New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Picks & Preview

Eli Manning

Eli Manning: secret weapon

Looking to avenge a 24-17 home loss from the first week of the season, the New York Giants travel to the always rambunctious Cowboy Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys in a crucial NFC East showdown (4.25pm ET, Sunday).

After that game, both the Giants and Cowboys found themselves going in different directions. As it turned out however, it was not the winner of that game that came away with a 5-1 record in their next six games. In fact, the Cowboys, at just 3-3, actually got the worst of the situation.

As much as New York wants revenge for how they were beaten at home, the Giants are not in a must-win situation, unlike the Cowboys.

Dallas will not only need to win this game to keep up in the East, but they will also need it to affirm that their week one victory over New York was more than just a fluke.

Quarterback Head-to-Head Round Two: (DAL) Tony Romo vs. (NYG) Eli Manning

When I first previewed the week one match-up between the Cowboys and Giants, I focused pretty heavily on the role of the signal callers, Tony Romo and Eli Manning. Specifically, I looked at the two and their 2011 seasons which were incredibly similar.

At this point in the season, both teams with at least six games under their belts, there is no use looking at the 2011 stats but rather looking at the 2012 numbers, which to this point show quite a large discrepancy.

  • Eli Manning 2012 Stats (seven games): 92.5 rating, 63.8 percent completion, 2,109 passing yards, 12 TD, 7 INT, 1 fumble
  • Tony Romo 2012 Stats (six games): 84.6 rating, 67.9 percent completion, 1,636 passing yards, 8 TD, 9 INT, 2 fumbles

When looking at the stats, turnovers, touchdowns and passing yards specifically, there is a good amount of evidence there as to why the Giants are 5-2 and the Cowboys 3-3. Teams can only go as far as their quarterback takes them and this season, Romo just hasn’t been good enough to lead the Cowboys beyond mediocrity.

So although I didn’t directly declare a winner in round one between the NFC East’s two best quarterbacks, I will do so now. Manning has the edge. Not only because of his stats but because of the receiving core, namely one Victor Cruz, that has to throw the ball to.

  • Victor Cruz (WR) 2012 Stats:50 receptions, 627 receiving yards, 7 TD, 89.6 YPG:
  • 3rd in NFL in receptions
  • 5th in NFL in yards
  • 1st in NFL in touchdowns
  • 8th in NFL in receiving yards per game

How Do the Cowboys Adjust to the Injuries to Sean Lee and Demarco Murray?

NFL Odds at BetOnlineIf the Cowboys hope to have a chance against the Giants and furthermore, in the rest of the season, they will have to find a way to go on without their middle linebacker Sean Lee and running back Demarco Murray.

Although the Cowboys really haven’t gotten their running game off of the ground this year, the importance and in turn the significance of Murray being out of the game, really does have an impact.

Not only does his absence mean that the Giants and their defensive attack dogs can focus solely on stopping the throwing game of Romo, but it also means that the Cowboys are going to be forced to make nearly all of their plays in the air. Goal line situations will be the most trying because not only is Murray out but so is his back-up, Felix Jones. Essentially, the Cowboys will go into Sunday’s game and will likely leave Sunday’s game without establishing any sort of ground game. With their options limited and the Giants having a clear game plan of what to expect, this could cost the Cowboys, especially if they can’t score or get first downs in short yardage situations.

In addition to losing their two top running backs, the team is also without the quarterback of their defense, Sean Lee.

The loss of Lee is a huge blow for the Cowboys and one that could be very hard to overcome. His importance can’t be overstated and although the three year player out of Penn State doesn’t get the attention of Pro-Bowler Demarcus Ware, he is no less important.

Statistically, the Giants are not ranked in the top ten or even the top 20 in defense, but what they have managed to do is outscore their opponents. Manning leads the league’s third best passing offense and running back Ahmad Bradshaw anchors the league’s 12th best rushing offense. On defense however, the Cowboys are ranked just 21st in passing and 23rd in rushing.

So without Lee, Jones and Murray, the Cowboys are in a pretty bad way. While I think these losses can be overcome, I don’t see how it will be done this week against the Giants. Even though the Giants don’t have the league’s best defense, they have playmakers and guys that could turn it on, like Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyora and Jason Pierre Paul, at any time.

Big Lights, Even Bigger City

From New York to Dallas, there is no denying that the cities involved in these match-ups are two of the biggest metropolises in America. With this comes passionate fans and intense rivalries. Dallas never wants to lose to New York and New York certainly doesn’t want to let Dallas beat them once in a season let alone twice.

Lucky enough for the Giants however, they have a secret weapon. Quarterback Eli Manning is undefeated in three games played at the new Cowboys Stadium and has four fourth quarter career comebacks against Dallas as well.

So call it a road game for the Giants, but for Manning it might as well be at home. No matter what, it just seems that the big lights and the big city don’t phase Manning and for that matter, haven’t phased the Giants either.

NY Giants at Dallas Cowboys Betting Picks Conclusion

Dallas is beat up and they are beat up bad but still, they manage to find themselves just down a couple points in the spread at most. The Giants, as they should be, are favored. Because of the inconsistent performance of Romo and the injury list holding key players, it is hard to think of a way that Dallas can pull this off. The Giants won’t allow themselves to lose to Dallas twice in the same season so:

  • Count on New York Giants to cover the -1pt or -2pt spread (depending on sportsbook) and ultimately get a pretty easy win. Bet on them -1pt with BetOnline Sportsbook @ -125. Alternatively Bovada go -2pts @ -115. There is nothing between those two betting lines in terms of value. If you are not from the USA then bet with Bet365.

NFL betting lines at BetOnline