The 53-man rosters have been somewhat solidified for both the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. The stage is set and Sunday night the two teams will meet at AT&T Stadium to kickoff the 2013 season.
Generally at this point there are question marks on both sides. This holds true, but it seems like there are far too many questions and not enough answers.
The injury bug
Injuries have struck teams hard this offseason. The Cowboys lost Tyrone Crawford on the first practice of training camp and ever since then players have been dropping like flies.
To date the players projected not play in Sunday night’s game are Lance Dunbar with a foot injury, Danny McCray with a hamstring injury, and Anthony Spencer, who is still recovering from preseason knee surgery. All three players are projected to play substantial roles this season.
The story looks a lot bleaker on the other side of the ball.
The Giants have four players who did not practice, including starting offensive linemen David Diehl and David bass. Another four players were limited in practice, including starting receiver Victor Cruz and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Things don’t look so bad in Big D in terms of injured players that won’t be on the field or at 100%. This could prove to be a deciding factor in Sunday night’s game.
Who’s manning the line?
Big news this week was the signing of all-pro guard Brian Watters to help solidify an offensive line that’s been in flux for most of the preseason. But is it too late for Sunday’s matchup?
Watters brings 14 years of experience to a line that will have at least one player, center Travis Frederick, taking his first regular season snaps, and another in Ronald Leary who may be joining him. This will in no doubt prove to be a huge bonus throughout the season, but for the here and now it may not amount to much.
D-line may be the Cowboys downfall
The Cowboys have stars all over the field, but the one area that they are lacking in along the defensive line. Outside of DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, who is there to tow the line? And remember Ware is switching positions and is a little on the light side for a defensive end. Sure he’s a beast, but when it comes to run stuffing there may be some vulnerability in his game.
The Cowboys traded for two defensive linemen this past week that are strictly for depth and special teams play. Caesar Rayford came over from the Indianapolis Colts, and Edgar Jones from the Kansas City Chiefs. Rayford will most likely get in on the action Sunday night in a rotational role, and Jones will probably see most of his playing time on special teams.
The big question remains; have the Cowboys done enough to solidify a depleted defensive line? We’ll find out Sunday night.
Although there are plenty of question marks on both sides of the ball, one thing is for sure. If Tony Romo and company can play like they did in week three of the preseason, the Giants may not have enough answers to continue their winning ways in Dallas.