By Zach Walker
Sunday – November 24 – 3:25 PM
MetLife Stadium – Jew Jersey
The way that the Cowboys performed in the Superdome against the Saints was (insert anything negative). They were in the game for about 10 minutes, and then all hell broke loose. Then the bad news just continued to pile on, with Sean Lee getting injured and DeMarcus Ware looking like an amputee adjusting to his prosthetic. But the Cowboys would hobble back home for their MUCH needed bye week, after being totally dismantled by the Saints. In every phase of the game, the Cowboys couldn’t get anything done. After starting with an obvious emphasis on running the ball, and it worked, DeMarco Murray was running with authority, but once they had the lead, out went the desire to continue to run. Or complete passes, or contend passes, or stop them from running. But getting healthy during the bye week is going to make the team better, because, it isn’t like it can get worse, because if it does, people are going to start bathing with their toasters and coaches are going to get the axe. But the way I see it, why can’t this team finish the year 6-0. In the final six games they play: three division opponents (two on the road), two non-division opponents at home, and a Monday night game in Chicago against possibly a Cutler-less Bears team. But if things do not change, and this team goes 3-3 down the final stretch, expect Jerry Jones to turn the box over and dump the whole staff.
The New York Giants are surging since starting the season 0-6, winning four straight games to tighten up the division. Eli Manning has not had a good season, having thrown more interceptions (17) than touchdowns (12) and with a completion percentage at 57.1. His protection has been getting better, and so has the Giants ground game. After David Wilson went on IR, the Giants have a stable of backs ranging from Andre Brown to the re-treads of Brandon Jacobs and Peyton Hillis. Brown is their starter, and against Oakland and Green Bay, he has 48 carries and 181 yards. The Giants’ receiving corps is formidable, Cruz on the inside and Hakeem Nicks on the outside, but Rueben Randle rounds out a tough bunch to game plan. Each of the last four games Randle has a catch, he has a touchdown. And the turn-around extends to the defense as well. The defense has forced 11 turnovers across their four game win streak, including a punt blocked for a touchdown and a truly excellent pick-six by Jason Pierre-Paul. But I still question how good this Giants team is, having beaten: Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Terrelle Pryor, and Scott Tolzien.
The Cowboys need to get back to scoring points. For the last four games, it has seemed like pulling teeth to score points, making it look so hard. They need to dust off that game plan that they used against the Broncos, where the Cowboys could almost score at will. Getting healthy is the best thing for the Cowboys. They should be getting Morris Claiborne, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Hatcher, Nick Hayden, DeVonte Holloman, and JJ Wilcox back healthy. That’s a hell of a set of late-season reinforcements. Hopefully DeVonte Holloman can break into the lineup, because the guy has great football skills, as showcased in the preseason. Getting the ball to Dez Bryant is going to be the lightning rod for the entire offense, when he’s working, it’s all working.
Matchup of the Game
Dallas Running Back DeMarco Murray vs New York Linebacker Jon Beason: Obviously, when it’s about the running game, it’s way more than a one-on-one battle. It’s the Cowboys’ offensive line versus the Giants’ defensive line. The Giants are the seventh best team in the league at stopping the run, but if Murray likes to play anybody, that isn’t the Rams, it’s the Giants. He always seems to play as hard as possible against the Giants
Three other key matchups
DAL CB Orlando Scandrick vs NYG WR Victor Cruz
DAL LT Tyron Smith vs NYG DE Jason Pierre-Paul
DAL WR Miles Austin vs NYG CB Terrell Thomas
Prediction: Dallas 31 – New York 27; if the Cowboys are going to make a serious run at the playoffs, they have to start with this game.