Last season the Giants played against the Cowboys three times, including one memorable playoff game in Irving, Texas. In the previous two meetings I thought that I would have to live with the fact that Tony Romo was the better QB, and was going to be for the next 8-10 years. In the third installment of the rivalry that year Eli Manning showed why he was the better BIG GAME QB.
This year the Giants come in as the better team, 6-1 to the Cowboys 5-3. The Giants presently lead the NFL in sacks with 26. The Giants Defensive Line last week had 5 sacks, a career tying best three by Mathias Kiwianuka, as well as one each from Justin Tuck and Dave Tollefson.
Last week the Giants didnt' allow the Steelers to sack, even so touch QB Eli Manning. Even though the run game for the Giants was sub-par, the Giants found a way to win the football game.
This week the Giants should look to stop Cowboys RB Marion Barber, who should see an increased work load due to the inability of the passing game led by Brad Johnson. The Giants this season have played well against the run, only allowing 585 yards on 157 carries; good for a 3.72 ypc.
The interrior Defensive Line for the Giants, led by Fred Robbin and Barry Cofield should look to stop the run and force Brad Johnson to make plays down the field to Terrell Owens. Johnson's Cowboys will be weakend in the passing attack if All-Pro TE Jason Witten is unable to play. Witten is able to go over the middle and make tough catches, in the red zone.
The X-factor to this game though will be WR Steve Smith. He leads the Giants in receptions with 29 and a lot of those come on 3rd down. Smith is really developing into an elite possession WR. Eli Manning is able to spread the ball around to a variety of WR so even when Plaxico Burress is shut down, such as last week he will find up to 7 receivers within a game.
The Giants should look to run the ball this week, and really need to give Ahmad Bradshaw carries. This year he has only seen action in garbage time but he is an explosive RB who can turn the edge and break off a big run at any time. This could help get Demarcus Ware to over pursue while trying to pressure Eli Manning.
I look for the Giants to win this game 27-21, it will be closer than people think but the Cowboys will fall just short.