In that Week 1 loss, Eli Manning was held in check by the third-ranked Cowboys pass defense. He threw for just 213 yards and one touchdown, a poor performance for him to say the least.
Since Week 1, though, there’s been a reversal of fortune for these two bitter rivals. Unlike the Cowboys, the Giants have seen their offense take off and average 31 points over the last six games. Manning leads the NFL in passing yards with 2,109.
Dallas’ defense has kept the Cowboys in games, despite the struggles of Tony Romo and the offense. Romo is having the worst statistical season of his career to this point, posting eight touchdowns to nine interceptions with a passer rating of 84.6.
If there ever was a time for Romo and the Cowboys to get their offensive mojo back, it’s against the Giants secondary. While effective occasionally, the Giants pass defense has been suspect at best at other times. It has been surrendering 250 yards per game through the air.
When: Sunday, Oct. 28 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TV: FOX and DirecTV Channel 714
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen (radio): Sports Radio 660 WFAN NY (Giants), KRLD-FM 105.2 THE FAN (Dallas – List of affiliates who will also broadcast)
Spread: Giants -2 (via Bovada)
As mentioned before, these two teams have switched places in the win-loss column as of late. The Giants aren’t playing great defense, but the Cowboys have struggled just as much on the offensive side of the ball.
With DeMarco Murray slated to miss the game, the Cowboys' rushing attack will take a significant hit despite the flashes that Felix Jones, who is also banged up, has shown in limited action.
Sean Lee, Dallas’ stud inside linebacker, is out for the season after a toe injury put him on the shelf for at least four-to-six months. That’ll hurt their interior defensive front but may not hurt as much as DeMarcus Ware being limited or missing the game. Ware’s missed the entire week of practice but is expected to play, according to Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com.
What this all means for betting is that the Cowboys are banged up and will have a hard time stopping and generating offense in the running game.
Take the Giants by a field goal for this one.
Over/Under: 47.5 (via Bovada)
The last time these two teams went at it there was little tape on either team’s tendencies, and it resulted in a relatively low-scoring game.
This time around, the weaknesses in both teams are both very apparent. However, games in the NFC East have a tendency to turn into defensive battles. Go with another low-scoring matchup with a final score that will be less than 47.5 points.
Injury Report (via CBS Sports)
New York Giants
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Foot, Questionable
DT Rocky Bernard, Quadriceps, Questionable
WR Hakeem Nicks, Knee/foot, Probable
S Kenny Phillips, Knee, Questionable
LB Jacquian Williams, Knee, Questionable
DB Will Hill, Suspension, Out (Return Week 10)
S Matt Johnson, Hamstring, Questionable
RB Felix Jones, Knee, Questionable
DE Sean Lissemore, Anke, Questionable
RB DeMarco Murray, Foot, Doubtful
LB Anthony Spencer, Shoulder, Probable
LD DeMarcus Ware, Illness, Questionable
LB Sean Lee, Toe, Out for Season
Fantasy Big Plays
New York: WR Victor Cruz
Victor Cruz has proven to be too much for any secondary to keep tabs on, no matter the situation. Last week’s 71-yard touchdown reception proved that even when teams know it’s coming, executing against Cruz is still problematic.
In Week 1, Cruz had several drops and his second-worst performance of the season. He’ll benefit from facing a Dallas team that he’s eaten up throughout his young career. He’s posted 18 catches for 310 yards in three career matchups vs the ‘Boys. That’s including his poor Week 1 showing.
Projected Stats: 7 receptions, 94 yards, 2 TDs
Dallas: WR Dez Bryant
Bryant’s Week 1 matchup against the Giants yielded him nine fantasy points, but he was limited because of the fluke game by slot receiver Kevin Ogletree.
In five games against the Giants, Bryant has averaged 20.2 yards per catch, snagging 18 passes in the process for 363 yards and four touchdowns.
Look for him to build upon the momentum he generated in Weeks 5 and 6 before suffering a head injury and being held out of the rest of the team’s Week 7 matchup against the Panthers.
Projected Stats: 6 receptions, 113 yards, 1 TD
Key to Victory
This one is pretty simple. If the New York Giants can get after Tony Romo, and they’ll have the opportunity to do that with Dallas’ backfield nicked up, then they’ll be able to control the pace of the game and keep Romo skittish behind center.
If Romo gets rattled, it doesn’t matter how stout this defense plays. He’s shown an inability to handle effective rushes this season, and the Giants can and will bring the heat on Sunday afternoon.
Eli Manning is bound to exploit any mistakes the Dallas defense makes. A team isn’t going to hold him quiet for a full four quarters as seen in his last-minute game-winning touchdown pass to Victor Cruz just one week ago.
This game is going to be a lot like their first matchup in which one team played solid and aggressive defense while running the ball strongly and picking apart the opposing secondary with use of slot receivers.
This time, though, it’s going to be the New York Football Giants who are the aggressors. The Giants need this win too badly and will get it to ensure the Cowboys don’t hold a tiebreaker over them.
Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw (if healthy) and Andre Brown are going to have very successful games resulting in a much more in-sync performance than they put on in Week 1’s loss to the ‘Boys.
Final Score: New York 24, Dallas 21
Mike Hoag Jr. is a B/R Breaking News Team writer and covers the NFL and Cleveland Browns for the site. Follow him on Twitter for analysis and updates on the latest news and happenings in the sports world.