NFL Week 7 Preview: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

Derek MajorCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2010

The Giants are trying to put together a three game winning streak while separating themselves from the rest of the NFC East pack, while the Cowboys are making their last ditch effort to hold on to their season.

The Giants got off to a slow start, but have since rebounded to win their last two games and now sit at the top of the NFC East. Now the Giants must avoid a trap game. 

Offensively, the Giants will run the ball a lot and work off a play action to get down the field.

Quarterback Eli Manning was great last year against the Cowboys throwing for over 500 yards and four TDs in two games. Manning will be looking for Steve Smith this week, who ate up the Cowboys secondary last season for 16 receptions for 244 yards and a TD. 

Smith is a solid possession receiver who can get open in space, so you can bet that Manning find him a few times. He'll also be looking towards Hakeem Nicks, (36 catches, 417 yards and six TDs) whose the Giants deep threat. 

The Giants will also bring their fifth ranked rushing game to Dallas. The Giants don't do anything exotic with their run game, so don't expect anything besides handoffs and smash mouth running. 

Ahmad Bradshaw (110 rushes, 582 yards, and three TDs) has played well since being given the bulk of the rushing workload and Brandon Jacobs will take the ball in short yardage and goalline situations. 

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Defensively the Giants love to blitz and they'll do it a lot against Tony Romo and the Cowboys.

Osi Umenyiora (eight sacks), former Cowboy Chris Canty and Justin Tuck (four sacks) know the Cowboys well and will come after them hard. The Giants have a lot of lineman/linebacker hybrids, so you'll see the Giants entire front seven standing up for some of their blitzes as well as seeing linemen following receives and tight ends in coverage. 

For the Giants to get pressure on Romo they'll have to find a way through the Cowboys offensive line. They'll also have to contain Romo, whose not afraid to run when pressured. 

The Giants secondary is the second ranked passing defense in the NFL giving up just 264.8 yards per game through the air. Antrel Rolle has been a huge part of the Giants passing defense improving as he's been great at getting the secondary lined up and making plays on the ball. 

They'll have their work cut out for them this week however as the Cowboys passing game is one of the best in the league. Corey Webster and Terrell Thomas are the starters for the Giants and will have to make sure that Miles Austin doesn't go off. They'll also have to be careful not to underestimate Dez Bryant, who is having a solid rookie season. 

The Cowboys will need to win this game to have any chance of climbing back in the playoff race. 

Tony Romo (143 of 206, 1566 yards, 10 TDs and seven interceptions) has taken a lot of criticism in recent weeks because of his play and will have to play his best game this Monday to give the Cowboys a chance to win. He's been putting up the yards, but it hasn't led to many wins. 

The Cowboys receivers have done a great job of getting in the open field this season and are a big part of the Cowboys second ranked passing offense. Miles Austin (33 catches, 486 yards and two TDs) has established himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL. Romo will look his way a lot this week. 

Roy Williams is also having a solid season and leads the team with five TDs. If the Cowboys get into the red zone, Romo will look Williams' way as he's been using his body a lot more this season. 

The running game for the Cowboys has still been slow, but it's starting to pick up. Felix Jones has been getting more carries in the last two weeks as the Cowboys want to see his big play ability. However Expect Marion Barber to get the bulk this week, as he always gets up to play the Giants and his physical style has worn the Giant defense down in recent years. 

They'll try to get Jones loose in the passing game with screens and wheel routes out of the backfield. If he can break a few tackles, he can take one to the house. 

For the Cowboys to be successful on offense, they'll have to cut down on their penalties and mistakes. The penalties have killed them all season, and they've done nothing to stop them. 

Defensively the Cowboys will have to stop the Giants run game. The Cowboys did a great job last week of stopping Adrian Peterson. Now they'll have to do the same with Bradshaw. The Cowboys defensive line matches up well with the Giants straight ahead run game, so it'll be a good matchup.

DeMarcus Ware has seven sacks on the season and will be looking to add to that total be getting to Eli Manning, whose had pocket presence issues this season. 

The Cowboys secondary will be a huge factor this week. First and foremost they'll need to limit Steve Smith, who had career games against the Cowboys last season. They'll need to bump him off his routes and be physical. 

They'll also need to keep Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham in front of them as the Giants love to go deep to those two on play action. Terence Newman has played great this season, which means it'll be Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick that will be picked on this week and they'll have to show up. 

The Cowboys will also have to be flawless on special teams. They've given up two returns for TDs and place kicker David Buehler is having a below average season kicking. If they don't fix that against the Giants it could be a long day. 

Fantasy Player: Tony Romo. 

Romo will have to show up for the Cowboys to win, but in the last few weeks although the Cowboys have lost, Romo's lit up the fantasy scoreboard. He should do it again this week. Expect him to get at least two TDs, and if receivers catch the ball, he should stay away from interceptions as five of his seven have come off of tipped balls or drops by his receivers.