Written by: Tony “The Prophet” Yantosca
The Giants play the Dallas Cowboys this week for a possible trip to the playoffs. The winner of this game if the Washington team loses will be the NFC divisional winner. More absurdly that winner will host a home playoff in the playoffs with a 6-10 record!. Right now, that game would be vs the Buccaneers pending Sunday’s action been completed.
The recent history for the Gmen vs the Cowboys is not good. Dallas has won the last 7 in a row. The last time the Giants won was 12/11/16 at home by a field goal 10-7. The Giants arebehind in the all-time series history 45-69-2. The last meeting was the game where Dak got hurt and was out for the season. Dalton had brought the Cowboys back for a 34-point tie. We all thought the game was going to overtime. The Cowboys had the ball at their own 12-yard line with 52 seconds to play. The Giants played a prevent defense that prevented the win. Dalton threw 15 yards to Cooper, 19 yards to Gallup, and the dagger, 38 yards to Gallup. Lewis had bad coverage on him with a top tap on the sideline. After the review the catch was good. Zuerlein hit a 34-yard field goal to beat the Giants 37-34.
For the Giants to win their last game the game plan is simple. They need to run the ball for well over 100 yards. This will also take the pressure off Daniel Jones. He is immobile since he suffered the hamstring injury. Jones was sacked 8 times by the Cardinals and 6 times by the Ravens last week. The offensive line that was playing better mid-season has been breaking down. Jones has just 3 yards rushing the last 2 weeks on 1 attempt. The Cowboys allow a league worst 161 rushing yards/game and they are tied for the league worst 5.0 yards/carry with Houston. Gallman and to a lesser extent Morris have to have a big game. Dallas is 32nd vs the rush but they are 11 vs the pass. The Gmen are 29th in passing which is another reason why the run game is critical.
The run game will set up the play action passing. Jones had his 3rd most passing yards last week with 252 yards as they were in come from behind mode. Jones just has an anemic 209 yards passing/game in his 13 games. He has only thrown for over 250 yards 3 times. 20 starters have more total yards and there were other quarterbacks on pace for more yards who got hurt like Dak, Burrow and Garoppolo. Shepard was the favorite target last week with 8 catches on 12 targets for 77 yards and a touchdown. Engram had 7 catches on 10 targets for 65 yards. Slayton has been invisible and has been a big disappointment this year but part of that is on Jones, He had just 2 catches for 26 yards on 8 targets. Since week 6 Slayton has had just 25 catchesor 2.5/game!
The Cowboys on offense will want to continue to throw against the Giants defense. Dalton completed 22 of 30 passes last week vs the Eagles for 377 yards, 3 touchdowns with 1 interception. Dallas has averaged 36 points scored a game on their 3-gamewinning streak. Dalton is 4-2 since week 11 (after their week 10 bye) with 13 TD’s to only 4 interceptions. Bradberry can limit Cooper in this game. He had only 2 catches on 4 targets for 23 yards in the first game. It will be interesting to see if they move him to the slot or to the Z position in an attempt to get him off Bradberry. However, in the last game, Lamb went off for 8 catches for 124 yards. Gallup had 4 catches for 73 yards which were mostly on the last drive. Nine Cowboy players had at least 1 reception in the last game and expect Dalton to spread the ball around again. Yiadom, Holmes and Love are all beatable.
In the Dallas run game, Ezekiel Elliott had rushed for his mostyards of the year with 105 yards vs the Eagles last week. He has been a huge disappointment this year. He has not scored a touchdown since week 5 vs the Giants in their first game. He had 2 of his 5 touchdowns for the year in that game. The Giants are also giving up 47.5 receiving yards a game to running backs. This is where Tony Pollard comes in as a change a pace back and a 3rd down back. Elliott is also capable of catching balls out of the backfield.
Other items of interest in this game are:• Gano has kicked 29 consecutive field goals which is his career best and thins ties the Giants’ record. Gano had 28 consecutive field goals in his 2017-2018 season with the Panthers. He is going for the new Giants’ record on Sunday.• The Giants did not get a sack last week vs the Ravens and that broke their 18-game streak of at least 1 sack/game. • The Giants have not won the NFC East since 2011. • The Giants have not scored more than 20 points since week 10 when they beat the Eagles 27-17.
In calling the game. I think this game is close. The Cowboys are coming in with momentum and a hot quarterback in the “Red Rifle”. They have won 3 in a row. The Giants are going in the other direction by losing 3 in a row. Dallas has won the last 7 games in this series and are 6-1 against the spread in those seven games. The Giants play worse at home the past 3 seasons. I am calling this Dallas 24 and the Giants 21. The Eagles have 19 players out or on IR. The names include Sanders, Jackson, Goedert, and Rodgers, including 7 offensive linemen. If Alex Smith plays this game is a Washington win. That makes thisGiants-Cowboys game a moot point in the NFC East.