After finally putting a “W” in the win column last week against New Orleans Saints, the New York Giants are looking to carry that momentum into the Week 5 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys. On the flip side, the Cowboys will be trying to improve on their three-game win streak at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon.
As division rivals, these two teams don’t need bulletin board material to get pumped up for this matchup. No matter what the records may be, anytime the Cowboys and Giants face one another it’s typically a close game that often times is decided by whoever has the ball last. There’s no reason to believe this Week 5 matchup will be any different.
This is game the Dallas Cowboys are favored to win, but in order to do so they can’t take the G-men for granted. They need to get out to a fast start and keep their foot on the throttle until the final seconds tick off the clock. But between the opening kickoff to when the final whistle is blown, there are a handful of matchups they need to neutralize.
Cowboys’ run defense vs. Saquon Barkley
Through the first four games of the 2021 season no one has really been able to establish their run game against the Dallas Cowboys defense. Admittedly, they haven’t tried too much for a variety of reasons (personnel, score, scheme, etc.). As such, Dallas’ run defense really hasn’t been tested. That will likely change in this Week 5 matchup against their bitter arrival in the NFC East, the New York Giants. They’d love nothing more to get Saquon Barkley going, especially considering the majority of their receivers are banged up right now.
Barkley is off to a bit of a slow start coming off an ACL injury that cut his 2020 season short, but looks as if he could be picking up steam heading into this game against the Cowboys. He played a total of 89% of the Giants offensive snaps last week and was a threat both on the ground and through the air. He’s the Giants most dangerous offensive weapon due to his running and receiving ability, and as such, must be contained by Dallas’ defense.
Trevon Diggs vs. Kenny Golladay
There may not be another cornerback in the entire NFL playing better than Trevon Diggs right now. He has a total of five interceptions through four games this year, two of which, including a pick-six, he secured last week against the Carolina Panthers. For the most part, he’s accomplished this by shadowing the team’s best receiver each game and that could continue this week against the New York Giants.
Kenny Golladay has yet to find the end zone since signing a big money contract with the New York Giants this offseason. He is, however, coming off his best game, catching six passes for a total of 116 yards. He’s probably hoping to pick up where he left off last week, but Trevon Diggs will likely have something to say about that. With Golladay currently dealing with a groin injury, Diggs should be favored to win this matchup.
Randy Gregory vs. Andrew Thomas
Randy Gregory is coming off his first multi-sack game of the 2021 season and will be looking to add to his QB sack total this week against the Giants. We’ve seen him play both right and left defensive end this year and that may not change in this Week 5 matchup. Whether he’s facing off against Nate Solder or Andrew Thomas, his ability to convert speed into power should give both players trouble.
Now in his second year, Thomas is playing much better in 2021 after all but being labeled a “bust” as a rookie. He hasn’t surrendered a QB sack this season and currently has the eighth ranked pass-blocking grade according to Pro Football Focus. But, he is also dealing with a foot issue right now that could limit him, if it doesn’t keep him from playing altogether. That’s an advantage No. 94 will gladly exploit.
Cowboys’ defense vs. Daniel Jones
It may or may not surprise you to learn, but Daniel Jones is performing like one of the better quarterbacks in the league so far this year. Just last week he threw for 402 yards and two touchdowns against a tough New Orleans Saints defense and will be looking to do the same in Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys. If they’re not careful, Jones has the ability to make this a tougher game than it needs to be.
Jones has always been the kind of QB who could hurt defenses with his legs, but now that he’s develop into a better passer as well he becomes an even more formidable opponent. Sadly, Dallas’ defense surrendered two rushing touchdowns to Sam Darnold last week, which is concerning because Jones is much more dangerous on the run. Dan Quinn and his defense must account for his dual-threat ability on every play.
Dalton Schultz/Blake Jarwin vs. Giants’ defense
Dalton Schultz has the hot hand right now for the Cowboys, finding the end zone a total of three times in the past two weeks. He could keep his TD streak alive this week against the Giants, because in the last five games these two teams have played against one another Dallas’ tight ends have scored a total of seven times. The Prescott-to-Schultz connection may be red-hot right now, but don’t forget about Blake Jarwin.
The last three games Blake Jarwin has played against the Giants he’s scored a total of five touchdowns. If he can continue his dominance over the Cowboys division rival in Week 5, we might need to start referring to him as the “Giant Killer”. Whether it’s Jarwin or Schultz though, Dallas’ tight ends could play a big role in deciding the outcome of this game. Because of that, don’t be surprised if both are heavily involved.
We broke down everything you need to know about this matchup in our Preview Show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure you subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!