The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants are facing a game in East Rutherford on Sunday that has major implications for the NFC East Division. With the Cowboys on 6-9 and the Giants on 5-10, both teams are in trouble this year, but both can somehow achieve the unthinkable.
If, and this is a big if, the Washington soccer team loses to the Philadelphia Eagles in their Sunday night soccer game, the winner of the DAL/NYG game wins the division title and moves up to fourth place in the NFC for the post-season.
For the Cowboys the role of road favorite is well deserved, because they are 1.5 point favorite. Getting points and a hook away from home says a lot about the poor health of each of these teams, but especially about the health of the Giants, even at home.
Ezekiel Elliott has finally given a Zeke-likeperformance.
In week five, when the two teams met at Jerry World, 19-year-old Ezekiel Elliott ran for 91 yards and two running goals while picking up 14 yards in the air on a goal. Although it certainly wasn’t a statistically significant day for the former USO star, it was one of the last big performances of the year in a busy season.
But even though the Giants have a strong defensive front, Zeke should be able to do what he wants against them and produce at the level necessary to win the division title while relieving Andy Dalton of the pressure.
Walking over 100 meters, more than 5 receptions and 2 total scores certainly seem like a great day for Zeke and something he can produce if he gets the chance to play and block the calls he needs.
Andy Dalton only struggles enough for the Cowboys.
Andy Dalton has done a fantastic job dividing his goals among his top three recipients (Amari Cooper, C.D. Lamb and Michael Gallup) since he replaced the wounded Roof Prescott, as Cooper has 56 goals, Lamb 54 and Gallup 53. But on Sunday he will face a strong secondary that can reach him and keep him in control for most of the game.
After the battles in the last four games (WAS, BAL, CIN, SF), Dalton’s days as a competent signaller are clearly over, and the Cowboys have adapted their attack around him to play only on his strengths. But the fact that he has three reliable weapons he can touch, plus Zeke and Dalton Schultz, certainly gives him a lot of mouths to feed.
Conducting a winning campaign on the field resulting in a goal or a touchdown would be a good way for Dalton to end the Cowboys’ regular 2020 season, put them in charge and wait for the results of the WAS/PHI game. With less than 225 passing yards and only one throw for a score, these are certainly gloomy numbers for a starting QB, but if he does enough, is it really that bad?
Cooper has a target share, a score of 100+ yards and a score of.
Surprisingly, the only offensive weapon of the Cowboys that didn’t suffer too much from the transition from Prescott to Dalton seems to be the big receiver Amari Cooper, which continues to produce WR1/2 numbers almost every week. Although he hardly saw any action for a few weeks, his solid floor kept him at the top of the offensive side of the Cowboys.
In the first season of a $100 million five-year contract extension, which he signed in March 2020, Cooper proved to Cowboys’ management that he was worth every penny. With a line of 86/1.073/5 he showed that he is still one of the best WR’s in the league, no matter who throws the ball at him.
The Giants have a solid secondary based on the game of CB James Bradberry, who will probably be in charge of following Cooper and keeping him quiet throughout the day. But with just as much at stake on Sunday, Cooper should be able to put things on hold and deliver a great performance.
Cowboy Defence Goes Nuclear
Probably the wildest assumption in this report is that the defense of the Cowboys will be good, since it has been one of the worst units in the league throughout the season. The opponents put high yards and total points on this unit, they should certainly in a good performance, which could eventually come to fruition on Sunday.
This unit scored in three games this year, once in week 5 (against NYG) and the following weeks, week 14 (@ CIN) and week 15 (against SF), so this unit is able to produce when needed. But they also have their share of terrible performance, allowing seven teams to score more than 33 points this season, including periods two to four where teams threw 39, 36, 49 and 28 points at them.
Imaginatively, the D/ST unit of the Cowboys is the most beautiful in this setting: it collapsed in ten races, improved in three races and this year’s average score is just 2.7 points per race. It’s certainly not great, but the fact that they have something to play in week 17 could be an incentive for them to finally produce.
Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has been missing training all week and is likely to miss this match as well, giving veteran Sean Lee the keys to a greater role in the defense – the perfect player to lead this team to a great match.
Keeping NYG’s offense below 14 points and 275 offensive yards while forcing 2+ conversions would go a long way to helping the division win.