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Cowboys Week 15 opponent statistical preview: The New York Giants

The Cowboys are taking on the hobbled Giants in an NFC East showdown.

NFL: DEC 12 Giants at Chargers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This Dallas Cowboys team sure does know how to make a game interesting don’t they, allowing The Washington Football Team to come back in a game that they were dominating early on. This week the Cowboys are facing another team in the NFC East in the Giants who are dealing with injuries and Covid cases like many teams around the NFL. The Cowboys will look to take advantage of this undermanned Giants team in an effort to gain ground on the top three teams in the NFC, and clinch the NFC East.

So let’s focus on the Giants in this week’s opponent statistical preview.

New York Giants

2020 Record: 6-10

Last Meeting: 10/10/2021 - Cowboys 44 - Giants 20

Head Coach: Joe Judge

Key Additions: WR Kenny Golladay, CB Adoree’ Jackson, TE Kyle Rudolph, RB Devontae Booker, DE Ifeadi Odenigbo, WR John Ross

Key Losses: QB Daniel Jones (Neck), WR Kadarius Toney, WR John Ross, DE Oshane Ximines (Covid),

New York Giants v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Offensive Statistics and Analysis

Offensive Ranking: 27th (ppg)

Passing Offense Ranking: 20th

Rush Offense Ranking: 26th

The last time these two teams met the Giants had a slew of injuries occurring throughout the game. The same goes for the Giants offense this time around with the team coming into this game without their starting quarterback in Daniel Jones who’s dealing with a neck injury, Kadarius Toney, who shredded the Cowboys last time around with 189 yards on 10 receptions, could also be out. The Giants will have their main weapon back in running back Saquon Barkley as well as wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Sterling Shepard so it won’t be that easy for the Cowboys.

Last week showed that this defense has mental lapses at times and allows teams to hang around late in games, and while the Giants backup quarterback Mike Glennon isn’t going to light up the score board, he is a veteran in this league. The Cowboys will need to pay attention to Barkley even though he hasn’t had a great year. The Giants are 26th in rushing yards with Barkley and company collectively averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Because Barkley has missed some time this season, Devontae Booker is the Giants leading rusher with 432 yards and has a higher yards per carry average than Barkley (4.1 to 3.8).

Kenny Golladay is the deep threat as he averages 15.1 yards per reception, although he only has 28 catches on the year. Tight end Evan Engram and receiver Toney have been the Giants most consistent weapons in the passing game with 36 and 35 catches on the year respectively. Sterling Shepard is right behind with 34 catches. The Giants will also use Barkley as a pass-catching weapon.

Statistically, there is just not a lot there to recommend the Giants offense. With Daniel Jones unlikely to play, his rushing ability is off the table giving the Cowboys defense one less thing to worry about.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Defensive Statistics and Analysis

Defensive Ranking: 21st (PPG against)

Pass Defense Ranking: 19th

Run Defense Ranking: 25th

The Giants defense could be coming into this game without one of their pass rushers in Oshane Ximines who is currently on the COVID list, and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson who’s dealing with a quad injury. Leonard Williams has a tricep injury but was able to practice on a limited basis. They are already without linebacker Blake Martinez for the season so this could be a good time for this hot and cold Cowboys offense to get back on track. This defense has surrendered an average of 6.8 yards per pass through the air and 4.4 yards on the ground. They are also allowing offenses to convert 40% of their third downs, which is pretty much in the middle of the league, and 67% on fourth down.

Leonard Williams is the biggest problem among the front seven as he has 5.5 sacks on the year to go along with 62 tackles and 10 QB hits. Right with him is Azeez Ojulari who has an impressive 7.5 sacks with 38 tackles and 10 QB hits. The Cowboys will need to control those two so they don’t wreck Dak Prescott’s plans.

Xavier McKinney has five interceptions on the year and is a very active safety with 70 total tackles.

Overall the Giants defense isn’t a top-tier unit in any statistical category and they have been pretty easy to run on, especially without linebacker Blake Martinez. If the Cowboys offense wants to get back on track, this would be a good week for it to happen.