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Cowboys at Giants: Writer predictions for Monday Night Football matchup

Do you believe in Cooper Rush?

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cowboys are getting ready to take on the Giants on Monday Night Football after notching an improbable win over the Bengals last week. The last time the Cowboys were on prime time, they got bludgeoned by the Buccaneers. They’ll certainly hope Cooper Rush can lead them to a different result and remain undefeated as a starter.

Speaking of undefeated, the Giants enter this contest 2-0. There’s been a lot of debate over whether they’re actually as good as the record indicates they are, but Dallas can settle that debate with a win. The Cowboys are 9-1 against the Giants since 2017, but that one loss came without Dak Prescott under center. Do our writers think they can make it to 10 wins?

When New York has the ball

Pressure everywhere

Honestly, the Cowboys would do well to just copy and paste their defensive gameplan from last week. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has looked solid through two games, but he’s mostly throwing short passes (his 6.3 intended air yards are the sixth lowest in the NFL) to wide open receivers (just 6.1% of Jones’ passes are contested, the lowest rate in the NFL).

Dan Quinn’s unit plays press man at one of the highest rates in the NFL, which should make things harder for Jones to hit guys quickly. Add in that this Giants offensive line has allowed the most pressures and third most sacks in the NFL two games in, and this sets up well for a Dallas defense that got to Joe Burrow six times last week.

When Dallas has the ball

Ground and pound

The Cowboys could also theoretically copy and paste their offensive gameplan from last week, albeit with more success in the passing game. Like Cincinnati last week, the Giants defense is extremely vulnerable against the run. They have yet to force a run stop on a single outside run through two games; Dallas is averaging nearly five yards a carry on runs outside the tackles.

If the Cowboys can run the ball as efficiently as they did against the Bengals, that will help limit Cooper Rush’s exposure to this blitz happy defense. New York is sending extra rushers at the third highest rate in the NFL, which could be a problem against an offensive line that’s allowing the seventh highest pressure rate. If Dallas can run the ball, they can win, just as they did last week.

Now onto the predictions from your BTB writers...

Tom Ryle (0-2):

Yeah, I know the Giants are 2-0 and certainly look much better than in the past few seasons. But Daniel Jones is not Tom Brady or Joe Burrow, there really seems to be a poor usage of their WRs, they have an issue or two on their offensive line, and I think the Kellen Moore-Cooper Rush partnership is just going to get better with a game under their belt.

If Michael Gallup makes it back to the roster, even if he is only used on a handful of downs, I think the passing game opens up. One real concern is Dalton Schultz’s injury, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Peyton Hendershot became the Noah Brown of the TE room.

I’m taking the Cowboys 27-19.

Tony Catalina (0-2):

It’s funny how one game can change the outlook on a football team. Heading into week two not many felt great about Cooper Rush and the Dallas Cowboys prospects of getting their first win of the season. Heading into week three Jerry himself is speaking of QB controversy.

While we know that is playful banter, what isn’t a joke is this Cowboys defense. If they’re able to control Saquon Barkley and the Giants rushing attack it should be more than enough effort for this Cowboys offense to find a way to get it done. The return of Michael Gallup, even if limited, will provided a spark for this offense and the Cowboys get there second win of the season.

Cowboys win, 23-13.

Matt Holleran (1-1):

As much as I hate to say it, I think Monday night is a huge let down spot for the Cowboys. This Giants team seems much different than the ones we’ve seen over the past three to four seasons, and I think they are going to give Dallas their best punch.

The Cowboys defense will contain Saquon Barkley and keep New York’s offense in check, but Dallas’ offense just won’t be able to move the football. Cooper Rush struggles and it’s an ugly night all around for the Cowboys on offense. NY makes one more play than Dallas and wins an ugly one.

Give me the Giants, 17-10.

Brandon Loree (1-1):

The game plans should be similar for Dallas or the Giants to win. Be effective in running the ball, and don’t let your quarterback make mistakes. If either team can do that, they will walk away with happy.

Dallas has the better defense, offensive line, and more serviceable quarterback. They should be able to end the Giants undefeated season.

Cowboys win, 20-16.

Matthew Arizzi (1-1):

The Giants are 2-0 and have won both of their first two games by a combined four points. We all saw the Cowboys last week and the recipe seems to be if the offense scores 20 points, the defense will do their job. Their run defense was much improved last week as was the pass rush. Daniel Jones has been sacked eight times in the first two games and think that number may take a nice jump come Monday night.

The offense is still a problem, especially if Ezekiel Elliott is out-touching Tony Pollard. My prediction is completely based off the usage of those two. If 21 gets significantly more touches, the Giants win. If the figures are close, the Cowboys edge slightly. Let’s not jump the gun and take the Giants in a razor close game that’d I’d love to be wrong on.

20-19, Giants.

Aidan Davis (1-1):

Even without Dak Prescott, this offense is somewhat predictable on a week-to-week basis. There will be drives where Cooper Rush looks like a bonafide starting QB, and others where it seems like he shouldn’t even be in the league. The key to this game will come down to Matt Farniok. If he can put up a solid performance, then the Cowboys’ front five should be able to handle the Giants’ defensive line, giving Rush time to throw and Elliott and Pollard room to run. If he puts up a performance like last week, it will be an uphill battle for the offense.

As for the defense, this will be the easiest matchup they have seen so far. The Giants offense is dead last according to PFF and have the second-lowest rate of successful plays run in the league. They rely on big, breakaway plays to score. But despite their 2-0 record, they are 16th in the league by points scored. It is not going to be difficult for Dan Quinn to shut down the Giants offense. With that said, the struggles on offense will be too much for Dallas to overcome.

New York 16, Dallas 13.

Mike Poland (1-0):

Going for another crystal ball moment. Cowboys win this one by halftime. The Giants offensive line struggles to contain the onslaught of pressure from the Cowboys defense. Barkley is contained by the likes of Micah Parsons and Anthony Barr.

On offense Zeke has his biggest game this year and averages more than five yards per carry. KaVontae Turpin runs a return back for a TD making this his first officially special teams TD in the NFL.

Cowboys win, 27-17.

Paul Stewart:

With Leonard Williams likely to be out, I would expect to see more use of the run game and we will see more of Cooper Rush to Noah Brown. Cowboys will need to watch out for Saquon Barkley and also Daniel Jones leaving the pocket.

Cowboys win, 38-24.

ReportingLarry (0-1):

The -1 Giants betting line alone says that despite all of the Cowboys ailments, there’s just no real faith in the home team. Assuming Micah Parsons is good to go come game time, he will be the difference maker in this game by getting to Daniel Jones and creating chaos for his offensive line.

Cowboys 24 Giants 17.

Brian Martin (1-1):

Despite having the home-field advantage, and being undefeated so far to start the 2022 season, I’m predicting the Dallas Cowboys get the better of the New York Giants in Week 3 on Monday Night Football.

I believe Dallas will be close to dominant on defense and can do just enough offensively to keep Cooper Rush’s undefeated streak as a starter alive. In the end, this will likely be a low-scoring affair that comes down to has the ball last.

Cowboys win, 17-13.

RJ Ochoa (0-2):

Last week breathed life into what felt like an already-over season for the Dallas Cowboys. They are fortunate to draw a not-exactly-formidable 2-0 New York Giants team up next.

Ultimately I am still on the fence about how great this Cowboys team can or can’t be, but I am certain that the Giants’ early wins are more of a mirage than indication of reality. Micah Parsons is great at getting to the quarterback. Daniel Jones loves to turn the ball over.

Cowboys win, 24-16. Party.

David Howman (2-0):

This year’s Giants remind me of last year’s Panthers, in that they’re both bad teams who beat fellow bad teams to jump out to a very fraudulent undefeated record entering their matchup with the Cowboys. Now, the Giants have a better coaching staff than Carolina, and the Cowboys offense isn’t as high powered as it was last year, but that still sets up nicely for a Cowboys win.

I think we see the Cowboys get Michael Gallup involved early, before his pitch count is met, in an effort to open things up more for CeeDee Lamb. That, paired with an efficient showing in the run game, should work. This feels like a game where the first team to 20 points wins, and I don’t see Daniel Jones putting up that much against Micah Parsons and this defense.

Cowboys win, 20-12.

The Cowboys-Giants Monday Night Football game airs tonight at on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+. Kickoff is at 8.15 ET.

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