Let’s flash back to January 2nd, 2012. It was on that night that Cowboys fans along with a national TV audience witnessed NY Giants Wide receiver Victor Cruz’s 74 yard TD catch and run, leaving a past his prime CB Terrence Newman and the Cowboys secondary behind him, all the way to Indianapolis and a stunning NY Giants Super Bowl XLVI victory.
It is now nine months later, and the rematch is set for the Meadowlands for Wednesday night back in prime time where it belongs, only this time the Dallas Cowboys have added some much needed secondary help to guarantee Rob Ryan’s defense won’t make that same mistake twice. The Cowboys added the CB prizes of both free agency and the April draft to their often out matched secondary in Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, and now have the weapons to keep Giants WR Victor Cruz in much needed Cruz Control.
This game will come down to three key factors, (1) The Dallas secondary needs to flex its new muscles and control Eli Manning and the Giants WR’s. The Cowboys need to use press man coverage and not allow Cruz to get the release he was so familiar with when he faced the out manned cowboy secondary in late 2011 and early 2012. Carr should mirror Cruz and follow him in the slot to give Dallas its best matchup to combat the Giants #1 playmaker. (2) DeMarco Murray must run, catch screen passes and control the clock. Many so called experts forget that Murray missed both Cowboy/Giants matchups last year and he is a huge difference maker. With Murray in the lineup the Cowboys can run outside and use quick screens to slow down that awesome New York Giant pass rush. (3) Pressure Manning with OLB DeMarcus Ware and others. Eli has lost his two 3rd down security blankets this year with Mario Manningham in SF and Jake Ballard in NE. Who will step up as the Giants clutch 3rd down target is still an unknown, and the Cowboys need to exploit that fact all night by bringing pressure especially on 3rd down.
Add it all up, and this Landry Hat Writer is calling the Upset. The Cowboys will get their much anticipated revenge on the Giants in the Meadowlands, albeit nine months late, but hey it will be a great start to the New 2012 Season. Dallas 27, NYG 21.