Week 8: New York Giants At Dallas Cowboys
- QuarterbackEli Manning may not have the passer rating (92.5, 10th in the NFL) to match the NFL’s league leaders, but there is no quarterback you want with the ball in end-of-game situations. Manning’s best attribute is how calm he stays in pressure situations. He diagnoses what the defense will do and throws the ball with timing and accuracy.Against a great team like the Giants, Tony Romo needs to get off to a good start to show he can compete. Romo throws the ball as well on the run as any quarterback in the league. His success in the Cowboys’ upset of the Giants in Week One should help him prepare for this game.
- OffenseThe running game has been a much bigger factor for the Giants this season than it was a year ago. Ahmad Bradshaw is a solid between-the-tackles runner with a burst while rookie running back David Wilson has the speed to break long plays. That’s also the specialty of wide receiver Victor Cruz, who caught the game-winning touchdown pass against the Redskins in Week Seven.The Cowboys did not get a lot out of their running game in the Week Seven win over the Panthers, but they got enough to keep the defense honest. If Felix Jones can give the Cowboys a little bit of production, that will make life much easier for wide receiver Dez Bryant and dependable tight end Jason Witten.
- DefenseThe Giants know they can dial up a terrific pass rush any time they want to. After having to chance RGIII in Week Seven, this unit will find that chasing down Romo is a vacation. The Giants remember that Romo led the Cowboys to a Week One upsets, so they will dial up the heat in this game. Look for Jason Pierre-Paul to punish the quarterback.The Cowboys are going to come at Manning with a lot of different pass rushes as well as varied coverages. That’s what defensive coordinator Rob Ryan does and he’s going to have to be at his best to slow down the Giants. DeMarcus Ware will try to put a couple of licks on Manning early in an effort to get into his head. Outside linebacker Anthony Spencer is coming off a six tackle, one sack effort against the Panthers.
- Special TeamsThe Giants can more than hold their own with special teams play. Lawrence Tynes is a kicker who has proved his ability to hit key field goals in big game. Steve Weatherford has a strong leg and gets good direction on his punts. Wilson is an explosive return man who has already had four kickoff returns of 40 yards or longer.The Cowboys are starting to feel much better about their special teams. Dan Bailey was 4-of-4 on FG attempts against Carolina, while Brian Moorman averaged 49.2 yards per punt. Bryant has the ability to break the long return with his eye-catching speed.
The Cowboys got their season off on the right foot when they defeated the Giants on the road to open the season. While they have not played to that level since, they came up with a road win against Carolina and should be in good shape for this game. However, the Giants certainly remember what happened in the opener and they are primed for payback.