Cowboys vs. Giants: Why New York Will Roll to Season-Opening Victory

Allan BrulettCorrespondent IISeptember 4, 2012

Opening Night has been good to defending champions
Opening Night has been good to defending championsRob Carr/Getty Images

For the past eight years, the reigning Super Bowl Champion has hosted the NFL's midweek Kickoff Game.  In those eight games, the champs are 8-0.

You can go ahead and expect 9-0.


History is Against Dallas

Disregard that stat up at the top for a sec.  The current Cowboys have enough problems with the Giants already.  Tony Romo hasn't beaten the Giants in his last five starts, and last year they sacked him nine times in two meetings.  Until the Cowboys break through at home, you cannot expect them to do it on the road.


Better, But Not Enough

Dallas has spent the offseason upgrading the Cowboy secondary—the culprit of many Cowboy collapses last year—through both free agency and the draft.  But Eli Manning is, as he suggested before the season last year, elite.  And he has shown himself just as adept at nibbling defenses to death underneath when they take away the big play, just as he has proven that he can make big plays when teams shut down the run and the short passing game.   

And remember those nine sacks in two games last year?  The Cowboys' O-line hasn't looked much better this preseason, and Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul are all healthy.  That bodes ill for Romo.


Health Issues

The Giants' pass-rushers are all healthy.  Ahmad Bradshaw is healthy.  Hakeem Nicks says his surgically-repaired foot isn't 100 percent, but won't be an issue.  Dallas is reasonably healthy— including second-year RB DeMarco Murray, who was great last year when he could stay on the field—  but there is one huge injury: Dallas TE (and Romo security blanket) Jason Witten and his lacerated spleen are doubtful.

Witten's absence is a tremendous handicap to the Cowboys, and adding insult to injury, the Giants' new starting tight end is Martellus Bennett, a former second-round pick they lured away from Dallas this offseason.  He's reportedly looked terrific in the preseason.

Dallas is a decent team, don't get me wrong.  And no one can quarrel with Jerry Jones, Dallas' owner, for telling fans at a training camp rally to watch his team "beat the Giants' ass."  (Jerry's marketing genius is unparalleled in the NFL.)  

But they can't beat the Giants' ass.  

Not Wednesday, at least.