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Cowboys To Edge NFC East Battle Against Giants

September 14, 2018

The NFC East rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants continues at AT&T Stadium on Sunday in the primetime game of the week.

Both sides got off to losing starts in their 2018 campaign, putting them under pressure to respond in the second week of the season to avoid the fateful 0-2 opening run.

Dallas were putrid on offense against the Carolina Panthers, much to the delight of former wide receiver Dez Bryant on Twitter. Dak Prescott struggled for the majority of the contest, failing to connect with his wide receivers down the field.

The quarterback has lost two of his most trusted targets as Bryant was released, while Jason Witten retired from the game. Prescott is beginning to feel the heat at the position, having displayed a sophomore slump last term. Ezekiel Elliott is there to ease the strain, but even an elite running back cannot kickstart a struggling offense as he discovered against the Panthers.

New York were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars in week one. Saquon Barkley displayed his talent with a brilliant run for his first touchdown. However, Eli Manning spent the majority of the game running for his life as the Jaguars brought the heat.

Even though the Giants have talent on their offense, if they are unable to protect Manning their season will have similar failings as their last campaign.

Prescott is under pressure in Dallas

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys endured a miserable start to the campaign as their offense was held in check by a dominant performance from the Panthers’ defense. Prescott threw for only 170 yards on 29 attempts, averaging just 5.9 yards per throw downfield. Cole Beasley was one of the players to find success, catching 10 passes for 73 yards. Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and Terrance Williams had issues finding separation from Carolina’s secondary, failing to create space for the quarterback to find them on the field.

It put pressure on Elliott in the ground game, but he was only able to muster 69 rushing yards. The 22-year-old did notch the club’s only touchdown of the game, although it came too little too late for the Cowboys. Dallas’ offensive line has been the foundation of their team for the past five years. However, injuries and a lack of form have started to reduce their impact. The holes that Elliott ran through in his rookie year when he amassed a league-leading 1,600 yards are no longer as wide. Dallas have to find their form once again and it has to start with the line play.

New York’s primary weakness is their offensive line. Jacksonville exposed those deficiencies, especially right tackle Ereck Flowers. The Cowboys have a lot of talent on their defensive line and can capitalise on the same issues. DeMarcus Lawrence notched 14.5 sacks last season and he will lead the pass-rush to get to Manning in the pocket.

Taco Charlton, Maliek Collins and Tyrone Crawford will also have important roles to make it a frustrating evening for the Giants quarterback along with holding Barkley in check. Limiting Barkley may be just as important as pressuring Manning as the running back will be determined to edge his battle against his contemporary Elliot in their first meeting.

New York Giants

The Giants remained competitive against the Jaguars, despite their issues on the offensive line. The elite talents of Odell Beckham Jr along with Barkley allowed them to put 15 points on the board. Beckham was able to record over 100 receiving yards in the opener, using his route running and speed with ball in hand to find space in the Jacksonville secondary.

Sterling Shepard also had his moments, with 48 yards on the day. Barkley flashed his immense talent in his first NFL match, bursting off a 68-yard run for a touchdown. The rookie was held in check for the majority of the match, although the run for the score displayed his unique ability.

New York have quality in the skill positions and if Manning can get the ball to them there will be opportunities to put points on the board. However, that has been a major issue for Giants over the last few seasons. Flowers has done nothing to dispel the notion that he is not an NFL calibre player.

New York selected him in the first round of the 2015 Draft, but he has struggled immensely on the line. Nate Solder was an expensive free-agent signing – earning the most cash handed to an offensive lineman. He had issues in the opener against the Jaguars’ potent front. If the Giants cannot resolve their problems they will be going nowhere this term.

Defensively the Giants had their moments against Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville offense. Janoris Jenkins notched an interception, although they also allowed TJ Yeldon to find the endzone from a Bortles pass. Damon Harrison is a force in the middle of the defensive line and will be aiming to prevent Elliott affecting the contest. However, there’s not a great deal of talent on the edges of the defense that may allow Prescott the time to find a rhythm.

Betting Options

The Cowboys and the Giants both have a litany of problems. Teams that fall to 0-2 historically miss the playoffs over 90% of the time therefore it’s a crucial game for both sides. Dallas have the advantage playing at home and that could swing the contest in their favour, although AT&T Stadium has hardly been a fortress for Jason Garrett’s men.

It will likely be a low-scoring contest and could be decided by a field goal or a defensive score. Back the Cowboys to clinch a narrow win at odds of -155  with BetOnline, while take the Giants on the +3 spread at -110  with TopBet. The total points has been set at 42 by the bookmakers, given the struggles of both teams take the under at -110  with Bovada.

Dallas have issues throwing the ball into the endzone. Therefore Prescott will be one to watch in the redzone running the ball on designed quarterback runs. Take him to score anytime at 11/4  with 888Sport and take the under on him to throw 1.5 touchdowns at 3/5 . Beckham has played well against the Cowboys in the past and should be able to record at least one score at odds of 11/10  with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

Dallas Cowboys To Beat New York Giants
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: -155

Take +3 Spread New York Giants
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: -110

Under 42 Total Points To Be Scored
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: -110

Dak Prescott To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: 11/4

Dak Prescott To Throw Under 1.5 Touchdowns
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: 3/5

Odell Beckham Jr To Score Touchdown Anytime
Sunday 16th September 2018 20:30 ET (Monday 17 September 2018 01:30 BST)
Odds: 11/10

  • Dak Prescott
  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Eli Manning
  • New York Giants
  • NFL

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.