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Cowboys at Giants: Each team’s X-Factor player for Sunday

The Cowboys are undefeated in December as the head to Jersey to square off against a familiar foe.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Cowboys are fully in the driver seat for the NFC East and look to be on their way to the division crown. There are many confusing clinching possibilities for the Cowboys heading into week 15, but the Cowboys need to be focus on the here and now. The defense looks to be real, as in one of the top units in the entire league, real. We use to speak of the offense in the same light, but as of late, that surely has not been the case.

For whatever reason, the offense will need to find its footing, and fast. The playoffs are quickly approaching, and although there is much to look forward to, this team has proven this year that if they aren’t ultra-focused on the here and now, they could lose to anybody. Next on the menu is the New York Giants, and that should be the one and only focus of this ball club.

You can look at all three phases of both these teams and convincingly state that there is an X-Factor on all three units. However, these two individuals, one a Cowboy, one a member of the Giants, will have the biggest impact on Sunday’s game.

Dallas Cowboys X-Factor:

Terence Steele

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Any time Terence Steele is manning the left tackle position its an easy pick for that week’s X-Factor. The importance of the position cannot be overstated, and with this being a week Dak Prescott absolutely needs to get going offensively, it will be paramount that he has ample time in the pocket while not having to be cautious of backside pressure all day.

Terence Steele has proven to be a quality swing tackle, but the majority of his quality work has come on the right side of the line. Steele himself said playing the left side was an adjustment, and he is absolutely right, left tackle is one of the toughest positions to play in the game of football. Steele’s performance will be pivotal to this teams success. If he can find a way to have a clean day, keep Dak upright, and fare admirably out there, the Cowboys should be well on their way to a third straight December win.

New York Giants X-Factor:

Saquon Barkley

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With Daniel Jones looking to be out, and a few other Giants dealing with injuries and Covid-19, its highly possible the Giants will lean on the run to keep things within striking distance against the Cowboys. Not only that, but Saquon Barkley is one of the most supremely talented running backs in all of the league.

When healthy Barkley is an absolute game-breaker in every phase. The Cowboys defense will be aware of presence all day and the way to victory is to limit his big-play ability while also forcing the game into Mike Glennon’s hands. Faith in this defensive unit is as high as its been in years, but with a matchup on Sunday versus a talent runner such as Saquon Barkley, they are going to want to play principled, sound defensive football for 60 minutes.