The Cowboys are 1-3 after an embarrassing loss at home to the Cleveland Browns. Their defense has failed to do much of anything so far this year, but word is they’re ramping up the aggression for this week’s game against the division rival Giants, who are searching for their first win of the season. It will be also be the first time Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett has faced his former team, but Dallas will have to spoil the reunion if they want to get things back on track.
When New York has the ball
Show signs of life
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the Cowboys defense is bad. Putrid, even. But, in their defense, they’ve faced four offenses that have piled up plenty of yards and points against other teams this year too.
The Giants are a completely different story. Here’s a list of everything their offense ranks dead last in: offensive DVOA, rush offense DVOA, points scored, total yards, and first downs by rushing. Losing Saquon Barkley hasn’t helped, but quarterback Daniel Jones - who has accounted for all eight of New York’s turnovers this year - has regressed sharply. If this Dallas defense is going to show up at any point this year, this is the perfect time to do so. If not, we may be able to crown them as the worst defense in NFL history.
When Dallas has the ball
Continue to #MakeItRayne
Here’s something obvious: Dak Prescott is good. Prescott has already made NFL history and franchise history this season, and he leads the league in passing yards while maintaining a 68.2% completion rate. It’s due in large part to the Cowboys, namely Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore, putting the ball in his hands more and letting him sling it, but also because they are continually playing from behind.
Well, the Giants secondary is its biggest weakness. While they rank 11th on overall defensive DVOA, their pass defense DVOA is all the way down at 24th. For comparison’s sake, the Cowboys’ pass defense DVOA ranks 25th in the NFL. So if the Cowboys keep attacking through the air the way they have been, there’s a good chance Dak makes it four straight games with 450+ passing yards. And against the coach who refused to put the ball in his hands to add a little bit of extra drama here.
Now onto the predictions from your BTB writers...
Should we dare trust our beloved Cowboys again? It’s almost sadistic to keep getting pulled in like this, but come on - this is the New York “can’t play football” Giants. They have to win this one, right? The battle of which is worse - the Giants offense or Cowboys defense will be revealed, and while I think there will be some give and take there, look for the Cowboys pass rush to show up in this one and cause Daniel Jones to...wait for it, wait for it....turn the ball over!
I’m a little worried the Cowboys offense becomes a wee bit complacent because they’re finally in a game where they aren’t in a huge rush to put up points. If they lack any fire at all, this game will end up being another close one full of frustration. And that’s how I see it going. In the end, the Cowboys still have too much talent, and they’ll come away with the win.
Cowboys 27, Giants 23
Call me foolish, but this one has to be a win. Not because Dallas needs it so badly, but because the Giants play so badly. Yes, they may have more going on defense than the Cowboys, but the balance of power in the NFL is with offense, and the comparison between the two there is all in favor of the Cowboys. Additionally, I just believe that the fumbling issue has been a statistical deviation, not a true trend. They get that cleared up, and this offense should put points up on about 90% of their possessions.
And I also expect this to be a good game for the defense, in that they are going to feel like they get some stops, even if they are more a case of New York stopping themselves. Dallas should get a lead that will allow them to get Zeke heavily involved, and I suspect Kellen Moore will be very happy to do so. It will have nothing whatsoever with him showing he can beat Jason Garrett at his own game. Trust me.
Cowboys 31, Giants 16
Both starting offensive tackles now done for the season. A defense that can’t slow down a snail if it tried but with all that being said it’s still the New York Giants. The Cowboys could have issues up the middle on offense against the Giants talented pair of defensive tackles. So look for them to air it out again and get Zeke involved in the passing game. On defense the Cowboys have to stay mentally focused on their jobs and not let Daniel Jones trick them with his eyes down the field. If they can do that then this an easy win for them.
Cowboys 38, Giants 17
The Cowboys are only half a a bad team. Their offense is really good (when they don’t turn the ball over), but their defense is really bad. The Giants are a full bad team. Their offense is awful and their pass defense is terrible. So the Cowboys have to win, right? I say they will.
Cowboys 34 - Giants 21.
This certainly has the makings of a classic get-right game for a team with tons of talent that’s failed to put it all together as of yet. New York is the right combination of inept offense and unreliable defense, but at least they’re not the worst football team that calls MetLife Stadium home.
I see Dak and the receiver corps having another monstrous game, and maybe Ezekiel Elliott finds his mojo again. But more than that, I think this Dallas defense starts looking respectable against an offense that struggles to hold onto the ball. Everson Griffen gets a sack and Trevon Diggs gets his first career pick, and the Cowboys roll.
Cowboys 41, Giants 18