Giants (5-10) vs Cowboys (9-6)
On Sunday the Cowboys allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to score an opening drive
field goal. The Cowboys came right back with a touchdown, and kept the lead for
the rest of the game. The 27-20 win gave the Cowboys claim to the NFC East division
Last week the Giants were on their way to pulling off an upset over
the Indianapolis Colts. They held the lead for the entire game, right up until
the last minute. The Colts needed to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they
did so with their 28-27 win over the Giants.
- Colts Wrap-Up
The Cowboys finished up the 2017
season in second place in the NFC East with a 9-7 record. This year they would
be 10-6 with a win over the Giants on Sunday. The Cowboys are the division champs,
even with a loss. If that did happen, the Philadelphia Eagles would match their
record with a win in Washington over the Redskins, but they have lost twice to
the Cowboys during the season.
The Cowboys had some issues when this season
started. Tight end Jason Witten had retired after a long 15 year career, and they
had released wide receiver Dez Bryant. The Cowboys were a 4-5 team at one point
in the season before winning five straight games. The last of them, a 29-23 overtime
win over the Eagles, gave the Cowboys a dominant position in the division. After
struggling through a shutout loss in Indianapolis with the Colts, the Cowboys
came right back last week, and they clinched the division with a win over the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Dak Prescott was coming off a down year, and
though he still had Cole Beasley, losing
two of his top targets did not help. As the season wore on, they began to use
Ezekiel Elliott more in the passing game, and
is the team leader in receptions with 77. Beasley is next with 59, and Amari Cooper,
who has been with the team for the last eight games, has 48. He also leads the
team with 6 touchdown catches.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones looks
to have saved the Cowboys season when he acquired Cooper from the Oakland Raiders.
The team was 3-4 without him, and is 6-2 since he arrived. Cooper has caught on
fast in learning the system and working with
In the last 5 games, the two have missed connecting on only 8 passes out of 42,
and have 5 touchdowns to show for it. Elliott, in his dual role, leads the team
with 304 carries for 1434 yards, and 6 rushing touchdowns. Prescott is the next
leading rusher with 71 carries for 305 yards, and like Elliott, he also has 6
Cowboys are the only NFL team that has not given up 30 points in any one game
this season. They are a stingy group in a number of areas, points allowed, and
in yards allowed both on the ground and in the air. Teams average less than 20
points a game, and manage just 91.3 rushing yards. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence
leads the team with 9.5 sacks, and has been dealing with a shoulder injury. There's
no telling how long the Cowboys will decide to keep him on the field in this game.
Jaylon Smith, and Leighton Vander Esch are two of the top linebackers in the league.
Vander Esch has played in just 15 games, and he could be the Defensive Rookie
of the Year when all is said and done. Linebacker Sean Lee is in his ninth season
with the Cowboys, and has missed eight games, mainly due to hamstring injuries.
Lee is listed as questionable for Sunday, but is looking to play to prepare for
The first time the Giants faced
off with the Cowboys, Saquon Barkley couldn't get anywhere on the ground, as they
held him to just 28 rushing yards. Eli Manning instead got the ball to Barkley
by passing to him 16 times. Barkly caught 14 passes, to set a new single-game
record for the Giants. The 80 yards catching gave him over 100 total scrimmage
yards in that game. The offensive line has since improved, but it will still be
hard to get a ground game going against the strong defensive front the Cowboys
The home town crowd will miss out on seeing Odell Beckham Jr. in this
final game of the season. Russell Shepard is
out, as well as tight end Rhett Ellison. The fans may get to see rookie
Kyle Lauletta making a second appearance after being inactive for the last two
weeks. Lauletta's first outing did not go well, and the Giants might want to get
an extra look, depending on how this game plays out.
The first player on the minds
of the Giants defense is Ezekiel Elliott. He's not the same player they saw earlier
in the year when they held him to just 78 yards rushing. Elliott currently leads
the league with 1434 rushing yards, and has run for more than 100 yards in seven
of the games he's played. The Cowboys have also targeted him with 95 passes, the
most Dak Prescott's thrown to any player. It remains to be seen how long they
will keep this valuable player on the field with the playoffs coming up.
goes as well for Amari Cooper, who has turned
this team around. Dak Prescott has completed over 72 percent of his passes since
Cooper arrived, and Cooper has converted 36 of his 48 receptions into first downs.
One of the Giants failings has been in protecting leads late in games, as they
did last week in their loss to the Colts. Seven of the Giants ten losses have
been decided by one possession. That might not be an issue this week if the Cowboys
slack off, looking ahead to next week.
The Giants have dropped the last three games they've played with the Cowboys,
including the one earlier in the year when both teams faced off with 0-1 records.
The Cowboys struggled for a while after that win, but managed to get on track.
This year the Giants had too much to overcome, and they will finish last in the
For this game, the Cowboys have said all the right things about
playing their starters, etc., but they have to be mindful of the more important
matchup facing them next week. That's one of the reasons the Giants are favored
to win this game, and the Cowboy fans probably wouldn't mind if their team ends
up on the losing end of this one with no players injured.
Sunday at 1:00pm Cowboys (9-6)
at Giants (5-10).
Sunday at 4:25pm Eagles (8-7) at Redskins (7-8).
Giants and Eagles are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Eli Manning has 3998 passing yards, and has thrown over 4000 yards six times in
Giants Saquon Barkley has
87 receptions on the year, and the rookie running back receptions record is 88.
Saquon Barkley needs 114 yards to become the third rookie to reach 2000 yards
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