After struggling against the New York Giants’ defense in both matchups last year, the Dallas Cowboys’ offense can lead the team to victory this Sunday.
Last season, the Dallas Cowboys beat every team on their schedule except for the New York Giants twice and a gimme in Week 17 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The main reason for their struggles against the Giants? A lack of success from their dominant offense.
The Giants’ defense was able to disrupt the Cowboys’ offense in three key areas, causing them to become stagnant. First, they were able to shutdown Dallas’ inside running game. Second, they took away Cowboys’ receiver Dez Bryant by putting a safety over the top. Finally, they were able to get pressure on quarterback Dak Prescott without blitzing.
With the success they had last season, it’s reasonable to expect the Giants to use a similar game plan this Sunday. That being said, here is how the Dallas’ offense can be successful vs New York.
While I expect Dallas to start the game off with their traditional, run-first, game plan, there are certain areas they need to attack.
How to run on the Giants’ defense
The Cowboys need to focus on running the ball outside of the tackles. In the second match-up last season, Dallas was able to break off some good runs on tosses and stretch plays. Unfortunately, many of these were called back because of penalties.
With questions surrounding the Cowboys’ young secondary, dominating the time of possession will be even more important than normal. Establishing the outside running game would do to things.
One, it would force the Giants’ corners to worry about the run and give Dallas’ receivers some relief from press coverage. And two, it would force New York to move their linebackers outside,
loosening up the inside.
How to pass on the Giants’ defense
The Cowboys need to their receivers to win in the slot. Last season, the Giants’ were able to stagnate the Dallas passing attack by pressing their receivers on the outside, while putting the larger corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on receiver Cole Beasley.
To accommodate for this pressure, Dallas needs to put their receivers in motion before the snap and use “rub-routes” to get their receivers open. Furthermore, by moving Bryant into the slot occasionally, they can create mismatches and get him the ball more often.
In addition to scheming ways to get Bryant the ball, expect Beasley to be used in tandem with bigger receivers to get him separation. By shaking him free from coverage, they can succeed on crossing routes and slants.
If the Cowboys can accomplish this in the passing game, the Giant’s would be forced to switch to zone coverage. This would take pressure off of the outside receivers, allowing for passes to the outside and deep.
Overall, the Dallas Cowboys’ offense is capable of being successful against the New York Giants. The Giants’ defense has weak spots that can be exploited, freeing up Dallas’ full offense arsenal and leading them to victory.