Dallas Cowboys: Looking at the division competition

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

What competition do the Dallas Cowboys have within their division?

Every season, an NFL team will play each of the three other teams in their division two times. This means the Dallas Cowboys will have six of their 16 games played against division opponents.

Playing in a stronger division means your team has a tougher season ahead of them. Let’s look into the Cowboys’ division competition in the NFC East.

New York Giants

One team that is in the way of the Cowboys is the New York Giants. Dallas won six straight games against them, dating back to Week 1 of the 2017 season.

After trying to be a competitive team with quarterback Eli Manning under center, the team has been turning over their roster to become younger. This included drafting Manning’s heir, Daniel Jones, and star running back Saquon Barkley.

While the team is still very young, they have pieces on both sides of the ball that teams need to be wary of. Of course, Barkley is the name that stands out the most. He had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons, and some consider him to be one of, if not the best running back in the NFL.

Jones had a good rookie season despite the team having a bad record. In 13 games after taking over for the aging Manning, he threw for 3027 yards, 27 touchdowns, and held a 61.9 percent completion percentage.

They have a solid group of wide receivers headlined by Sterling Sheppard and Golden Tate. They also have an effective young tight end in Evan Engram, although he has had injury problems.

Their offensive line played solid last year, especially against the Cowboys in Week 1. They helped Barkley run for 120 yards on only 11 attempts. Replacing Mike Rimmers with their 2020 first-round pick, Andrew Thomas should give them a nice boost this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants appear to be missing a pass rush, aside from edge rusher Markus Golden. They do, however, have a ton of run stuffers ranging from Leonard Williams to Dexter Lawrence.

Acquiring Blake Martinez in the free agency solidifies an already stud run defending team. The duo of him and David Mayo will prove to be a solid run-stuffing duo.

The problem is the linebacking corps against the pass. While Mayo played solid holding quarterbacks to a 65.7 percent completion percentage, Martinez may need some work in coverage.

While they lost defensive backs, Antoine Bethea and Janoris Jenkins, they acquired James Bradberry and Xavier McKinney. Replacing Bethea’s team-leading 110 tackles will be hard, but the Giants see something.

McKinney’s great coverage in college should translate to the NFL, allowing Jabrill Peppers to play closer to the line, where he can eclipse 100+ tackles as Bethea did. Mckinney can play as the lone safety at the top.

The Dallas Cowboys can and should win both games against the Giants in 2020. They will need to win through their passing attack, and shutting down Barkley. With added run stuffers this offseason and an already blazing offense, this can be done.