Eli Manning is quieting the doubters once again. After a 77-yard connection with Victor Cruz to give the Giants a victory over the Redskins, Manning has proved he still has moxie. The last minute touchdown pulled the Giants to 5-2 on the year. The Giants are leading the NFC East and look primed to make a run at becoming a dynasty with another Super Bowl victory this season. It seemed as if the Dallas Cowboys were going to have a promising campaign after knocking off the Giants in week 1, 24-17, but it has been the Giants that have looked like the better team. The Cowboys will have the opportunity to sweep the season series in their own backyard at Cowboys Stadium (4:25EST).
The New York Giants have found a new identity of sorts this season. Routinely known as a team that flourishes on defense and runs the ball effectively, Eli Manning has blossomed into a definite weapon for this team. Manning has an array of targets to dish the ball around to including perhaps the best receiving duo in the game, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Both bring different things to the table, but both are effective in their respective roles. Nicks has been battling injuries all season long, but the offense has seen an immense boost when he is on the field. He only has 334 yards receiving and a touchdown; however, he averages 83.5 yards a game. Counterpart Cruz is following up a breakout season with another productive year. Cruz currently has 627 yards and 7 touchdowns, picking up from where he left in 2011. The Giants’ offense has become a pass happy bunch, which is reflected statistically. They rank just behind the team they defeated in the Super Bowl in terms of total offense with 411 yards per game (2nd). The passing game ranks 3rd and the running game is currently 12th in the NFL.
The Cowboys defense did a fine job shutting the Giants down the first time around. Rob Ryan’s unit held Manning to 213 yards and only 1 touchdown. However, they have tailed off since that dominating performance, allowing the Ravens to score 31, the Bears 34, and the Seahawks 27. The Giants have improved offensively since then, so I don’t think the Cowboys will be expecting Manning to only pass for 213 yards the second time around. Nevertheless, the Cowboys’ defense still ranks near the top in yards allowed, surrendering only 293.2 yards a game (4th). They are particularly stout against the pass, allowing an excellent average of 187.4 yards a game. This game will come down an excellent receiving core against physical Cowboy cornerbacks. They are more susceptible against the run at 14th in the league, but this does tell us they are capable of shutdown games.
The verdict is still out on Tony Romo. Year after year, season after season, it’s the same story with this guy. The fans want his neck, but Jerry Jones has stayed committed to Romo. Romo isn’t going to get any younger, or better for that matter, so he needs to be a more consistent player. He has passed for 1636 yards with 8 touchdowns but has also turned the ball over nine times through the air. Actually, last week against the Panthers was the first time Romo hasn’t thrown an interception all year. The offense is ranked 10th in the league averaging 374.8 yards a game, but they still only put up 18.8 points a game. They need to start finishing off drives and putting some fear in opposing defenses.
Giants vs. Cowboys Spread and Betting Odds:
New York Giants -3 (+100)
@Dallas Cowboys +3 (-125)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Cowboys Pick:
The Giants and Cowboys will have the whole country watching for a 4:25EST start. The Cowboys got the better end of the Giants to open the season in week 1. Needless to say the Cowboys always get up for this game. This is most certainly the most important game for both clubs year after year. I say it every time these teams play, take the points. I’m going to stick with my guns and take the points and Cowboys at home.
Eli Manning looked shaky last week against a miserable Washington Redskins defense, and it won’t get any easier against the 4th best in the NFL. Manning had many opportunities in the red zone to win this game easy, but he uncharacteristically overthrew balls with great regularity. The Giants needed that late 77-yard bomb to salvage a victory. The Cowboys have an underrated defense in a sense, and I think they get to Eli early and often in the backfield. This game should stay close throughout, like a lot of these games between these two rivals usually do, so take the points with the Cowboys catching points at home.
PICK = Cowboys +3