Going into this season opener against the reigning Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Cowboys will need to match the intensity of the Giants if they want to have any chance of winning and getting a leg up on the champs in the division.
The team will need to play in sync and highlight the young talent of Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray to help develop the balanced offense the team has lacked in years past. On the defensive side Rob Ryan’s defense, highlighted by key acquisitions Brandon Carr (free agent) and Morris Claiborne (draft) who will be needed to try to slow down Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and led by DeMarcus Ware, will need to clamp down and play with discipline and consistency. Something their rival Giants have become known for.
The Cowboys will be at a severe disadvantage with questions along the interior of their O-line, especially against a Giants team known defensively for the pressure their defensive line gets game in and game out. So the team may look to get passes out quick to avoid the Giants’ blitzing. It will be interesting to see how the switch of Tyron Smith and Doug Free at the tackle positions will match up against the bookends of Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, who are arguably one of the best rushing tandems in the league. Don’t forget about Osi Umenyiora, who will likely be rotating in and out as well and should not be overlooked.
Dallas is likely to be missing Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, and with Miles Austin getting back to practice just this week, Dez Bryant should see an increase in targets. The Cowboys will also be missing nose tackle Jay Ratliff a strong run stopper and important piece to their defense.
This game looks to be a great game for setting the tone for the NFL season. The Cowboys have held their own against the Giants over the past few seasons only to fall short, and while the champs are not without flaws, the edge looks to be in favor of the Giants to open the season with a win.
Regardless of which team wins tonight, the NFC East may just eat itself alive this season, much like last season, where you have playoff caliber teams in the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys, while the Redskins are vastly improving as well. Whichever team ends up a few games north of .500 may be the lone playoff team.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.