By Zach Walker
New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday – September 13 – 7:30 pm CT
AT&T Stadium – Arlington
Who do the Cowboys need to shut down?
WR Odell Beckham Jr. – To say that the hype is high on Beckham, would be a psychotic understatement. He’s got commercials, video game covers, and considered by some, to already be a top player in the league. He is the best the Giants have to go into battle with on Sunday, with Victor Cruz likely being a game time scratch with his nagging calf injury. Beckham has been quite the weapon to use against Dallas, in his two games against the Cowboys last season, Beckham caught four of his twelve total touchdowns. Brandon Carr is going to want to be ready for some tight coverage on Beckham, but I doubt that Carr won’t be expertly prepared for this first game, seeing as Beckham’s biggest highlight, is Brandon Carr’s lowest point in his career, and would look to get some payback.
Who on the Cowboys, needs to step up?
LB Sean Lee – This isn’t like I’m doubting Lee’s preparation or his readiness to play in this game, but Lee has got to be prepared a sixteen game season. The Giants running game isn’t very good, with no one back expected to take the full reigns, not unlike the Cowboys stable. But the main difference is that the Giants have had to thrust their first round pick into the fire at left tackle, where good or bad, he’s going to play. With Rolando McClain, watching the game like the rest of us schmoes, it’ll be Lee’s leadership and insight to guide the defense along while the Cowboys plan for an early set of reinforcements after week four.
Which group will give the Cowboys fits?
The Giants defensive line – The Giants usually have a very stacked deck of defensive lineman to throw at opponents, and they do, albeit, not like they did in the past, but they do have some youth. Johnathan Hankins, Damontre Moore, and Owa Odighizuwa are all under 24 years old, and even without the nine fingered Jason Pierre-Paul giving Tyron Smith a great fight, the Giants are catching the Cowboys at a vulnerable time. Though the Cowboys offensive line have all played together throughout last season, they’ve been very limited in their time spent of the practice field together as a unit. Most of them dealt with minor scrapes during training camp. While they’ll all be good-to-go for Sunday night, time spent away from the finished product might factor into the early stages of the game.
Which group will give the Giants fits?
The Cowboys defensive line – The Cowboys’ weak point last season was their pass rush, a concentrated effort to rework that aspect of the team. Although, only one of the new main attractions will be on display on Sunday night, rookie Randy Gregory. He’ll be a force that the Giants are going to have to gameplan for. Tyrone Crawford, Jeremy Mincey, and DeMarcus Lawrence round out the rest the starting rushmen for the Cowboys against a very young offensive line of the Giants.
What will it take for the Cowboys to win?
As per the usual against the Giants, force Eli Manning to make poor decisions, throwing into closed windows, and double coverage. For the Cowboys’ offense, it’s time to show the league what this running game is going to look like this season.
Prediction: Dallas 31 – New York 17