The best rivalry in the NFC East has its ups and downs, but the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants remains a fantastic fixture, as Eli Manning will try to recover from the beating he took last week against the hottest team in the NFL right now.
Last year signaled a change in the rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. The Cowboys managed to beat the Giants at AT&T stadium for the first time since it was opened. They completed the double over them for the first time since 2007. Both teams didn’t make the playoffs, but after what we’ve seen from both teams over the last two seasons, the Cowboys are the better team right now. There’s only so long the Giants can ride their Super Bowl success from 2007 and 2011.
The biggest weapon right now for the Cowboys is DeMarco Murray, via the excellent offensive line that will be missing Doug Free but handled his exit in the win over the Seahawks very well. Murray is leading the NFL in rushing yards with 785, running for over 100 yards in each of the first six games. He has also scored six touchdowns, and might be finally getting over his fumbling problems. But he has been used quite often, rushing 26.5 times per game. That’s on pace for an NFL record 424 carries this season unless the Cowboys start changing up things a bit.
The success of Murray and the bulking up of the offensive line has helped Tony Romo avoid throwing from under pressure as much as he was used to, so far tossing five interceptions this season. He is completing 68.6% of his passes with 11 touchdowns. His favorite target by far has been Dez Bryant with 36 receptions for 439 yards, catching four touchdown passes. Terrance Williams has five touchdown passes, taking advantage of Bryant getting so much focus and attention.
The Giants haven’t been doing badly on offense, not recently after winning three straight games, until their loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. And now Victor Cruz is out for the season, and their leading runner, Rashad Jennings, is also out for at least this game and maybe more. Odell Beckham Jr. will be starting instead of Cruz. He has only six receptions for 72 yards so far this season. Andre Williams and Peyton Hillis will carry the load for Jennings.
Eli Manning was sacked eight times and took seven more hits from the Eagles’ pass rush in a day he’d like to forget. More than that, his offensive line would love to forget it. The Dallas Cowboys pass rush isn’t a fearsome one in terms of sacks and getting to the quarterback, but they did a very good job in disrupting the Seattle Seahawks offensive line and keeping Russell Wilson on his heels or running away in that stunning win in Seattle.
Right now, things don’t look good for the Giants. The offense is hobbled and carrying too many questions with it. The Dallas Cowboys just won in a place that is considered to be the toughest stadium in the NFL. Often, these wins go to player’s heads instead of focusing on them on the road ahead. The New York Giants can’t afford to keep slipping back in the NFC East with the Cowboys and Eagles slowly running away from them.