The Week 14 edition of Sunday Night Football has produced a great NFC East match-up, pitting the New York Giants against the hometown Dallas Cowboys. This game is filled with playoff implications and though both these squads were on the receiving ends of tough defeats last week, it can all be forgotten with a huge victory come Sunday evening.
Dallas suffered a very tough and unsuspecting loss to the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 13. Some odd coaching decisions by Jason Garrett, combined with an inability to shut Arizona down in the fourth quarter contributed to their demise, and Dallas is well-aware they cannot dwell on that lost opportunity, they need to win this game if they want to be a playoff squad.
Similarly to the Cowboys, the Giants are just as desperate heading into this one. After beginning the season in impressive fashion, it seems as if the G-Men are yet again enduring their typical late season slide down the NFL standings. Though they looked decent at times last week against the undefeated Packers, when the game was truly on the line, the Giants continually came up short. Against a dangerous Cowboys squad, the Giants must cash in on any opportunity they’re given.
For New York, they’ll get some help back as Mario Manningam will finally return to the Giants line-up, giving Eli Manning three talented targets at his disposal, along with Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz. However, starting center David Baas remains out with a neck injury, as does key pass-rusher Osi Umenyiora.
Conversely, Dallas will also get a top receiver back in the always dangerous Miles Austin. With Austin back in the fold, along with Dez Bryant, and Laurent Robinson, there will certainly be no shortage of top wide-outs in this game. Also for Dallas, fullback Tony Fiammetta should return to game action and should really help DeMarco Murray in their potent run game.
Giants vs. Cowboys Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
New York Giants +4 (-110)
@ Dallas Cowboys -4 (-110)
Over 50.5 (-110)
Under 50.5 (-110)
Giants at Cowboys Pick:
The playoff implications, combined with what should be an electric atmosphere at Cowboy Stadium on Sunday Night Football should make this a wildly entertaining game. The wealth of talent both quarterbacks will have at their disposal will be impressive, and it should make for a solid offensive affair. Both teams will make dazzling plays, and though Dallas and New York are quite evenly matched, expect the Giants defense to continue to struggle against the talented Cowboys attack. Surprisingly, New York is ranked 29th in overall defense in the entire NFL, while also sitting in that position defending the pass. Against a team as lethal as Dallas is through the air, look for Dallas to exploit that early and often. With Tony Romo having Witten, along with Bryant, Austin, and Robinson, those are 4 premier receivers in which the Giants secondary will not have an answer for. Add in the fact that key SS for New York Kenny Williams may be sidelined for this contest, and the Giants will be shredded through the Cowboys’ aerial attack.
Also, consider the fact that Dallas fullback Tony FIammetta finally returns to the fold Sunday night, vastly improving the Cowboys ground game and the effectiveness of both DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. The disparity between when Fiammetta is in, and not in the line-up is simply staggering. With him, Dallas is 5-1, while without they’re an awful 2-4. They average 145.8 yards per game when Fiammetta plays, and a mere 83.8 yards when he is out. He is vital to the running attack, and if the Giants can’t stop DeMarco Murray, it will force them to load the box allowing Romo an opportunity for a quick strike through the air.
This should be a competitive contest filled with great battles and very little separating these two squads. However the main mismatch in this game of inches will be the Dallas offense going against a weak Giants defensive unit. If Romo and his weapons can utilize this to their advantage, it could be a romp for the home team in Big D. Look for Dallas by at least a touchdown in a high-scoring contest on Sunday evening.