What a way to kick off the inaugural SNF matchup of the season with the Cowboys and Giants. The Cowboys and Giants rekindle their rivalry Sunday night at AT&T Stadium in Dallas under the bright lights. When I think of the Cowboys and Giants all I can really think of is that catch by Odell Beckham last season. It happened in a Sunday nighter against the Cowboys, albeit at home in New York. Neither team were able to make much noise in the playoffs, and in the Giants case, not even make it, so not much to be excited about. The Cowboys did steal one against the Lions, being on the end of a controversial call. Or should I say, on the right side of a moronic call from the officials. I should also note they missed a call on Dez Bryant running on the field without his helmet making a fool out of himself I’m leaning towards the latter, the Cowboy were on the right side of a moronic sequence of events caused by the officials. The very next week against the Green Bay Packers, Bryant received a dose of his own medicine.
The Cowboys appeared to be on their way to a 1st and goal after Bryant hauled in a beautifully placed ball from Tony Romo. Bryant couldn’t handle the ball to the ground and it was ruled an incomplete pass. Poor Bryant, poor Cowboys.
The Giants, well, they had that Odell Beckham play to stand on in 2014? Other than that it was a season to forget for the Giants. Eli Manning can be so great, yet be so bad. There isn’t a more polarizing quarterback in all of the NFL. He has two Super Bowls to his credit, more than his brother Peyton, but Eli faces plenty more controversy than Peyton does for sure. Just put the Patriots in front of the Giants every week and I’m sure they’d fair out just well. Not many teams would want to play the Pats, but the Giants certainly would. The Cowboys and Giants seem to take turns beating up on one another. No one team really dominates this rivalry. The Cowboys are 6-4 over the Giants their last ten meetings.
The Cowboys were projected to have the worst defense in the NFL last season. In fact, they were projected to have one of the worst defenses of all time. The Cowboys ultimately had the 19th best defense, allowing an average of 355 yards per game, while allowing an average of 22 points. Not bad at all for a defense that had people calling them the worst of all time before the season began. Getting Sean Lee back at linebacker should only help them out more. Now that the Cowboys weren’t as bad as people expected, there should be some pressure on them to improve on last season. If they allow around 22 points against again, I would call it a successful year for the Dallas defense. Eli Manning gets the first crack against them tonight on SNF.
N.Y. Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys NFL Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Giants vs. Cowboys Pick:
The Giants’ offense last season was Eli Manning and Odell Beckham. Past that there wasn’t much at all that was too desirable. But Beckham made sure that people took note of him, and boy did they ever. In his first season as a pro, Beckham went for 1305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Receiver is usually a position that takes a few years to nail down. Beckham though made the transition from LSU to the Giants pretty easily. He now needs to avoid the sophomore slump. I wonder when Victor Cruz is inserted into the offense, after he fully recovers, how it’s going to impact Beckham. That is quite the duo. The Giants will be Cruz-less for week 1. The Giants added dynamic running back Shane Vereen, coming over from the Patriots after a big Super Bowl performance. Vereen went and got his money. He provides something Eli Manning hasn’t had the luxury of having, a major threat that can catch the ball out of the backfield. Players like that are often overlooked in the NFL, but they play a big role.
The Cowboys enter their first season without DeMarco Murray running the football. When Murray was on, the Cowboys were such a hard team to beat. Joseph Randle takes over for Murray, entering his third season in the NFL. The most he has run for in his career is 343 yards. He is going to see a big upswing in carries in 2015. The Cowboys, I think erroneously, chose not to pursue a running back in the draft. Darren McFadden is in the mix as well, but I think after he gets injured again the Cowboys are going to be down to Randle. Depth is a problem there.
Conversely, depth is a major problem for the Giants on defense. They also face major offensive line problems. When Eli has time he looks good, without time though he has no ability to make something out of the play (except say that Super Bowl against the Pats). While I think depth at running back will hurt the Cowboys as the season progresses, it shouldn’t be a problem tonight. I like the Boys to cover this game with a 33-24 final, or something similar.
PICK: COWBOYS -6 (-110)