Football is finally happening! The Dallas Cowboys get to play a football game today as they will host the New York Giants in the 2019 season opener. The Cowboys are favored by a touchdown and fans are hoping the team starts the year off on a positive note. It should be a fun game with a lot of big plays being made, but who will stand out the most from this contest?
Some of the BTB front-page writers have made their decisions and the votes are in for their X-Factor player of the game for this first contest against the Giants. Who did our guys come up with?
David Howman: Travis Frederick
The Giants have a really promising space eater at nose tackle in Dexter Lawrence and, just like Snacks Harrison in the past, he has the potential to be a game wrecker. With Travis Frederick coming back, he should be able to mitigate the most disruptive member of this Giants front seven and make things easier on Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and hopefully Tony Pollard.
Michael Strawn: Michael Gallup
With the Giants expected to be focused on stopping Zeke and Amari Cooper I expect Michael Gallup to come up big. He and Dak seem to have developed some good chemistry. We’ll see a more aggressive passing approach from Kellen Moore’s schemes/playcalling, and thus Gallup should get some opportunities. Expect 80+ yards and a touchdown from the impressive second-year receiver.
Tom Ryle: Jason Witten
The future Hall of Famer has traditionally burnished his resume against the Giants. As mentioned by others, Gallup is going to be a real threat, but I think that New York will be forced into splitting their focus between the wideouts and the running game. That is going to open up a ton of opportunities for Jason Witten to operate in the middle of things, and Moore will let him seize them. In addition, Witt himself has a lot to prove. Look for him to come out breathing fire.
Michael Sisemore: Maliek Collins
The Cowboys have really been impressed with the fourth-year defensive tackle and he impressed coaches for his efforts during the preseason. Collapsing the pocket and getting a rush on the interior is how this Cowboys defense is going to keep the Giants offense from taking off. Collins could take a big leap this season and if he does, it’ll mean a nice payday coming his way in 2020. The Cowboys need to slow down Saquon Barkley and to do so, they need guys like Maliek Collins to set the tone for a big day on defense.
Danny Phantom: Jeff Heath
The defensive line is going to challenge this new-look Giants offensive line. The linebackers are going to spy Barkley. And the corners are going to have very little problem covering an underwhelming Giants receiving core. That leaves the safeties to sit back and reap the rewards of a rattled Eli Manning. The Cowboys are notorious for catching us off guard and making us realize they knew what they were doing all along, and what better way to do that than for that one guy we’ve all forgotten about to show up and make plays in the opener. Look for Jeff Heath to come away with a big interception in this game.
Cole Patterson: Tony Pollard
All of the attention is on Zeke and rightfully so, but the rookie showed a little bit of what he can do in the preseason. Pollard is a guy that be effective as both a runner and a receiver and Kellen Moore will try to get him the ball in space. Elliott will get a ton of touches, but expect Pollard to have a role in the game plan as well.
Who are your X-Factors for this game against the Giants?