Here's a short breakdown of the game, what to expect, as well as a prediction.
Game: Week 1 @ Dallas
Last season: The Giants fell short against the Cowboys in both meetings. The Cowboys finished as the NFC East champions and were the only team from the division to advance to the playoffs.
How the Giants will win: The Giants defense is vulnerable at all levels. The line is without top pass-rusher Jason Pierre-Paul and Jon Beason, not to mention to two safeties expected to hold down the back end of the defense. That being said, the Giants need to exploit holes in Dallas' defense. Eli Manning will have to play up to his newly structured contract in order to lead the Giants to victory in order to make up for the holes on his own defense.
How the Cowboys will win: The Cowboys have defeated the Giants the last two times they faced off in season openers and swept New York in two meetings last year. Odds are in the Cowboys' corner. Dallas should be able to put points up on the scoreboard against this Giants defense, but to win this game the Cowboys defense will need to force two or three turnovers to ruin any potential Giants rhythm.
How the Giants will lose: Well, much like the previous segment, if the Giants defense can't contain Dallas' running attack or generate a pass rush on Tony Romo, the unit will be in for a long night. As usual, it starts up front for New York. They need to be able to win their battles against Dallas' highly touted offensive line.
How the Cowboys will lose: The Cowboys made a calculated gamble to let DeMarco Murray walk in free agency. Should that move fail to pay off, we should know as early as Sunday night. If the 'Boys can't find success running the ball with either Joseph Randle or Darren McFadden, then Romo will be forced to try and beat the Giants defense alone. In the past, the Giants have found ways to make Romo pay in those types of situations.
Prediction: Cowboys 31, Giants 20
Why: Objectively looking at both teams, there are way too many question marks up and down the Giants lineup. Victor Cruz is out. Jason Pierre-Paul is in South Florida. And the Giants may be relying on Beason at less than 100 percent. The Giants are sporting a new-look front seven with two safeties preparing for their first NFL starts. So long that Romo and the Cowboys can establish an effective rushing attack, they should be able to control the pace of the game and make plays down the field when necessary. Conversely, the Giants offense should have chances against a suspect Dallas defense. But the Cowboys are under-the-radar talented up front and have the luxury of facing a rookie left tackle.
Any team that has a franchise QB and a good receiving corp has a puncher's chance to win a ballgame. The Giants have that and, given their recent history vs the Cowboys, should be competitive in this game.
The Cowboys know first hand how good OBJ is and they will likely overcompensate for his presence. That means the other receivers will get some prime opportunities Sunday night. OBJ will get his catches, too, and the running game may get untracked, so the Giants could score 30 or more points in this game.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the Cowboys also have a franchise QB of their own in Tony Romo, an all-world WR in Dez Bryant and a Hall-of-Fame bound TE in Giant-killer Jason Witten.
The Giants are starting their best CB duo in Prince and DRC but will have Landon Collins and Cooper Taylor at safety. Each is starting their first NFL game. So is MLB Uani' Unga, filling in for Jon Beason. The tests will come early and often.
I see this as a close game, because it usually is, and the Giants could very possibly steal a win, here. But...I think Dallas will hold them off and win 37-34.