One of the NFL’s biggest rivalries will resume Week 1 in an all-NFC East battle as the Giants of New York head to Texas to take on the Cowboys. Though Dallas will be without their usual star QB in Tony Romo, there’s a sense that rookie quarterback Dak Prescott will be just fine after what was a stellar pre-season. But nothing is won and nothing ever gets decided during the exhibition season, and you can bet the rejuvenated Giants will be eager to secure a key divisional win at the outset of their season.
These Giants/Cowboys match-up always promise to be exciting, and even with this game devoid of the polarizing Tony Romo, the intrigue surrounding Prescott should make this game must-see TV. Read on below for a full game breakdown, analysis, and an official prediction for G-Men vs. Cowboys in Week 1 action.
Giants vs. Cowboys Betting Odds:
New York Giants PK (-110)
@ Dallas Cowboys PK (-110)
Over 46 (-115)
Under 46 (-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Cowboys Pick:
After a bit of a down year in 2015, many pundits are liking the Giants to return to the top of the NFC East. Though 2016 promises to have a pretty wide-open division with any of the four teams having a legitimate claim to the title, the New York Giants are my early pick to top the division. This Week 1 match-up, though still early, will go a long way to securing their claim.
New York’s 2016 squad matches up quite well with the Cowboys as their deficiencies align with the Cowboys’ flaws. For starters, Dallas’ defensive front really is ill-equipped to exploit the Giants’ big weakness along the offensive line. The Cowboys only mustered a lowly 31 sacks last season, good for 25th in the league. Plus, it’s not as if many personnel changes in the off-season for the Cowboys will change that either. With Greg Hardy gone and DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory both suspended for the first four games of the Cowboys’ season, a Dallas pass rush should be especially non-existent for Eli Manning passing from the pocket. Manning does take a lot of heat for making ill-advised decisions and passes, but when he has time and space, the younger Manning brother can cut through secondaries.
With such little pressure, look for the supremely talented Odell Beckham to be able to get open downfield. Dallas does possess a pretty solid secondary but the Cowboys will still have their hands full with the Giants’ aerial attack. Last season New York was far too heavily reliant on a Manning-to-Beckham connection, and it still worked. This year, the Giants boast a healthy Victor Cruz, and the very talented rookie Sterling Shepard. New York should be able to move the chains at will on Sunday afternoon.
For the Cowboys, it’s all up to Dak Prescott. He was great in the pre-season, but we all know that can’t really count. He will have his hands full most definitely with the G-Men as New York has made some key additions to their stop unit. They’ve added Damon Harrison on the defensive line, now making them quite the difficult team to run on. It could be a tough first outing for Ezekiel Elliott. This should force the inexperienced Prescott into a bunch of third-and-long situations, where the Giants’ talent within their secondary will loom looking for turnovers.
New York will be much improved in 2016 and enter this season as the clear favourites in the NFC East. They know the importance of divisional games, and will look to take full advantage of Romo’s absence on Sunday. Dak looked great in the pre-season no doubt, but a revamped Giants’ defense will be eager to shut down the rookie in a big rivalry spot on Sunday. Look for the Giants to win in a narrow affair.
PICK = Giants PK (-110)