Cowboys Look To Set Tone Against Giants

Two of the oldest rivals in NFL history battle it out in the first Sunday Night Football of the 2017 campaign.

The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants have enjoyed fierce contests in the NFC East to win control of the division.

Dallas are the current holders of the NFC East after their 13-3 campaign last term. The Cowboys were led by their outstanding rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, driving them to the number one seed in the Conference.

Elliott recorded 1,631 rushing yards in his first term in the NFL, but his off-the-field behaviour has resulted in a six-game ban. That will place pressure on quarterback Prescott to thrive without him, keeping the Giants along with the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins at bay in the division.

New York returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since winning the Super Bowl in the 2011 campaign. After investing heavily in their defense, their outlay returned dividends as the G-men boasted arguably the finest unit in the NFL.

The form of the offense was inconsistent due to the form of quarterback Eli Manning. The 36-year-old has been up and down throughout his career, but his performances towards the back of the end of the campaign would have concerned Ben McAdoo.

The Giants were the only side to beat the Cowboys last season at full strength. Their bitter rivals would love dearly to knock them off once again in the first game of the new term. However, Jason Garrett’s men will be desperate to set the tone for another strong campaign.

Dallas Cowboys

Elliott has one match before his ban

The Cowboys were dealt a blow when Elliott was suspended for six matches and the ruling was sustained on appeal. The only bright side has been that due to the lateness of the decision the 22-year-old can play against the Giants in week one.

He will get one chance to prove his quality before heading away from the team for six weeks. Elliott owes his club an excellent performance and due to his quality he will likely produce. The Cowboys’ backfield has a ready-made replacement in the form of Alfred Morris, who’s a solid runner himself.

Morris has a 1,000-yard rushing season under his belt during his time with the Redskins. He should be able to hold the fort until Elliott returns. The passing attack should also take a step forward as Prescott continues to improve. The rookie was extremely impressive in his first season, displaying maturity as well as quality with the ball in hand.

The 22-year-old went toe-to-toe with Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs and almost brought the Cowboys back. Dallas were only beaten by Rodgers’ brilliance, giving them hope that Prescott is more than just a one-season wonder. The Giants did get the best of him last term and he will be determined to prove a point against his side’s biggest rivals in week one.

Garrett’s men have lost key components in their secondary from last term. Brandon Carr, Morris Claibourne and Barry Church have all left the club. There’s pressure on defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to succeed, but there’s not a great deal of talent for him to work with. That could be the reason for the Cowboys’ failure to challenge this term.

New York Giants

Manning has to fire for the Giants

Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Giants reached the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2011 campaign. However, they couldn’t conjure their old magic to defeat the Packers in the Wildcard Round.

Their defense was outstanding last term and was ranked second overall behind the New England Patriots in fewest points allowed.

The club have kept the unit intact, including their secondary, which features All-Pro safety Landon Collins. The 23-year-old was a contender for Defensive Player of the Year, only to be beaten out by Khalil Mack.

Collins along with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Eli Apple and Janoris Jenkins form one of the most formidable secondaries in the NFL. They will again make life difficult for opposing quarterbacks, allowing Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Veron to profit on the rushing the passer.

Damon Harrison is arguably the best run-stuffing defensive lineman in the NFL. He was a large part of why the Giants were successful against the Cowboys, limiting their ability to run. McAdoo’s men will be desperate to remain strong against the ground game as restricting points be crucial once again.

The form of Manning last season was concerning for the Giants. He has been inconsistent throughout his career, but his arm strength did wane towards the end of the term. Odell Beckham Jr has been a godsend for Manning in the final stages of his career.

The All-Pro is among the top five wideouts in the NFL, but did suffer an ankle injury in pre-season. His form along with that of Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard will be crucial to ease the pressure on their quarterback. There’s no running game to speak of – so all eyes will be on Manning.

Betting Options

The Giants won both matches between the teams last season. They won on the opening day by a single point at AT&T Stadium in Prescott’s first start. McAdoo’s men then put the clamps on the Cowboys, edging out a tight contest 10-7 on home soil.

History is on their side, but their offensive production could concerning if Beckham is not fit enough to start. Shepard had his issues with injury during the pre-season, while Marshall has not had a great deal of time to build a connection with Manning.

On the other hand Dallas will be sending out a raft of new players in their secondary that could be exposed. The battle will come down to the Cowboys’ offense against the Giants’ defense. If the home side are able to put over 20 points on the board then it might be enough to secure the victory.

Therefore backing the Cowboys at odds of -190 to claim the win with TopBet sportsbook would be the option to take. However, back the Giants to cover the +2.5 spread at odds of 29/20 with Winner Sports.

Due to the quality of New York’s defense take the Cowboys to score under 23 points at +190   with Ladbrokes.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat New York Giants
Sunday 10th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 11th September 2017 1:30 ET)
Odds: -190

New York Giants To Cover +2.5 Spread
Sunday 10th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 11th September 2017 1:30 ET)
Odds: +145

Dallas Cowboys To Score Under 23 Points
Sunday 10th September 2017 20:30 ET (Monday 11th September 2017 1:30 ET)
Odds: +190

Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys
Eli Manning
New York Giants
NFL

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