The Cowboys enter Week 17 against the Giants with something to play for. The mere thought of that would have been laughable at the end of their last matchup against this team, as that game brought the devastating loss of Dak Prescott.
But through some sort of miracle, as well as the NFC East being absolutely terrible, the Cowboys are riding a three-game winning streak as they travel to MetLife Stadium for what could potentially earn them a division title. It’s pretty simple: the winner of the Cowboys-Giants game will have to root for the Washington Football Team to either lose or tie on Sunday Night Football in order to be crowned the NFC East champion. But winning their own game is the first priority.
When New York has the ball
Keep being opportunistic
18. That’s the number of takeaways this Dallas defense has created in their last eight games. You have to go back to the first week of December to find a game where the Cowboys didn’t have at least three takeaways, too. The saying is that turnovers come in bunches, and that’s definitely been the case in Dallas as of late.
It’s also been the case for Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, though not in a good way. Jones had 13 turnovers in his first eight games of the season, with at least one turnover in each matchup. He’s been better lately, with just one giveaway in his last five games, but it doesn’t seem like something that can last. Jones is going to give the Cowboys plenty of opportunities for takeaways; all the defense has to do is capitalize on it.
When Dallas has the ball
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
The Cowboys offense is in a rhythm right now. The offensive line has stabilized after a lot of turmoil and Andy Dalton is firing on all cylinders. His 377 passing yards against Philadelphia last week finally put him over Prescott as the Cowboys’ leading passer (which is a testament to how well Dak was playing) and he’s got a total of 1,474 yards on a 67% completion rate with 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions since returning from injury. More importantly, the Cowboys have topped 30 points in three straight games, the first time they’ve done so since Prescott went down.
Conversely, the Giants defense is bleeding points at the moment. The team has lost three in a row and their defense has allowed over 24 points per game in that stretch; they’ve also given up at least 390 total yards in each of those three games with just one takeaway. Simply put, they’re not making big plays and getting beat because of it. Whatever the Cowboys are doing on offense, it’s worked very well. If they keep it up, there’s no indication this Giants defense is going to be able to stop them.
Now onto the predictions from your BTB writers...
The Cowboys are playing better football than the Giants right now and it would take a big let down to allow this game to get away from them. Yet, I still find myself mulling over just how they’ll mess it up. Maybe it’s just the Week 17 bad luck this team has had over the last decade that’s bringing out these feels, or maybe it’s that pathetic display of football this team put out on the field during their four-game losing streak that has left me with such sourness.
Regardless, the Cowboys seem to have their act together now, and the Giants don’t. I see Ezekiel Elliott going back-to-back with 100-yard games and the Cowboys takeaway surge to continue. It won’t always be pretty, but the Cowboys will leave East Rutherford still alive in the NFC East.
Cowboys 23, Giants 17.
I know that Jason Garrett is likely to pull everything out of his playbook, but the Cowboys seem to have finally gotten their act together. It’s a shame it wasn’t earlier, but look for the team to finish up with a four game winning streak before getting their heart broken by the Football Team. Kellen Moore will show once more why he was the right choice as OC before departing for his dream job at Boise State, while the defense gets a couple of more takeaways.
Cowboys 31, Giants 20.
The Cowboys season hangs in the balance this week but they also need some help from an Eagles team down nine players against the Washington Football Team. The Cowboys defense is playing its best football of the season and the offense is clicking once again. I don’t really see the Giants putting up to much of a fight but you can expect a lot of trickery from Jason Garrett and this offense.
Cowboys 27, Giants 13.
Since Dallas lost to Baltimore, I promised myself I would not pick them the rest of the season. This week Dallas should beat the Giants. Andy Dalton and the offense are playing at a high level, and the defense continues to create takeaways.
On the flip side, New York has not scored more than 13 points since their win at Seattle, and their defense has not looked great the past three weeks. Call me crazy, but I’m sticking to my guns here and not picking Dallas, although they should win this game. The Cowboys’ 2020 season comes to an end at MetLife stadium.
Give me the Giants, 23-20.
The Cowboys’ three-game win streak has come against bad football teams - a combined record of 14-29-2, to be exact - but guess what? The Giants are also a bad football team. They had a brief stretch of games where the defense was playing at an elite level and the offense was doing just enough to get by, but both units have regressed sharply in the last month.
I expect the Cowboys offense to have one last hurrah for offensive coordinator Kellen Moore before he officially departs, and it wouldn’t be a Giants game without at least one Daniel Jones turnover. The biggest question is not if the Cowboys will win, but rather if it will matter. To that end, I don’t see a loss in the cards for the Washington Football Team this week, but it will still be nice for the Cowboys to end on a four-game win streak to close out a season with so much adversity.
Cowboys 31, Giants 16.