On Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to sweep the New York Giants for the 2012 season. The Cowboys won in convincing fashion in their first game of the year, but have failed to look that impressive since. Dallas will be without 2 key players this time against the Giants. Running back Demarco Murray will not play and Inside Linebacker Sean Lee is out for the year. In their home stadium, the Cowboys have lost 3 straight to the Giants. The team and their fans are wanting to end that streak this year. Here are my keys to the game.
1) Run the ball. Even though they are without Murray, the Cowboys need to pound the ball against the weakness of the Giants defense that is giving up 5.0 yards per carry. Backup running back Felix Jones will need to step up as the current starter, and Phillip Tanner will get some carries as well. The strategy here is to keep that Giants offense off the field which have been one of the best offenses in the NFL since their week one loss to the Cowboys.
2) Double team Victor Cruz. There is not another receiver right now that can make a momentum turning play as many times as Cruz. He has 6 touchdowns in the last 4 games. Unfortunately it means the other cornerback against Hakeem Nicks is going to have his hands full. Eli Manning will go to Nicks a lot. But Cruz needs to be held in check.
3) Dan Connor needs to have a good game. No one can replace Sean Lee in terms of his production on the field and his leadership abilities. Dan Connor will be replacing Lee as the starting inside linebacker. He doesn’t need to try to be Sean Lee, but he can not be a liability against the red hot Giants offense. If he can be solid and dependable, I think the Dallas defense will do well in future games.
I think the Cowboys will play up to the level of their opponent, just like they have for most games this year. I also think they eek out a win at home. Dallas 24, Giants 23