The run game could decide this one tonight
It’s Giants-Cowboys. It’s Monday Night Football. Is there anything better? The Giants have won 3 straight and look terrific, while the 1-4 Cowboys are struggling and need this game to stay in the playoff hunt. Must win? You bet. Let’s preview Giants and Cowboys
OUT: OL Will Beatty (foot), DE Mathias Kiwanuka (neck), FB Madison Hedgecock (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE: WR Hakeem Nicks (hamstring)
PROBABLE: DE Osi Umenyiora (knee), LB Keith Bulluck (toe), DB Brian Jackson (neck), RB DJ Ware (groin), K Lawrence Tynes (ankle), DE Justin Tuck (ankle)
OUT: G Kyle Kosier (Ankle)
PROBABLE: WR Dez Bryant (Ankle), C Andre Gurode (Knee), LB Bradie James (Knee), CB Mike Jenkins (personal)
The offense has been great in recent weeks, whether it’s the run or the pass. Even with a hobbled Hakeem Nicks (who I fully expect to play), the Giants offense has so many weapons that it doesn’t matter who they use. With Bradshaw and Jacobs looking like the 1-2 punch of the 07 playoffs, Manningham, Smith and Nicks playing great, the offensive line playing better, the offense can move the ball on anyone. I do worry about David Diehl’s ability to stop or slow down DeMarcus Ware. In the beginning of the year, Diehl had trouble with top pass rushers, like Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers. Ware is up there with those guys. Bear Pascoe, playing fullback, will be huge. If he can help out Diehl as a psuedo tight end, it will go a long way. If he can’t, Eli will be running around a lot.
What’s there to say about the defense? The pass rush has been terrific. The secondary has been great. The linebackers have been solid. This is just a great defense. They needed a few weeks to gel and learn Perry Fewell’s defense, but now that they have, there are seemingly no limits. If they can get a pass rush, which shouldn’t be a problem, the Giants will be fine. Osi Umenyiora is having a resurgent season. Justin Tuck has been great. Antrel Rolle, Deon Grant, Kenny Phillips. There are no weak parts on this defense.
With Lawrence Tynes expected to play, the onus once again is on Matt Dodge. After a rough start last week, he rebounded to have some pretty good punts. He’s still inconsistent, and his first time on a really big stage is worrisome. We know he has the ability; he just needs to get it done. Darius Reynaud continues to be just average and kick and punt returns. And as always, coverage needs to improve. Special teams is the weakness of this team.
The Cowboys are a team in turmoil. A team that many (myself included) predicted to win the NFC East are now 1-4 and in need of a win to stay in the playoff team. The ‘Boys have all the talent. But, discipline has been a huge problem. Too many penalties. Too many mistakes. When that happens, the blame has to go to the coach, Wade Phillips, whose seat is scalding right now. This has to be a team that’s desperate. Win, and they are still hanging on (barely) in the playoff race. A loss, and they are pretty much out of it. This is a must win game. Which Cowboys team shows up?
You have to think the Cowboys are going to come out desperate. Monday Night in Dallas, this is their season. Still, the Giants are the better team right now. They are playing great football. They have had no trouble going into Dallas in the past. I think this will be a good night for Giants fans. FINAL SCORE: Giants 24, Cowboys 17
As always, GiantsGab has got you covered for the game. Follow our Twitter page, as we’ll be tweeting during the game. Check back at halftime for our feature “Halftime Thoughts”, where we break down the first half, and tell you what to expect in the second. Hang out after the game for all the post game info you need. GiantsGab is Giants Central!