clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Position battleground (offense): Cowboys vs. Giants head-to-head breakdown

The Cowboys and Giants offenses are in two very different places right now.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Last week saw a heartbreaking loss for the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. But this week the Cowboys look to get redemption against another NFC East foe as they face the New York Giants at home. In a head-to-head battle, which team has the better offense by each position group, the Dallas Cowboys or the New York Giants?

Dak Prescott
Tommy DeVito

Dak Prescott played what you could call his most complete game of the season against the Eagles. He showed leadership and determination while keeping the offense under control and trying to get the Cowboys a victory. The only quarterback to have a better game during the Week 9 slate of games was Houston’s C.J. Stroud. Dak was accurate, delivered the ball on time, and did his best to extend plays which resulted receivers getting open on scramble drills. This week he faces the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium where the Cowboys have yet to lose in the last 11 games played. The last time these two teams faced-off in Week 1, the Cowboys forced a shutout and the offense scored 18 points while totaling 265 yards on offense. With the Giants shipping off part of their defensive line, this game looks to setup easier than the last meeting. Also Dak is finding form recently, throwing eight touchdowns and 950 passing yards in the last three games.

This will be the first game for the Giants without starting quarterback Daniel Jones. Jones tore his ACL in a non-contact injury in last week’s game and we hope he makes a full and healthy recovery. Tyrod Taylor, who is the teams backup quarterback is also on injured reserve after breaking a rib bone. That means the team will likely start rookie quarterback, Tommy DeVito, who went undrafted from Syracuse in this year’s draft. DeVito had more interceptions than he did completions during one stage of the game last week, and looked out of his depth. He managed to salvage part of the game, throwing for 175 yards and one touchdown. But it’s fair to say after taking six sacks last week, he will look even more nervous facing this daunting Cowboys pass rush.
Dak has looked much more efficient these last few weeks and is showing a tremendous amount of confidence and poise in the pocket. The Giants, on the other hand, are starting an undrafted rookie against a potent defense that is allowing very few passing yards. Also the Giants rank last in the league in sacks allowed, with 49 sacks allowed so far.
Win: Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Tony Pollard/Rico Dowdle
Saquon Barkley/Matt Breida

Pollard was working his way around the field as best as he could, but his success was limited. The inside runs are lacking pop and power. In Pollard’s defense, his offensive line isn’t offering much push up front to offer him clear running lanes, and he’s also helpful as an extra receiver when Dak needs him. Using Pollard more as receiver is something this team should look to add with more frequency, especially given his history as a receiver at Memphis. Pollard now ranks 16th in total rush yards and his 4.0 yards-per-attempt is tenth-most in the league among starting running backs. Rico Dowdle had a huge chunk play where he kept grinding and pushing for extra yards. The unfortunate part was it being called back due to a holding call.

Saquon Barkley is also rushing for the exact same average as Pollard, and he’s only scored one rushing touchdown this season, that’s less than Pollard. Where Barkley outscores Pollard is in receiving touchdowns, where he’s scored twice. Barkley does has 110 receiving yards this year, but when you think Pollard now has 190 yards on the season this amount for Barkley seems low. But the biggest concern here is the fact he’s the teams biggest offensive threat, but he’s been very lackluster year. Gary Brightwell and rookie Eric Grey have both been placed on injured reserve.

The Giants defense is giving up the eighth-most rush yards per game (127 yards per game), the third-most rushing touchdowns per game (13) and the last time these two teams played, the Cowboys outrushed the Giants going 122 yards on the ground. With the lack of much else to threaten the Cowboys defense, focusing on Barkley this week will be job one.
Win: Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

CeeDee Lamb/Brandin Cooks/Michael Gallup
Darius Slayton/Wan’Dale Robinson/Jalin Hyatt

It was a career game for Lamb last week going 191 yards. Over the last three weeks, no other wide receiver has more receiving yards than Lamb. The Cowboys star receiver has really come into his own after a slow start, something that emulates last season, but it’s clear both Dak and Lamb have a strong connection. Michael Gallup had issues with drops again last week but quickly redeemed himself after making some important and difficult catches while under duress. The forgotten man right now is Brandin Cooks. He had two targets last week for seven yards and this is one of the least productive starts to his season since playing in the NFL.

Darius Slayton leads the Giants wide receivers in yards, but he has yet to score a touchdown. Against the New York Jets he finished with a total of one reception for minus one yard. Rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt had a 75-yard game against the Washington Commanders three weeks ago. He’s currently averaging two receptions a game and 19 yards per catch. Wan’Dale Robinson has scored one receiving touchdown so far this season but he’s only averaging 7.3 yards per catch, that’s the fifth-lowest among receivers with a minimum of 25 targets.

CeeDee Lamb is the superior receiver of all participants in this game, and that’s immense for Dallas. The only issue for this receiver corps this week will be how much utilization they get based on how bad the Giants defense is against the run. On the opposite side the Giants receivers face a defense that ranks sixth-best in the league in passing yards allowed, and also have to play with the teams third-string quarterback.
Win: Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Jake Ferguson
Daniel Bellinger

Ferguson was nine yards short of having a 100-yard receiving game last week. The outlet he offered to Dak on third-down while making some extremely difficult catches with bodies draped over him was extremely inviting to see. His development and improvement made since the bye-week has been outstanding and he’s now a staple of this offense. Ferguson has scored twice in the last two games.

The threat of Darren Waller at the tight end position for the Giants has been put to bed this season since he was placed on injured reserve last week. That means backup tight end Daniel Bellinger takes over the starting position. He’s made seven receptions this season, with three coming against the Las Vegas Raider last week. This is a tough spot for the second-year tight end, who has to face to Cowboys defense that has allowed an average of 37 yards per game to the tight end position in the last three competitions.

This position battle is probably the furthest apart in terms of talent between the two teams among the offensive positions. The Cowboys are targeting Ferguson a lot and have high confidence in what he can produce. The arrow is firmly pointing up for him. The Giants are starting a second-year backup tight end that has scored two touchdowns in two years.
Win: Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images


So let’s start with the elephant in the room for Dallas, Terence Steele. There’s no way to sugarcoat things, he was bad last week. So far this season he’s been a major weakness for this offense, and opposing teams know this. Whether he’s struggling due to injury which is hindering his technique or teams are finding ways to expose him, you have to be concerned about Steele right now. The sack near the end the game he allowed pretty much sealed the deal for a chance to score and win the game, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg for him. How much patience the coaches have him after last week will be seriously tested if he doesn’t look to drastically improve the next few weeks.

On the other side, Tyron Smith played a perfect game and looked like Tyron Smith from years ago. He was solid in pass protection allowing zero sacks and zero pressures. He also looked much more aggressive and powerful in the run game. This offensive line though will be facing a Giants defensive line that had part of it traded away before the deadline and is generating the second-fewest sacks in the league. Add also the issues the Giants have at the line on run defense, they face an uphill battle in the trenches.

The Giants offensive line is struggling on the other side to protect their quarterback. No team has allowed more sacks this season that the Giants offensive line. They also ranked last in total pressures allowed with 145, which is 15 more than the second-worst (which happens to be the Carolina Panthers). In terms of comparisons at run blocking for both teams, you could say they are somewhat both on par at the moment. Keep an eye on the practice report this week for Evan Neal who suffered an ankle injury last week, he may be limited all week.
Win: Cowboys


Which team has the better offense?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Dallas Cowboys
    (208 votes)
  • 3%
    New York Giants
    (8 votes)
216 votes total Vote Now

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys