In order for the Dallas Cowboys to win their week one matchup against the New York Giants, they must be dominate when it comes to this one key aspect.
In order for the Dallas Cowboys to beat the New York Giants, they must…
Come on! If I told you the answer right now, that wouldn’t be very fun, now would it?
Football is back fellow junkies! Doesn’t it feel good?
Thursday night did not disappoint at all when it came to drama or the result. While it’s way too early for things of this nature, it’s always good when a NFC team loses.
In that regard, if Carolina’s loss was a nice hors d’oeuvres, today would be the entree.
For the fourth time in five years, the Dallas Cowboys start the season facing the New York Giants.
It seems like the schedule makers at the NFL are not very creative, however the matchup always delivers some serious water cooler talk.
Last year’s opener featured the unbelievable comeback orchestrated by Tony Romo with just 1:29 left to play, eeking out a 27-26 win.
In 2013, the Dallas Cowboys forced the Giants into six turnovers on their way to a 36-31 victory. The year prior, Romo threw for 300+ yards and 3 TD’s leading Dallas to a 24-17 win.
Can the Cowboys make it four in a row?
More from The Landry Hat
- 3 ways Cowboys’ Dak Prescott can have a bounce-back season in 2023
- Cowboys News: Dallas sets pre-draft visit with potential Dalton Schultz upgrade
- NFL executives heaping praise on offseason is uncharted territory for Cowboys
- 3 free agent signings from NFC East rivals that left Cowboys fans laughing
- Cowboys News: Brandin Cooks sends flattering message to CeeDee Lamb, Stephon Gilmore
If they are to do so, they will have to do it sans Tony Romo. Standing in for the veteran quarterback is rookie Dak Prescott. If that is not enough of a youth movement, Prescott will be handing off to a fellow rookie as well.
Speaking of change, long time Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is out of the rivalry after retiring in the offseason. In his stead is last year’s offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
As you can see, there are plenty of storylines in play when it comes to this divisional matchup.
So, how do the Dallas Cowboys come out victorious for a fourth straight time to start their season?
The biggest key to a Cowboys victory comes down to one thing.
When this game is over, if the Dallas Cowboys were able to be on the right side of the third down conversion battle, they will start this year 1-0.
Last year, the Giants lost ten games. In all ten games, they had a worse third down conversion than their opponents. Now, that may seem simplistic in nature, however I’m going to tell you how the Cowboys pull off this feat.
Offensively, Elliott and his backup Alfred Morris are going to need to control the clock and keep the defense fresh. Expect the Cowboys to give Elliott 20+ touches in the running and passing game. Morris will see a good amount of time as well to the tune of 10-12 carries.
In fact, adding in Prescott’s keepers in the run-pass option plays and fellow running back Lance Dunbar‘s contributions in the running game, expect 35+ rushes and 6-8 receptions from the backfield.
While the running backs will do a lot of heavy lifting, don’t forget about the passing game. I’m expecting a couple of third down conversions from receivers Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley each. Finally, tight end Jason Witten will have a big impact against the Giants poor linebacking corps.
Defensively, in order to keep the Giants from maintaining long drives, look for bracket coverage on all world receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne will each take turns on Beckham with help over the top from safety Byron Jones.
On underneath routes, the Cowboys can use a linebacker in zone coverage to take away anything short from Beckham. This should go a long way to frustrating the Giants number one option.
That will leave slot cornerback extraordinaire Orlando Scandrick one-on-one with rookie Sterling Shepard. I like Scandrick in that matchup.
When the Giants employ three wide outs and incorporate Victor Cruz in the mix, Dallas can still use this philosophy sliding Carr over to Cruz.
If this plan plays out as I have laid it out, the Dallas Cowboys should not only win third down, but also win the game.
Cowboys 34, Giants 24