2021 Record: 4-13
Last Meeting: 12/19/2021 (Cowboys won 21-6 and lead the all time series 71-47-2)
Head Coach: Brian Daboll (2-0 as a Head Coach)
Key Additions: CB Adoree’ Jackson, OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux (draft), QB Tyrod Taylor, OT Evan Neal (draft)
Key Departures: DT Danny Shelton, S Jabril Peppers, OG Will Hernandez, OLB Lorenzo Carter
2021 was a year to forget for the New York Giants. A season that saw them finish 4-13, and last in the NFC East, prompted ownership to be out with the old and in with the new as they fired head coach Joe Judge and brought in former Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to be the man for the job and inject new life into the franchise. A proud franchise with four Super Bowl championships and a winning history has been everything but that as of late, and the Mara family hopes Daboll and company are able to get back to their winning ways starting in 2022.
The Giants quickly turned the page and moved on from 2021 and put their focus on the new regime and the draft. The jury is still out on this entire class as we are just heading into week three of the season, but by all indications it looks like the Giants have set themselves up well with the drafting of talented pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux from Oregon, and OT Evan Neal out of Alabama in the first round. So far so good for this year’s version, as Daboll has this team playing confidently and ride into a week three primetime clash at 2-0.
Player to watch… Saquon Barkley, RB
It has been a frustrating career for the super-talented running back out of Penn State. From injuries he has had to battle through, to the lack of talent around him, it has just felt like Barkley has not been able to reach the heights that were expected after the Giants took him in the first round of 2018. So far 2022 has looked different for Barkley and this Giant rushing attack; through two games Barkley has had 39 rushing attempts for 236 yards, with an average yards per carry of 6.1 and one touchdown.
Saquon Barkley hasn't had a 50+ yard run in 3 years. There he goes!pic.twitter.com/qeGEYVPSzW— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 11, 2022
The Giants, as a surprise to many, are heading into week three 2-0 and look to be playing like a confident bunch. Some of that can be credited to a revamped offensive line, and a Saquon Barkley who looks healthy and motivated and an offensive mind that looks to keeps Daniel Jones in situations to manage the game and not need to press. The Cowboys struggled against Leonard Fournette in week one but looked much better against Joe Mixon in week two. A healthy Barkley poses a much more dynamic threat than both of those aforementioned running backs, and the Cowboys will need to be showing more like last week against the run if they want to come out of week three with another W.
Don’t forget about… Sterling Shepard, WR
No question about it, the Giants made a gigantic mistake in signing Kenny Golladay to a long-term deal, and you could even argue that up and down the Giants wide receiver room there are a bunch of guys not living up to their potential. All that being said, it does not mean that they do not have some players that pose a threat if they are on that night and Sterling Shepard is one of them. Shepard’s numbers have been modest to start the season, he has had eight receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown in the first two games, but what is important to look at is that much of that volume came in week two where he saw six of those eight receptions and looks to be rounding into shape as the season goes on.
Consistency has been missing with this unit for years now, but with Daboll and his new scheme in the building it looks like the Giants, and specifically Daniel Jones, may have something cooking here early in the season. This is a matchup the Cowboys have embraced and have thrived in for the last few years, but this Giants offensive unit can be sneaky productive and the Cowboys are going to need to be on point defensively to keep Cooper Rush and the short-handed offense comfortable and within striking range in week three.