We are finally at the point to where we can see some real football games that count. Enough of seeing the first string play a few series, it is time to see what this edition of the Dallas Cowboys can do for the 2013-14 NFL season. Some predictions say the ‘boys will go 8-8, some say 7-9, and some have even said 12-4. It is time to put aside the season long predictions and worry about winning one game at a time. Game one starts on Sunday Night Football as the Cowboys take on the New York Football Giants at AT&T Stadium at 7:30 PM on NBC.
Aug 4, 2013; Canton, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) during the 2013 Hall of Fame Game against the Miami Dolphins at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants are undefeated at the former Cowboys Stadium. They even won the first meaningful game at the newly christened stadium in 2009. My question is since the name has changed, can the Cowboys break the Giants winning streak? The Giants defensive line is not what it used to be, they are a shell of their former selves. The secondary is weak and I see Tony Romo exploiting it. Provided the running game of Dallas starts up strong, Romo will be able to throw and be successful throughout the game.
Offensively the Giants are depending on an untested David Wilson at running back. Gone is Ahmad Bradshaw. He is now taking his hand-offs from Andrew Luck in Indy. Eli Manning will come back as strong as ever but the offensive line is questionable at best. When Manning is under pressure, that is where you will see the interceptions along with the frustration. Manning has his two explosive receivers but according to the Cowboys Star Magazine, Victor Cruz was injured in a recent preseason game and had to be relegated to using crutches. He is probable for the game but I see him playing. Hakeem Nicks is coming back from foot and knee problems. He has a chip on shoulder as he wants to prove his better than the 692 yards receiving he had a year ago.
Dallas is coming in with a questionable offensive line themselves. One bright point has been the play of 1st round pick, Travis Frederick. Other than that, Dallas has problems. The other problem that goes with having a mediocre offensive line is that DeMarco Murray may not get the run blocking he will need. If he doesn’t get the protection to run through, his chances of injury increase exponentially. Murray’s susceptibility to injury has been well documented and could spell for a long season if he doesn’t stay healthy. Romo has several receivers to throw to. Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and Terrance Williams make up probably the best corp of receivers the Cowboys have had in several years. Another advantage for the Cowboys will be the play calling of Bill Callahan. His success as an offensive coordinator has been seen as a positive for this club.
Defensively, the Cowboys should put enough pressure on Manning to force him to throw several interceptions that Morris Claiborne would be more than happy to claim. The defensive line is not in the best of shapes as far as the interior. The defense allowed only one rushing touchdown throughout the preseason and allowed six passing touchdowns. Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin’s defensive playbook should be opened up by now and we should see how this defense will really do under the new system.
The Cowboys-Giants games in Dallas have been shootouts as both teams have averaged over 30+ points in their contest. This game on Sunday shouldn’t be any different. Normally a score is not predicted in the articles I write as a preview but I will go out on a limb and predict the score. My prediction for Sunday is the Cowboys will win the game, 37-34 with a Dan Bailey field goal to claim the win. In the comments section below, let the rest of the Landry Hat fans know your prediction.