By: Maximilian Carroll
Spread: Cowboys (-7.5)
Kickoff: 4:25 ET, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
It doesn’t get much better than Giants vs. Cowboys. I love starting off the year with a rivalry game. Although the news about whether Zeke would sign or not ruled the front-page, the Cowboys come in as the favorite to win the division. On the other hand, the Giants are expected to be competitive, but not pose a real threat. This game will go a long way towards defining the early part of the season, for both squads.
New York Giants
The Giants begin this year with more questions than answers. How long of a leash will they give Eli? Will the o-line be improved? Can the defense actual make a crucial stop when called upon? These are all questions that, depending on the answer, will spell out the success or failure of this team. Daniel Jones is coming off a preseason that was well beyond expectations and if Eli doesn’t get off to a fast start his career as a Giant could come to an end very quickly. I do believe the o-line will be improved, but with the loss of OBJ and the suspension to Golden Tate, this team is missing weapons. Saquon Barkley can’t do it by himself. The Giants offense will have to score points to support a porous defense. This Cowboys defense is for real. It is a great early season test and will give us an idea of which direction this team is headed.
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys are the favorite to win the division. The Zeke circus has overshadowed the fact that the Cowboys have a legit defense and have a roster with enough talent to make a run. Their o-line is one of the tops in the league and, with Elliott playing week 1, some pressure can be removed from Prescott’s shoulders. The biggest worry I have with this team is the head coach. I personally believe that Jason Garrett is one of the WORST head coaches in the league, and he has proven me right time and time again. This team has some great pieces. If he can finally figure out how to be a legitimate coach they could do some damage.
Analysis and Prediction
The Cowboys won both games last year by scores of 20-13 and 36-35. This Giants team is better than they were a year ago. I look for the Giants to come out with some intensity and give the Cowboys a run for their money, but the faulty defense will rear its ugly head. Dallas will be missing one of their big pass rushers in Robert Quinn, which should allow Eli a little more time to allow for routes to develop and, if Barkley can get going, work in some play action game. Not to mention the Giants are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 road games. I’m taking the Giants to cover (+7.5). Final score 27-21.