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Cowboys vs. Giants: Four bold predictions for the regular-season opener

Week 1 is finally here. Check out some bold predictions for Sunday against the New York Giants.

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The time is finally here. We are just one day away from the Dallas Cowboys taking on the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Cowboys and Giants are two teams who seem to be headed in opposite directions. New York is focused on rebuilding behind star running back Saquan Barkley and, eventually, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones. Dallas on the other hand, is looking for a deep postseason run and is fully capable of winning a Super Bowl this year.

For this reason, the Cowboys enter Sunday’s opener against the Giants favored by 7.5 points. This 7.5 point spread is the third largest out of any games in Week 1 only, behind the Cincinnati Bengals vs. the Seattle Seahawks at 9.5, and the Washington Redskins at the Philadelphia Eagles at an even 10.

With Ezekiel Elliott back in the mix after being signed to a long-term deal, Dallas should be able to take care of business against New York on Sunday. Despite the 7.5 point spread, division games are always tricky, especially at the beginning of the season.

Before the Cowboys take the field on Sunday, here are some bold predictions for this Week 1 matchup. They probably won’t all occur, but one or two could slide into the box score.

1. Dallas records at least four sacks against Eli Manning

In recent memory, when the Dallas Cowboys meet up with Eli Manning, getting to the quarterback never seems to be an issue. Last season this narrative held true, as in the two teams first matchup in Week 2, Dallas sacked Eli Manning six times.

New York does have an improved offensive line from what they had last season with Nate Solder, Will Hernandez, Jon Halapio, Kevin Zeitler, and Mike Remmers as their starters. On the flip side, the Dallas defensive line is fully healthy, and filled with tons of talent this season, and oh by the way, having Eli Manning still back there basically as a statue does not bode well for New York.

Look for a huge day from DeMarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton, and Dorance Armstrong working against the Giants’ tackles on the outside. Dallas also has so much interior line depth they likely will be able to create some pressure up the middle as well.

As we have seen in the past, when you put pressure in Eli Manning’s face, he is prone to turn the ball over. This Sunday will be no exception, and look for the Dallas defensive line to be in ManningManning’s grill all day long.

2. Dak Prescott throws for 300 yards including a 60-plus-yard TD

2019 is hopefully going to be a special season for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, and he starts it off against a pretty poor Giants defense. Last time Prescott faced the Giants he threw for 387 yards and four touchdowns in a 36-35 victory that included one of the best plays of his career towards the end of regulation.

Many of the guys that played in this game are back on the Giants’ defense this season. They did add cornerback Deandre Baker out of Georgia in the draft to strengthen their secondary, but a group headlined by Janoris Jenkins, Grant Haley, Jabrill Peppers, and Antoine Bethea will not make Dallas lose any sleep at night. The spot on defense the Giants appear to be the strongest at is their defensive line with rookie Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill, and Dalvin Tomlinson.

Despite having a solid looking defensive line, the Dallas offensive line is back to full strength and will be up to the task. If they are able to give Prescott time, he should be able to pick the Giants’ defense to pieces. With all the weapons on his side now, including Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, and Michael Gallup, Dak is going to have a huge day.

The Giants also have a problem stopping the deep ball, which Dallas found out firsthand in Week 2 in 2018.

3. The Dallas’ defense forces three turnovers, including a Chidobe Awuzie interception.

When you are playing against Eli Manning, it is pretty much a given you are going to get some chances to get your hands on the football. Even when he was at his best, Manning always would give you a couple times a game where he makes a mistake giving your defense a chance to make a big play.

Sunday will be no different and the Dallas defense is going to start the year off in a big way. Last year, Manning thew 11 interceptions and fumbled the ball seven times for a total of 21 turnovers. Dallas as a team, despite having a very solid defense last season, only recorded eight interceptions on the year.

This season that is all going to change, in large part in thanks to Chidobe Awuzie. The third-year corner had a very strong training camp and preseason and is primed for a breakout year this season.

Awuzie has recorded 18 past deflections in his first two seasons, but only has been able to generate two interceptions. This year, Awuzie will turn some of those pass deflections into turnovers, and I believe at season’s end he will lead the team in turnovers recorded.

Awuzie and the Dallas secondary will face a Giants’ receiving corps thatthat could easily be considered among the worst in all of football. Besides Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram, the rest of their receiving corps is extremely weak.

That will all start on Sunday as Manning will throw one to Awuzie, and will fumble the ball two times on sacks, giving Dallas three turnovers on the day to start their season.

4. Dallas wins the game by double-digits... 27-16

Plain and simple, the Dallas Cowboys are a much better team than the New York Giants in all facets of the game. Dallas has a better offensive line, better quarterback, better receiving corps, better defensive line, better linebackers, and a better secondary. Running back is the only spot is may be a wash because of how extremely talented Saquan Barkley and Ezekiel Elliott both are.

There is a reason Dallas is favored by 7.5 points in this game. The Giants are just not going to be a good football team this season. Could Saquan Barkley have a nice game running the football? Sure. Could Manning turn back the clock one last time and throw for 300 or so yards against the Dallas defense? Probably not, but possibly. But no matter what happens on the Giants side of the ball, Dallas is not going to lose this game. That is the final, not so bold after all, prediction.

Dak Prescott and Ezekiell Elliott are going to shine on offense, DeMarcus Lawrence and the Hot Boyz are going to wreck havoc all day long, and Chidobe Awuzie will take the ball away from New York. It is going to be a fun Sunday at AT&T Stadium for Cowboys fans.

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