Week 3 of the NFL season has begun. After a surprising victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys face off against the division-rival New York Giants this week on Monday night.
Before the Cowboys and Giants square off, here are three bold predictions for Monday’s matchup.
1) Cowboys sack Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones five times
Two games in and the New York Giants have done a lot of things well, but protecting their quarterback is not one of them. Daniel Jones has been under constant duress, and the signal-caller has been sacked eight times, the third-most in the NFL through two games.
Jones was sacked five times in New York’s season opener against Tennessee and was sacked another three times in last week’s victory over the Carolina Panthers. The Giants’ inability to protect Jones is not a new thing. In fact, Jones has been sacked 22 times in his last eight starts dating back to Week 6 of the 2021 season.
One thing that is new is the Giants winning games in which they aren’t able to protect their signal-caller. Coming into the season New York was 3-16 in games that Jones was sacked three or more times. This year they are 2-0 in such games.
Coming into this matchup, the Cowboys should be licking their chops seeing the issues New York is having in pass protection. After a six-sack performance last week, the Dallas defense has a great chance to put on another show this Monday against the Giants.
The Dallas defense is in Jones’ grill all night long, recording five team sacks and putting together another great defensive display.
2) Dallas’ defense holds Saquon Barkley under 50 rushing yards
A big factor in the Giants’ 2-0 start has been the revival of Saquon Barkley. After injuries limited the former number-two-overall pick to playing in just 15 games over the past two seasons, the Giants are finally seeing Barkley look like the guy he was in 2018 and 2019 again.
Two games in, Barkley is second in the NFL with 236 rushing yards, trailing only Nick Chubb who has already played his Week 3 game. Barkley also leads the NFL totaling 118 rushing Y/G and is sixth in the league averaging 6.1 Y/A.
Barkley’s been great in his first two games, but the Cowboys present an interesting challenge in Week 3. The running back has had mixed results when facing Dallas in his career. The former All-Pro has posted two very good games against the Cowboys, rushing for over 100 yards in both, and four very poor performances.
In Barkley’s last three games against the Cowboys, he’s totaled just 87 rushing yards on 31 carries an average of just 2.8 Y/A, and has not scored a touchdown.
The Cowboys did a much better job stopping the run against Cincinnati last Sunday, allowing just 89 total rushing yards, and they’ll carry that into this week’s matchup. Dallas slows down Barkley once again, holding him under 50 rushing yards for the fifth time in his career and slowing down his hot start to the season.
3) Cooper Rush throws multiple interceptions
Cooper Rush played well enough for the Cowboys to win last week, but there were a couple of things that went in his favor. One being that Rush threw four or five balls that likely should have been intercepted, but the Bengals were just unable to make a play.
This week, he won’t be so lucky.
The Giants like to send pressure, especially on third down, and they’ll send plenty of it at Rush on Monday night. Facing consistent pressure, Dallas’ signal-caller will make some mistakes.
Rush does not get lucky this week and his errant throws end up being turnovers. The Giants pick him off twice and it ends up being the deciding factor in the game.