ll get. There’s talent, but we have to see what it adds up to.

BTB: How do you think the Giants do this year? Is it a rebuild or can they surprise us?

BBV: Don’t ever use the word rebuild around GM Dave Gettleman. He hates that word. I know all about the talent the Giants got rid of (Odell Beckham, Landon Collins, Olivier Vernon). The Giants, though, think they are better. They think they are TEAM, and that things are moving in the right direction. I tend to agree.

Now, this is not an 11- of 12-win team. I do think, though, they can compete. We’ll see. Can they get to nine wins? If Manning can still get the job done and the defense develops fairly quickly, maybe. If things don’t go well early, they will likely turn to Jones and look toward getting him ready for 2020.

Thanks for the knowledge, Big Blue View!

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