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Five things to watch when the Cowboys host the Giants

What will you be watching for on Sunday?

NFL: New York Giants Blue-White Scrimmage Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to believe that it’s come to this. The Dallas Cowboys are in desperate need of a win. It feels like the team is 0-4. Of course, a big reason for that is that this team has been trailing in every single contest thus far during the game’s final snap. So, Cowboys fans have been subjected to that pit of disgust in our stomach for four straight weeks.

That’s a rough way to start the season, but we’re hoping things turn a corner this weekend when the win-less New York Giants come to town. The G-men are having all kinds of problems, with one of them being the loss of their stud running back Saquon Barkley. The Cowboys need this one, but just how sure are you that it’ll happen? Here are five things to look for when these divisional foes face off.

1. The worst of the worst

Over the last three games, Daniel Jones has thrown 108 passes. None of them have been for a touchdown. This season, the Cowboys defense has allowed one touchdown per 12 passing attempts. Which one gives on Sunday?

That is the million dollar question in this game. The Cowboys defense is giving up 36.5 points per game so far this season. That’s good enough to rank them dead last in the NFL. The Giants offense is only putting up 11.8 points per game. That just so happens to rank them dead last in points scored this year. There’s a good chance both units show an improvement as the Giants score somewhere in between that range, but the question is - how much will it be?

Will the Cowboys defense roll out the red carpet for their opponent again this week? Or is this the week they finally make plays.

2. Enough with the sloppiness

Three turnovers in three straight games.

You’d have to go back to 2015 to find a three-game stretch where the Cowboys gave the ball away that much. Dallas lost all three of those games as then starting quarterback Kellen Moore was throwing picks left and right (he had six picks in those three games). The Cowboys offense back then scored the second fewest points in the league that year. It was bad.

The 2020 version is not bad. They have no business being that sloppy with the ball. These mistakes have to stop if the Cowboys want to get back to winning football. If for any reason, it starts to become a turnover-fest again, the Cowboys would swing the gate wide open and give this Giants team an opportunity to win this game.

On the flip side, Daniel Jones is a mistake waiting to happen. That’s not to say that he’s completely reckless out there, but he just doesn’t do a good job taking care of the ball.

3. Jonesing for some sacks

Between draft picks and trades, the Giants have invested a lot into their offensive line, but for one reason or another, things just aren’t working out well for them. In just four games, Jones has already been pressured 71 times this season, which is the second-most in the league, trailing only Joe Burrow.

In a game that we hope features a positive game script for once, what would happen if the opponents had to play from behind. Could this be a game where Aldon Smith and Everson Griffin do some damage in the pass rush? We certainly hope so because the Cowboys have to get Jones on the ground. Not only has the Giants quarterback thrown a pick and every game, but he likes to put the ball on the turf when he’s under duress. The Cowboys should oblige.

Look for DeMarcus Lawrence to come alive against an old friend, Cam Fleming, who is now the Giants starting right tackle. Tank has been under fire for not giving fans their money’s worth, so don’t be surprised if he takes that pent up frustration out on Mr. Jones.

4. Protecting Dak

Not only will the Giants pass protection be important in this game, but once again the Cowboys offensive line will be under the spotlight. While this unit has done a fabulous job rolling with the punches, it’s very possible that Sunday’s situation could be them at their most vulnerable state. With news that Tyron Smith will be having season-ending surgery, it means both the edges are protected by backups. Not only that, but after Joe Looney suffered a knee injury, the center responsibilities now belong to rookie Tyler Biadasz.

The good news is, all these young guys have done a fantastic job filling in. Knight, especially, has been great on either side once he gets acclimated. The better news is despite all the offensive line shuffle, this team is still lighting up the scoreboard.

5. Behind the Redball

It has to feel good that the Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s offense is one of the best in the league, whereas Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett’s offense is the worst in the league. Of course, there is no secret that the talent with the Cowboys group is far superior to that of the Giants.

Garrett inherited a tough gig with this group, but it should be interesting to see how he attacks his former team. Normally, we’d say he “knows them well,” but the Cowboys defense isn’t quite the same as they were before. With so many new coaches, things are different now. And so far, it really hasn’t mattered how well opponents know them as they’ve been able to have their way against them.

Will Redball try to pull off any shenanigans? Most fans aren’t worried as his “predictable” offense should just mean a slow death for the Giants. Let’s hope it goes down something like that because this is not a game the Cowboys can afford to be out-smarted by their former head coach.