Since Dallas' new stadium opened, the Giants have traveled to play the Cowboys three times, and they have emerged victorious each time. Each game has been close. No contest has been decided by more than six points and the average differential is just under four.
These close Giants triumphs are not a surprise. It is what they do.
Since 2011, Eli Manning leads the NFL with eight game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, and his play late in games has been mind-blowing. The Cowboys have also done very little to make his life difficult when he is playing in Dallas.
In the three games these two teams have played in Cowboys Stadium, Manning has thrown for 1,036 yards and eight touchdowns. Dallas cannot allow him similar production and expect to win.
In Week 1, when the Cowboys beat the Giants 24-17 in New York, Dallas did an excellent job limiting Manning. He finished with just 213 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
In that game, Dallas did a great job of keeping the pressure on Eli and not allowing him to get comfortable in the pocket. A big part of the reason was that the Cowboys blitzed effectively. As ESPN's Jason York points out, Eli went 3-of-7 passing without a touchdown when facing five or more pass-rushers.
While that worked for them in Week 1, the Cowboys will not find the same success with the blitz this time around. It just doesn't pay to blitz Eli. As ESPN also points out, Manning has been blitzed more than any other quarterback since 2008, and he has been "elite" in those situations.
Manning's ability to handle the blitz and the Giants' emerging run game, will lead to far more success offensively than New York enjoyed in Week 1.
Defensively, this team has also made big strides since Week 1. After a slow start, the Giants' pass rush is finding its groove. Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora each had a sack last week. Pierre-Paul has three of his 4.5 sacks in his last two games and last week's sack was Tuck's first of the year. These guys can get them in bunches.
This is terrible news for the Cowboys because Tony Romo is going to have to drop back a lot in this game.
In the Week 1 matchup, the Cowboys rushed for 145 yards and were led by DeMarco Murray's 131 yards on 20 carries.
Well, the Cowboys rush offense has been sputtering recently, and as Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports, Murray is out for this game and backup Felix Jones is questionable.
All of this points towards a long day for Dallas, and I don't expect this one to be as close as their recent contests.
New York wins, 27-17.
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