This game could be one of those hidden land mines like last week's whitewashing at the hands of the Eagles. No one saw it coming. Everyone to a man felt the Giants would either win the game or put up a lot of points in a close loss. This week, the Cowboys are flying high and appear to be unbeatable. No one is buying that the Giants can hang with Dallas this afternoon. The betting line, which opened at Cowboys -4, has ballooned to 6 1/2.
So, can the Giants win this game? Yes, they can. Consider this...
No home field advantage. Dallas owner Jerry Jones built one of the league's biggest and best venues and has reaped the monetary benefits the past few years. He did not, however, foresee the downstream effect that year-after-year he's got to fill that stadium. What has happened is many unsold and secondary market tickets are falling into the hands of fans of the opposing team. In a recent home game vs the Houston Texans, QB Tony Romo had to go to a silent count due to the noise from the thousands of Texans fans. Expect many fans to show up in Giant gear today and do the same thing.
On offense - the Giants will try to run the ball (surprise!), and this week they may succeed. Dallas may not be able to crowd the box like Philly did last week. With the cowboys best linebacker, Bruce Carter, out today they just don't have the defensive depth and ability the Eagles do. Their defense has been competitive this season but are shallow and have benefited from the offense hogging up the clock, which has kept them off the field. If the Giants can wear them down up front, they can open up the offense and make a game of this.
We know Eli will show, he loves this building. The offensive line may not be under the duress they experienced last week, so expect a better performance and results. RB Andre Williams will fight for yards and we believe he will get them. With Victor Cruz gone, TE Larry Donnell has to get more looks and WR Rueben Randle has to make more plays. He has been getting the targets (49 targets, 28 receptions), but for the offense to be successful, Randle has to use his size and ability more aggressively. The Cowboys would be foolish not to keep a keen eye on rookie Odell Beckham Jr., which could open up Preston Parker to be a silent weapon. The Giants have to get into the red zone more than once this week. When they do, Donnell and WR Corey Washington should be in the lineup to create mismatches.
On defense - the main objective is to slow down RB DeMarco Murray, the league's leading rusher. Easier said than done. Last week, MLB Jon Beason was nowhere near 100% and was rusty. Expect him to be hitting the holes faster and do a better job closing on the ball. The Giants will need to get some speed on the field, and they will have options at their disposal. Devon Kennard is back from a hamstring and Jayron Hosley will be the slot corner. As long as Hosley doesn't get isolated by a bigger receiver on the outside, he can be an effective play-maker. Kennard, combined with Jacquian Williams should be able to limit edge runs by Murray.
DE's Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka, Damontre Moore and Robert Ayers should also have a better showing. Both Cowboy tackles, Tyron Smith and Doug Free, are injured. Smith (ankle) will play but Free (foot) will not. He will be replaced by Jeremy Parnell, who has just two NFL starts under his belt. The Giants may be able to finally get some pressure off the edge and hurry Romo.
Special teams - Josh Brown did not get back on the field after the opening kickoff last week. That's always a bad sign. The Giants will be satisfied with the special teams if they don't turn the ball over and don't allow a big run back. That would be considered a win. Yes, that's what its come to.
Prediction: Giants 34, Cowboys 27.