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Why the New York Giants Will Win, Why They Won't, and a Prediction

The Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys today, looking for their first win in Jerry's World since September 11, 2016. Can they get it?

One step at a time, one week at a time.

That's the message Giants head coach Joe Judge has tried to get across to his team. And in trying to drive that point home, Judge has pointed out that what a team does the week prior doesn't matter; rather, what matters is how the team approaches each new week.

Makes sense. After all, in two NFL teams are the same, and with all due respect to Troy Aikman, who this week opined that the Giants aren't in the Cowboys' class, that's why you line up to play the game.

But there's something to be said about a team like the Giants, who very easily could have been 3-1 had Adoree' Jackson not dropped an interception against Atlanta, or Darius Slayton caught a touchdown pass against Washington, finally getting into the win column--and against a good opponent no less.

Can they build on that to even out their record against NFC East opponents to 1-1? It sure would be nice if they do, a that might go a long way toward squashing the popular consensus that the Giants win over the Saints last week was a fluke.

Why the Giants Will Win

If it ain't broke, then don't fix it--isn't that what the old saying is? Well, last week, the Giants offense was firing on all cylinders, especially in the passing game where quarterback Daniel Jones threw for his first 400-yard performance of his career.

If the Giants can eat up the clock, they'll keep Dak Prescott and that Cowboys offense on the sideline and will stand a pretty good chance at wearing out the Dallas defense.

Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes to deploy a lot of man coverage, and the defensive backs take their fair share of gambles. That could leave a lot of golden opportunities for the shiftiness of Kadarius Toney to burn the Cowboys deep down the field and help the Giants.


Stat You Need to Know

The Dallas Cowboys have blitzed on 21.9 percent of their pass rush snaps, according to Radar360. And while they have done most of their blitzing on third down (36.6 percent), Quinn hasn't been afraid to be aggressive on first and second downs either, blitzing on 16 percent of those two downs.


Why the Giants Will Lose

I have concerns about the offensive line, particularly the availability of left tackle Andrew Thomas, who has only been the Giants' best offensive lineman so far this season.

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As is known by now, Thomas is dealing with a foot injury, one that is worrisome enough to have caused the Giants to elevate Korey Cunningham off the practice squad just in case Thomas can't go this week.

Why is that a concern? Thomas has been playing so well that the Giants have been able to leave help on the right side of the line for Nate Solder, be it a tight end in-line or a chip by a running back. 

So far, the plan has worked. Jones, who's been kept clean on 68.7 percent of his dropbacks, has had time to hit guys down the field.

If Thomas doesn't play or that offensive line falters early, it could be a long day for Jones.

Defensively, the Giants better have a plan in place to slow down Dak Prescott and that Cowboys offense, particularly receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.

Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said the key to slowing down the Cowboys offense is to mix up the coverages.

"I think one thing that can help us is making sure [we] take care of the deep part of the field, maybe get some hits on them when they're down at the line of scrimmage but keep changing it up on them. They're pretty dynamic, they're pretty dynamic players, so we've got a challenge ahead of us."

Prediction

The Giants should be able to keep pace with a Cowboys offense that's averaging 31.5 points per game (fourth-best mark in the NFL), but it's not going to be close enough. Dallas 33, Giants 30.


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