Every week of the NFL regular season, we will ask all of The Landry Hat writers and contributors to submit their picks and predictions for the upcoming Dallas Cowboy game. This week, we asked our experts for their predictions for the NFL season opening game between our Cowboys and the New York Giants on Wednesday night.
Steven Mullenax, Editor & Head Writer: In the Cowboy’s first game against the Giant’s last year, running back DeMarco Murray suffered a season ending ankle injury in the first quarter and Dallas was one Jason Pierre-Paul blocked field goal away from going into overtime. Both RB Brandon Jacobs and WR Mario Manningham made big contributions in that game. With those players now out of New York, I’m not sure the Giant’s are a better team then last years’. Dallas, on the other hand, is an overall better team, especially on defense. In their second meeting last year, Dallas was within one score of tying the Giants in the fourth quarter before our aging defense broke down. Prediction: I see the new Cowboys shocking the world and winning this one, 20-13.
Simus1974, Video Contributor: Another week one at the met. This isn’t the same ol’ Cowboys. This is the no fly zone defense, Eli times are a changing buddy!! 28-17 Cowboys.
Alex Young, Staff Writer: Prediction: The Cowboys are improved, there is no doubt about it, but they will be facing a Giants squad that will be filled with emotion as the defending champs and will be bolstered by the fan reception . I just can’t see Dallas being able to match that emotion for 60 minutes. Cowboys 23, Giants 28
Michael Huff, Staff Writer: The offensive line will struggle, but Tony Romo will be able to scramble and buy time to get the ball to wide open receivers. DeMarco Murray runs the ball well. The Cowboys’ defense will pressure Eli Manning and cause a lot of incomplete passes and an interception. Cowboys win 24-14.
Todd Toombs, Senior Writer: Most people, other than us Cowboy fans, aren’t giving the Cowboys much of a realistic chance in this season-opening game this Wednesday against the Giants. At this stage, Jason Witten and Jay Ratliff are not likely to play. Miles Austin hasn’t played since early in training camp and Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Ware will play but have been slowed by hamstring injuries. The first test for our new secondary is a big one. Eli Manning doesn’t have 2 Super Bowl rings because he’s an average QB and Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks have done plenty of damage against the Cowboys. And, despite losing a few key defensive players to injury once again this preseason, the Giants D is usually stout. But, I’m still optimistic that the Cowboys can and MUST find a way to bring home the ‘W’. Here’s why:
1. The Giants are slow starters. Their last 2 Super Bowl runs came only after they struggled and were nearly eliminated from the playoffs before catching fire. I’m glad this game comes during their typically weaker stage.
2. The game is in New Jersey. As sad as it is to admit, Eli has never lost to the Cowboys at their flashy new stadium. Maybe it is just superstition, but I’m actually glad this is a road game.
3. In both games last season against the Giants, the Cowboys secondary was torched – Nicks had 163 yards in the week 14 game and Cruz “salsa’d” his way to 178 yards and a TD in the season finale. They’ll get their catches but not those kind of yards against this secondary.
4. Brandon Jacobs ground out 101 yards and 2 TDs in the first Giants game last season. He’s gone and I’m just not convinced they will be able to generate many rushing yards – even without Ratliff plugging the middle. Our linebackers led by Sean Lee are much improved. And, I think our better secondary play along with Rob Ryan having a full off season and feeling more comfortable with opening up the blitz play book will generate significantly more pressure on Eli.
I expect the Giants to have at least 2 turnovers more than Dallas and the Cowboys come away with a 28-24 win. Go Cowboys!
If you liked a particular answer, please check out the author’s other articles by clicking on their names. And join us again in the next couple days as we have more picks and predictions from our other writers and contributors!