It is officially here. The NFL is set to begin Wednesday evening at 8:30 at MetLife stadium where the New York Giants will host the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants beat the Cowboys twice in December last season, including the season finale which decided the division and started the thrilling run to the Super Bowl. The Giants look to get their season started with a showdown between division rival Dallas Cowboys.
New York Gameplan
Test the Dallas offensive line early
The weakest point of the Cowboy’s offense is their offensive line. The Giants have enough in the front four to put the Cowboys offensive line in distress early and often. The Giants need to blitz and blitz often. If you overwhelm the offensive line of the Cowboys they will crack. Tony Romo also plays worse under pressure. See chart below for his extensive stats against the blitz and pressure. With constant pressure, the Cowboys line needs to prove to the Giants that they can handle the pressure.
Tony Romo: Pressure vs. No Pressure (2011)
|Comp. %||YPA||TD||INT||QB Rating|
Lock Down DeMarcus Ware
Sean Locklear has been named the starter at left tackle for the Giants against the Cowboys. That is where DeMarcus Ware likes to prowl. Ware likes to move around the field and can choose which side he wants to rush. Ware is one of the top two or three pass rushers in the game, and the results of the game will have a lot to do with how successful the Giants are through the air. Expect some tight end helpl on the left side. Martellus Bennett was brought in to try and be a pass catching tight end, but he may have to put his dreams on hold for one game.
Corey Webster Needs to Cover Dez Bryant
Miles Austin missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury and is not 100%. It would be ridiculous for Corey Webster, the Giants best cornerback, to cover Miles Austin. The Giants usually play with Webster on the left and someone else on the right. In this instance Webster needs to play man to man defense against Dez Bryant. The Giants are thin in their secondary and Bryant seems to be the Cowboys best option at wide out. Last time the Giants and Cowboys met, Webster allowed Bryant to catch five passes when targeted seven times. Bryant only had 59 yards receiving with those five catches, which is a good number to keep Bryant at.
Dez Bryant vs. Corey Webster, Week 17, 2011
Attack the Dallas Secondary Deep
Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are both very capable and dangerous on deep patterns. The Cowboys secondary is a new unit that has never faced Eli manning before. If the Giants can get the ball deep early, they can push the safeties back and work on the run game. It would also help take away the blitz heavy packages that Rob Ryan is going to throw at the Giants. Dallas is coming in very focused on getting revenge on the Giants. The big play through the air is one of the most deflating plays in the game for an opposing team. An early shot at this defense is what the Giants need to deliver to bring Dallas down to earth.
Giants Receivers vs. Dallas Cornerbacks
The Giants have one of the best tandems in football and have become a pass first football team. Dallas has done everything this offseason to try and keep up with the high flying offenses of the Eagles and the Giants. They signed Brandon Carr to a five year deal and moved up to get Morris Claiborne in this year’s draft. The Giants must win this matchup in order to win the game. The deep ball and the aerial attack means everything to the Giants.
Dallas is going to come out of the gate with rage. This is a huge opportunity for both teams to come out huge against a divisional rival. For the Giants, it’s their chance to start the road to defending their championship run. The Giants pass rush is likely to be tough for the Cowboys offense to deal with. If the Giants can get their offense clicking early they can put this game away fast.
Giants 24, Cowboys 17
About the Author
Written by Matthew Stapleton
Ridgewood, New Jersey