Every week we ask all of The Landry Hat writers and contributors to submit their picks and predictions for the upcoming game. This week, we asked our experts for their prediction on the Dallas Cowboys vs. the New York Giants game this Sunday night.
Steven Mullenax, Editor & Head Writer: The New York Giants rank 29th in total defense. They rank 12th in total offense. The Dallas Cowboys rank 10th and 8th respectively. Those numbers point to a Cowboys victory. But then I looked at the games themselves. The Giants have beaten Arizona, Philadelphia, and New England at home this year. All teams the Cowboys failed to beat. Granted they also loss to Seattle, San Francisco and Washington; all teams Dallas has beaten. But the best way to measure a team is to look at their last game. New York went toe-to-toe with the undefeated Green Bay Packers. In turn, Dallas is coming off a humiliating loss to the Cardinals and two tight wins over the Redskins and Dolphins. Add in the fact that the Giants play well in Cowboy’s Stadium, essentially negating home field advantage, and you have the perfect makings for an upset. Giants 20, Cowboys 17. I was wrong about last week. Let’s hope I’m wrong again.
View more picks and predictions, after the break:
Robert Diton, Staff Writer: Wow, fans. This is it. The game we’ve had circled on our calendars for months. The battle for first place in the NFC East. If you want to look at the past weeks, the Cowboys have won 4 of 5 and the Giants have lost 4 in a row (given the G-men’s swagger, don’t remind them they are actually coming off a loss. They talk tough for a team that’s not above .500). If you want to look further back, the Giants have been successful in Cowboys stadium, but the Cowboys won the last meeting of the two teams on November 14, 2010 in NJ. I honestly have no idea how to predict this game, especially given my wrong predictions of the past few weeks. It all depends on how the Cowboys come out. They have to, HAVE TO, match the intensity the Giants will bring. This is the first round of the playoffs. They have to defend their house…and I see them winning in a shootout. Cowboys 34, Giants 30.
Seth Jones, Staff Writer: The Giants should be favored this game. Therefore, I’m going to pick Dallas. The question is: What is the score going to be? Well, Dan Bailey will be playing with fire, and he will be kicking up a storm. He has been practicing extra this week, and he has studied the playbook over-time. He will be relentless against the Giants’ special teams field goal blocking unit. Cowboys 18, Giants 27. 6 Bailey field goals will not be enough.
Mark Contreras, Video Contributor & Staff Writer: The Giants have to travel INTO Arlington to play against a division leader with a 4-game losing streak in their pocket. Sounds easy. Unfortunately, in their latest lost to the undefeated Packers, the Giants looked like the team preparing for the playoffs while in the Cowboys latest lost to the Cardinals, they looked like another average team with a bad offensive line and a worse secondary. The Cowboys latest winning streak and the Giants latest losing streak can be explained by looking at who they played. The Giants have gone 1-4 in the past 5 games against teams with a combined record of 44-16. The Cowboys have gone 5-2 in the past 7 games against teams with a combined record of 29-55. The Cowboys blew a GIANT opportunity by losing to a hapless Cardinals team last week and I think the New York Giants smell blood in the water. Especially when DeMarcus Ware gives them bulletin board material. I got roasted in the comments last week for being the only one to pick the Cowboys to lose. Someone get the marshmellows, I guess. Cowboys 19, Giants 26.
Joe D. Ramirez, Senior Writer: Jason Garrett received a substantial amount of head this week for what I deemed to be his first smart coaching move of the year (the practice kick via a timeout). What many people don’t bother to consider is that there was a substantial lack of player execution in the game. Consequently, expect the players (along the offensive line and on defense) to rebound and play effectively against a better team, the Giants. The game will be agonizingly close and will likely come down to another Bailey kick. 24-23 Cowboys.
Artie Cappello, Staff Writer: Things couldn’t have fallen together more favorably for the Cowboys last week. All the other 7 – 4 teams lost, and the Giants fell to 6 – 6. The Cowboys should be sitting playoff picture pretty right now, playing to clinch their division this week. Alas, Jason Garrett’s poor clock management (even if it was thought out and on purpose) let a huge opportunity to take the drivers seat in the NFC slip sooo disappointingly away. Instead, last week’s loss makes this Sunday’s game vs the pesky Giants the MOST important game of the year for our Cowboys. In all seriousness, this is tantamount to a playoff game (ie: we can’t afford to lose). Lets hope we are up to the task. Dallas 31 – New York 27
Todd Toombs, Staff Writer: I think the Cowboys are going to be able to run the ball against the Giants and that will be key. The question is whether Garrett will stay with it or not. I would also be concerned if I was Tony Romo because this could be another game where he is running for his life. In the Cardinal game, we continued to call the same 5-7 step drop passing plays in the face of a blitz on almost every play and appeared to make no adjustments. Frustratingly, we repeatedly watched Tony get sacked, scramble aimlessly, or have to dump it off for a worthless 2-yard gain on a 3rd and 18. For this game, Garrett needs to anticipate that the Giants are going to pressure our inconsistent offensive line and reach into the playbook for some draws, screens, rollouts, and hot routes that work against blitzes. Defensively, I think we’ll put the game in Manning’s hands by limiting the run but our disappearing pass rush and spotty secondary play has me worried. Rob Ryan will need to confuse Manning and disguise the blitzes but the Giants are going to score some points. We will have to outscore them on offense but we’re capable of doing that with all of our weapons if they are used effectively. It’s going to be a war! Cowboys 34 Giants 31.
Tonni Shook, Staff Writer: The Dallas Cowboys better be firing on all cylinders and ready to play against rival New York Giants. Dallas leads the division and though they are coming off of a loss, they should be pumped up for the home crowd. Miles Austin is back, but we still need Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray, and Jason Witten to step it up. Cowboys defense please man-up and put an end to this 4th quarter collapse. Pressure Eli Manning and stop Victor Cruz. IF all of that happens, Cowboys win. It’s now or never……. Cowboys – 24, Giants – 21
Marney Robinson, Staff Writer: The Cowboys have a problem of playing down to their competition. Hopefully, against New York, they will play up to their competition and put on a much better performance than we’ve seen the last several weeks…especially on defense. With the return of Tony Fiammetta and Miles Austin, the offense should be able to put up significantly more than the 13 points it dropped on Arizona. The Giants have some struggles of their own along the the offensive and defensive lines, so that should play to the Cowboy’s advantage. I think the Cowboys pull out a tight one, although I would love to see them blow the Giants out and play to their potential. Cowboys 31, Giants 27.
Jonathan Barger, Staff Writer: Cowboys versus Giants; what a show. The past two years we have seen this showdown in Cowboys stadium on Sunday night football, and this week marks the 3rd. It’s a big game, and both sides know it. This is the game where Rob Ryan takes off the gloves and gets his hands dirty. Eli Manning is going to wish he stopped playing football after Ryan throws the kitchen sink at him. Offensively, the Cowboys are about as stacked as they will ever get. Everyone is healthy. The big name that returns is Miles Austin, but the most important is Tony Fiammetta. DeMarco Murray will have a field day behind the blocks of Fiammetta, and this will allow Romo to have a mediocre fantasy game, but an excellent game in terms of QBR. He will not have to make the risky throws, and will have the benefit of play action aiding his game. This game is going to set the tone for the Post Season roll. Cowboys 31 – Giants 17. After the game, Garrett pats Coughlin too hard on the back and his bitterness and immaturity cause him to lash out in retaliation; or am I confusing him for the whiny Jim Schwartz?