Week 14 Staff Predictions: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

Although the Cowboys own the league’s best record with a spot in the playoffs already clinched, their upcoming matchup against a division rival in New York is vital. Cowboys Blitz writers share their predictions below.Dallas Cowboys (11-1) at New York Giants (8-4)

Sunday, December 11, 7:30 p.m. CST

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford New Jersey

TV: NBC

Laurie: The best way to sum up this Giants team is that while they have stars in spots, they don’t do anything consistently well other than defend the run. Dallas should be able to contain New York’s pedestrian rushing attack (3.5 yards per carry), despite struggling to do so in Week 1. Against the pass, the recipe for Cowboys success is discipline. Clogging throwing lanes and cleverly disguising linebacker coverage is a platform for mistakes from Eli Manning, especially if a little interior pressure can move him off his spot. As for containing Odell Beckham without foil Morris Claiborne, Anthony Brown may be the most physical and explosive man to disrupt the prolific wideout. Without Jason Pierre-Paul the Giants’ rising pass rush takes a huge hit, and plenty will depend on whether Olivier Vernon can continue his improved form against a familiar opponent in Tyron Smith. Last week Pittsburgh demonstrated that you can run on the Giants even if their secondary stands strong, so if Dallas can get back to point of attack dominance and controlling the clock with Elliott the hammer, precision from Prescott through the air should balance out a Dallas win. Cowboys 27 Giants 23

Bobby: This is a very tough pick for me to make. Division games, particularly those on the road, are always tough. When you add to the fact that we’ve all already seen the Giants beat the Cowboys, it doesn’t take much of a logical leap to pick New York. I’m not going to though. I believe the loss of Jason Pierre-Paul is going to really hamper New York and prevent them from rattling Prescott too much. I also believe that Dallas has grown increasingly bitter about the Giants game being the only one they’ve lost; where I assume they’d want vengeance. The extra rest couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cowboys, who looked pretty fatigued in the Minnesota game. Prescott and Elliott should both have big games, with Dak throwing for two touchdowns and Zeke rushing for over 120 yards. Cowboys 28, Giants 17

Cami: As always, division rival games are a toss up. I don’t believe the Giants will have much success running the ball on Dallas, but if Eli Manning has time to throw the ball, he will absolutely pick apart this Dallas defense. The Giants are loaded at wide receiver, while the Cowboys are ailing with injuries across the secondary. Losing Jason Pierre-Paul due to injury is obviously a tough blow for the Giants, so i’m interested to watch their front 7 vs. the Cowboys offensive line to see if they’re able to get any pressure on Dak Prescott. New York has the fifth overall run defense in the league right now, allowing roughly 91.4 yards per game. As much as I want to believe the Cowboys will get revenge on the one game they’ve lost this season with both Elliott and Prescott’s rapid development, it’s do-or-die for the Giants on Sunday Night to stay alive in the NFC race. I don’t see Odell Beckham and Co. allowing the Cowboys to easily march into their home to seal the NFC East title without a fight. Cole Beasley should have a big night, but ultimately the defense remains a thorn in Dallas’ side. Giants 24, Cowboys 23

Jonah: The only team to win the battle of the line of scrimmage against the Dallas offensive line this season was the New York Giants in the season opener. With stout defensive tackles Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Johnathan Hankins, it is tough sledding for teams to run up the middle against the G-Men, as that showed in week one when Ezekiel Elliott was held to 51 yards on 20 carries, easily his least efficient game of the season in terms of yards per carry. I’ve said this season that I cannot pick against Dallas unless a team shows me they can match up with this offensive line and control arguably the best running back in the game today. Well, the New York Giants are one of the few teams that can do that. However, the difference between now and the season opener is the progress of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott’s ball placement was all over the map in week one, essentially making the team one dimensional at the time, but he has grown so much as a pocket passer since then. In fact, he has completed at least 66 percent of his passes in 10 out of the last 11 games since the season opener. The New York Giants are going to come into this matchup with the same recipe of success they had in week one by controlling the run game and forcing Prescott to throw the ball, but they will fall short in this divisional rivalry because of the rookie quarterback’s arm. Cowboys 31, Giants 20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s