Tyron Smith’s future, Jaylon Smith handling criticism and 9 other Cowboys notes - Jon Machota, The Athletic
Some Cowboys notes heading into today’s game.
4. What does the loss of Tyron Smith mean for Dak Prescott?
A franchise quarterback is going to play better when his blind side is being protected by an All-Decade player. But Prescott has plenty of experience playing without Smith on the field. Since 2016, Smith has missed 14 games. The Cowboys are 8-6 in those games.
Prescott’s totals in those games: 323 of 479 passing (68 percent), 3,921 yards, 21 touchdown passes, nine interceptions, 40 sacks, seven rushing touchdowns and a 99.2 passer rating.
With Dak having a career passing rating of 97.5, a little math leads us to this little nugget:
FUN FACT: Dak Prescott has a higher passer rating without Tyron Smith playing than he does with him.— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) October 10, 2020
Here are ten things to watch today, including a fun fact about the Cowboys quarterback.
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott passed for a career-high 502 yards with four touchdowns and one interception for a 112.9 rating in Week 4 against Cleveland. Prescott, who passed for 450 yards in Week 2 and 472 yards in Week 3, is the first player with at least 450 passing yards in three consecutive games in NFL history. Prescott has 1,690 passing yards in 2020 and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (1,557 passing yards in 2000) for the most passing yards by a player in his team’s first four games of a season in NFL history. The Giants are sixth in pass defense, allowing 221.5 yards per game through the air.
Film room: 3 bold predictions for Cowboys-Giants, including bounce-back weeks for multiple big names - John Owning, Dallas Morning News
Three bold predictions for today’s game, including how the Cowboys would be wise to stay clear of the Giants top corner.
Dak will target Giants CB James Bradberry fewer than 5 times
It’s safe to say that the Cowboys have been unafraid of targeting the opposing team’s No. 1 CB this season.
In Week 1, Prescott targeted Los Angeles’ No. 1 CB, Jalen Ramsey, nine times en route to eight receptions for 81 yards and four first downs. In Week 2, he targeted Isaiah Oliver, Atlanta’s No. 1 CB, seven times en route to four receptions for 61 yards and two first downs. In Week 3, he targeted Shaquill Griffin, Seattle’s top CB, 12 times en route to nine receptions for 151 yards, four first downs and a TD. And last week, Prescott attacked Cleveland’s No. 1 CB, Denzel Ward, seven times en route to five catches for 63 yards, three first downs and a touchdown.
This week, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas eschewed that tendency by opting to not target New York’s No. 1 CB, James Bradberry, often on Sunday.
There are plenty of areas where it will beneficial for the Cowboys to attack through the air; however, it would be wise to avoid any area where Bradberry is lurking, as he’s been New York’s best, and at times, only effective defender in coverage.
James Bradberry was targeted six times on Sunday by Trubisky:— David Solow (@GiantsAlliance) September 23, 2020
1. Incomplete pass
2. Pass breakup
4. Pass breakup
5. Bradberry PBU, caught by Julian Love for INT
6. Bradberry INT on 50/50 ball to Allen Robinson
The #Giants' biggest FA acquisition is a lockdown corner pic.twitter.com/H5M08SBwqu
Now, it’s not like Bradberry is infallible in coverage, it’s just that he’s, by far, the most difficult Giants defensive back to attack, which is why Dallas would be wise to seek other matchups - such as cornerbacks Corey Ballentine and Darnay Holmes, who are both allowing passer ratings over 100 when targeted in coverage - through the air instead of attacking New York where it’s strongest on defense.
More bold predictions, including a big day for Tank.
DeMarcus Lawrence has multiple QB sacks
The Dallas Cowboys haven’t played the New York Giants since Week 9 in 2019 and surprisingly enough that is the last time DeMarcus Lawrence had a full quarterback sack. Lawrence’s lack of QB sacks this season is a touchy topic, but I think he could get back in their good graces a bit this week with the multiple sack game I’m predicting for him. Giants QB Daniel Jones has been sacked 14 times already, which is why I think No. 90 puts him in the dirt a couple of times Sunday afternoon.
The home base of the Giants provide five players to watch, including one guy who can be a home run thread against a defense that has, let’s say... surrendered some home runs.
WR Darius Slayton
Darius Slayton began his sophomore campaign with a bang on Monday Night Football. Slayton reeled in six passes for 102 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers, including a 41-yard touchdown pass at the start of the second quarter. In the three games since, Slayton has caught a total of nine passes for 134 yards (with a fumble) and has been unable to find the end zone.
A big factor behind Slayton’s rookie year success was his big-play ability. In 14 games last season, Slayton registered 12 catches of 20 or more yards, good for the fifth-most among rookie wide receivers. The Giants’ fifth-round pick from 2019 matched Tennessee’s A.J. Brown for the most touchdown catches among rookie receivers last season with eight, six of which were from 20 yards or longer. Slayton caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Jones in the season opener against Pittsburgh, but has only caught three passes of 20+ yards in the three games since.
Heading into Week 5, the Cowboys have been susceptible to big plays on the defensive side of the ball. Dallas has surrendered two touchdown plays of 20 or more yards in each of the last three games, with five of the six coming through the air.
The Mothership staff shares with us what’s in their gut for today’s divisional matchup.
David Helman: I really hate games like this, because there’s not much in the way of positive takeaways. If the Cowboys win, big whoop. It’s the 0-4 Giants, a team that looks like it’s going to contend for a Top 5 draft pick. And if they find a way to lose, then the backlash we saw after the Cleveland loss is going to look like a walk in the park. It’d be nice to see the Cowboys blow the Giants’ doors off, but it’s hard to believe that’s going to happen for such a banged-up roster. I’m guessing New York will be able to force the Cowboys to settle for a couple of field goals, and Daniel Jones should throw for a couple of touchdowns on this secondary. All of that said, the Cowboys should still be significantly better. It’s going to be a frustrating watch, but I think Dallas is good enough to get out of this with a 30-21 win.
Game score prediction.
The Giants might have a shot at the upset if they can win the turnover battle. The Cowboys are tied for the league in turnovers with nine and rank last in the NFL in turnover margin at -7. However, that will be a tall order for a New York offense that has committed eight turnovers of its own. There’s also the matter of the Giants’ offense being terrible in general. Jones has struggled to find his way behind an offensive line that has already given up 14 sacks (third-most in the NFL) and 28 quarterback hits. And up until last week, the run game has been almost non-existent. All of which factors into the Giants failing to score a single touchdown in their last two games.
The touchdown drought should come to an end on Sunday against a Dallas defense that has been plenty terrible in its own right. Regardless, this might be the first game all season in which the Cowboys don’t have to worry about staging a comeback. The Giants are solid defensively, but not solid enough to keep Dallas out of the end zone. Meanwhile, the Giants anemic offense is simply not equipped to keep up on the scoreboard, even against a bad Dallas defense.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 20
Another take on what’s going to go down in today’s game.
What’s Going To Happen
There’s a good team somewhere inside that Dallas thing just waiting to come out. This is the week to get Ezekiel Elliott going – it always seems like that, though – and not get into any sort of a crazy firefight.
There isn’t a good team anywhere inside this Giant thing. The ground game isn’t in place to take advantage of the horrendous Cowboy front. Even so, it’s going to be closer than Dallas might like with New York having its shots late.
Why Dallas Cowboys Will Win
Everyone’s catching a break against the Giant offense.
Not only is New York last in the NFL in scoring, it’s last by a ten-mile wide margin scoring just 47 points so far. The Jets are second-worst, scoring 64 points, and Washington is third with 79 points.
To give Dallas just a wee bit of a pass, it faced four amazing offenses so far. New York hasn’t hit the 300-yard mark in total offense so far. Dak Prescott has thrown for 450 or more in each of his last three games.
You now the Cowboys are the bee’s knees when the CBS game of the week features two teams with a combined one win through the first four weeks of the season. Coverage map courtesy of 506 Sports.
BTB Podcast Schedule
- Monday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Tuesday: The 75O with Tony Casillas and RJ Ochoa
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay, Cole Patterson, and Dalton Miller
- Thursday: Broadcasting The ‘Boys with Ari Temkin and Roy White
- Friday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Saturday: Cowboys Hoy with Mauricio Rodriguez
We also offer daily episodes of The Ocho where we give you that day’s latest headlines so that you always stay caught up. The BTB podcast network is available on all major podcast avenues.
You can find your preferred platform right here. Make sure to subscribe, rate the feed, and leave a review! Our latest episode is available in the feed down below.