By Curt Macysyn
It will not get any easier for the New York Football Giants (3-3) this week, as the team heads south to Texas for a match-up with the division-leading Dallas Cowboys (5-1). The Cowboys are coming off of an impressive 30-23 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, in a game that really was not as close as the score would indicate. Meanwhile, the Giants probably could not get any lower than they already are, given the fact that they got shut out 27-0 by the Philadelphia Eagles before a nationwide audience on Sunday Night Football.READ MORE: Glass Bottle Attack In Chelsea Station Just The Latest Incident As Subway Crime Increases
Most everyone knew that the Cowboys would have a formidable offense with which to contend, but it has been the Dallas defense that has been the surprise of the NFL in the early season. Despite the loss of some key personnel, the Cowboys’ defensive unit has held its own under new coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Murray Go Round
After a healthy dose of Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy on Sunday, the New York Giants’ defense gets to contend with the league’s leading rusher in DeMarco Murray. Murray has 785 yards on the ground in the early going and averages 4.9 yards per carry. If the fourth year back from Oklahoma has a weakness, it is the fact that he has a propensity to fumble and already has four this season. The Cowboys are a traditional offense, in many respects, especially with regard to the fact that they like to use the run to set up the pass. But if the running game demonstrates early success, expect the Cowboys to stick with it.
Top notch NFL quarterbacks depends on several variables in order to be successful. First, the offensive line must be a reliable unit, and the Cowboys may have the most under-rated line in the NFL. Travis Frederick was panned by many draft gurus when the Cowboys selected the center from Wisconsin in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft. Frederick has become the anchor of a unit that is climbing up the NFL charts.
Part two of an effective quarterback comes in the form of an athletic wide receiver, who the quarterback trusts to make big plays. Well, the Cowboys have such a receiver in Dez Bryant, who singlehandedly won the overtime contest against the Houston Texans, when he made tremendous leaping grab of a Tony Romo pass in overtime. Bryant has 36 receptions for 439 yards and four touchdowns on the season. Terrance Williams starts opposite of Bryant, has 18 catches and five touchdowns on the season. Williams aided the Cowboys’ victory over the Seahawks, with an athletic grab of a third down pass for 21 yards in the fourth quarter.
As if these weapons were not enough to contend with, a top notch quarterback usually has his security blanket in his arsenal, a player he can go to when times get tough. For the Cowboys, it does not get any better than Giant-killer Jason Witten, a player who just passed the 10,000 yard mark in receiving. Witten becomes only the third tight end in history to surpass that receiving mark, and he appears to be a future Hall-of-Famer. But the veteran tight end is not yet finished as he has 21 catches for 239 yards, and he caught an important touchdown against Seattle on Sunday.
Quarterback Tony Romo is having another quality season and completes nearly 69 percent of his passes. Romo has thrown for more than 1,500 yards this season, while throwing 11 touchdown passes and only five interceptions.READ MORE: Racism Declared A Public Health Crisis In New York City
Ware Is He?
In Denver, that’s where DeMarcus Ware is. As much as the Cowboys thought that Ware was going to be irreplaceable, he has been replaced. And with middle linebacker Sean Lee lost with a knee injury in the off season, the Cowboys may have lost their two best defensive players. But Dallas has picked up the slack by turning to a couple of reclamation projects in defensive tackle Harry Melton and middle linebacker Rolando McClain. Melton leads the team with 1.5 sacks from his interior position along the defensive line, while McClain, who appeared to be a first round bust with the Oakland Raiders, has 27 total tackles on the season and one sack to his credit.
Outside linebacker Bruce Carter missed the game against the Seahawks with a quad injury, the second straight game that Carter was out of the lineup. The fourth year player from the University of North Carolina still remains fifth on the team in total tackles with 25, in addition, Carter has a sack and an interception in four games this year. The interception was a pick six for 25 yards against the St. Louis Rams in week three.
The Cowboys boast a quality pair of safeties in Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. Church leads the team with 33 total tackles, while Wilcox has chipped in with 26. Church also has an interception to his credit. Brandon Carr and Orlando Scandrick man the cornerback positions for Dallas, who are ranked 15th in the league in total yards surrendered per contest (342.5 ypg). The unit gives up 115.0 yards per game on the ground (17th), while they are ranked 12th in passing yards per game, giving up an average of 227.5 yards through the air per game.
Dallas leads the all-time series with the Giants, which began in 1960, 59-43-2. The Cowboys swept the season series last year by winning 36-31 on opening night, Sept. 8, 2013 at AT&T Stadium, and then winning 24-21 on Nov. 24, 2013 at MetLife Stadium. Dallas is looking to end a five year playoff drought and has not been to the NFL postseason since after the 2009 season.
For more Giants news and updates, visit Giants Central.MORE NEWS: Civilian Complaint Review Board: Dozens Of NYPD Officers Should Be Disciplined For Misconduct During Black Lives Matter Protests Last Year
Curt Macysyn has been covering the New York Football Giants for the past two seasons for Examiner.com. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Curt has followed and covered the New York Metropolitan sports scene for 35 years. He attended Seton Hall Prep School in South Orange, NJ and is a graduate of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. His work can be found on aExaminer.com.