Dallas Cowboys will need Giant pressure to beat New York


If ever there was a time to hit the restart button on the season, it’s now.

Fresh off the bye week, the Dallas Cowboys will be looking to get things right again later on this afternoon when they pay a visit to the division leading New York Giants.

After three consecutive losses, there will be some notable changes that could make all the difference in the world.  Rookie La’el Collins will start in place of Ronald Leary at guard.  Running back Christine Michael will get more looks than just the occasional third and short look.  Most notably, however, is the end (hopefully) of the Brandon Weeden era as veteran signal caller Matt Cassel takes over until Tony Romo is ready to rumble.

With all of these changes, oddly enough the Cowboys will hope one thing remains the same.

More from The Landry Hat

Their dominance of late over their opponent in today’s matchup.

The Cowboys have won six of the last seven meetings against the New York Giants.  They have also taken four of the last five in Met Life Stadium.

Safe to say, no one needs this to continue to be the case more than the Cowboys at this point.

If Dallas can win this game, the landscape of the division could change drastically.  Even when factoring in the recent three game slide, with a win and an Eagles loss this evening, on the road, against undefeated Carolina, the Cowboys would be back in first place.

Let me say that again… there is a very real possibility that, as bad as everything has seemed to be lately, the Dallas Cowboys could be leading the NFC East after tonight.

First things first, however.  Dallas needs to win this game.  Can they, given all the adversity that they have already faced this year?


The Cowboys best chance to win this game does not come from any of the changes mentioned earlier.  Yes, having more of a playmaking presence at quarterback will help.  A return to dominance from the offensive line would be great too. Getting more production from the running game would be a nice change as well.

The best chance that Dallas has to win today is by bringing the big D to life.  That’s right.

It’s all about defense.

Today will mark the first time all year that the defense will showcase Randy Gregory, Greg Hardy, Tyrone Crawford and Demarcus Lawrence along the defensive line.  Sprinkle in more playing time from Rolando McClain and the presence of the General Sean Lee and we could see something that fans have been waiting an awfully long time for.

Doomsday Defense Part Deux.

The key to winning this game will be getting pressure on Giants quarterback Eli Manning.  Finally, the Cowboys seem equipped to do just that.

In the three games that the Giants have won this year, Manning has only been sacked one time.  Once… in three entire games.  As a result, his numbers have been ridiculous in those three games.  84 completions on 121 attempts for 932 yards, 9 touchdowns and just two interceptions.

The difference is night and day when Manning faces pressure however.  In fact, thanks to some research done by Pro Football Focus, it appears that Eli Manning has been the worst quarterback in the entire NFL for the last two straight years when under pressure.

That trend has continued into this season as well.  Last Monday night’s loss to the Eagles exposed the ill-advised decisions and general lack of poise Manning is capable of providing.  Under duress for the most of the night and being sacked three times, he was able to complete 24 passes in 38 attempts for 189 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Not only were the 189 yards the lowest of which he has produced all year, but the two interceptions were also the most he had thrown in any one game in 2015.  Compare his quarterback rating (107.2) in the three wins to his performance on Monday night (62.3) and you see that it’s almost 45 points lower.

That’s a significant difference, one which will likely tell the story of this game.

In Hardy’s debut, the Cowboys were able to sack New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady five times.  Brady is a better quarterback with far more weapons and a better offensive line than Manning.  If Dallas wants to win this game, Hardy and the rest of this aggressive, hungry defensive line must be in Eli’s face all day.

I believe they can do so.

The prediction: Cowboys 20, Giants 14.

Next: Dez Bryant officially ruled out against the Giants