Dallas Cowboys (1-7) at New York Giants (6-2)
Where: The New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherfor, NJ
When: Sunday 4:15 pm EST
Three weeks ago the New York Giants changed the fortunes for the Dallas Cowboys in a drastic way. It was inside linebacker Matt Boley that put Tony Romo out, what could be the rest of the season. The Giants have dominated the Cowboys the last three years winning 5 of 6 match-ups. This Cowboys team is different. Well, at least the head coach is different. The much publicized firing of former head coach Wade Phillips on Sunday has brought an era of change. Things have been notably different around the Ranch this week. Garrett has brought intensity, temp, and work ethic to a Cowboys bunch that has looked absolutely deflated the last few weeks.
While Garrett may be in charge now, the Cowboys are unlikely to look much different as far as plays and aggression. The keys for the Cowboys will be can they protect Kitna and get the run game going. Giants DE Justin Tuck called the Cowboys offensive line “confused” this season. While the Cowboys will likely continue to struggle with Kitna at the helm, most people are wondering what is going to be different with the defense. The Cowboys defense has gone from strength of the team, to glaring weakness. They have given up 121 points in their last three games and have played poor and predictable schemes. Former linebackers coach Paul Pasqualoni takes over the reigns as the defensive co-ordinator for the rest of the season and will hope to inject some life in the defense. Pasqualoni is considered and “old school” coach who coaches with intensity and pride. The Cowboys need lot of both.
New York Giants
The Giants are making a case for being the NFC’s best team this season. At 6-2 the Giants started slow but have really come on the last 5 weeks. The Giants are the only team in the NFC that are in the top 5 of both offense and defense. They have a potent rushing attack and QB Eli Manning is really clicking with his threats on the outside. The Giants have a really balanced attack and will look to keep the Cowboys off balance. WR Steve Smith will be miss the game after tearing a pectoral muscle in practice this week. The Giants will look to involve Manningham and Hicks in Smith’s absence. The Giants also have a very impressive defense this year. The Giants front line cause havoc for opposition offensive lines, and their linebackers are quick and great tacklers. Look for the Giants to dial up the pressure and force the Cowboys to make mistakes.
Things To Watch For
1) WR Dez Bryant – Bryant has been Kitna’s favorite target and has been terrific the last 3 weeks.
2) Manningham and Nicks – The Giants will look to exploit the Cowboys coverage problems on the outside.
3) Cowboys Defense – How will the Cowboys defense respond to new coach Jason Garrett? Tough test.
My prediction…Sorry Jason Garrett, but your first win won’t be this week. Giants 38-14.