3. Running Back Comparisons
As the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Saquon Barkley entered the NFL with so much promise and potential. His rookie season was strong, but from there, injuries have kept him off the field and lowered his production significantly.
A second overall pick simply shouldn’t have 627 rushing yards and two touchdowns in two seasons. He was the 32nd ranked running back in 2021. Barkley’s subpar offensive line certainly didn’t help his chances either, but that won’t be a valid excuse this year.
Let’s be clear, though. Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t been himself in a few years either. However, the combination of a supposedly healthy Zeke and Tony Pollard is a humongous advantage over a questionable Barkley. For the Giants, if Barkley doesn’t perform or gets hurt, they are stuck with subpar free agent signing Matt Breida. If Elliott can’t get his legs going, a powerful Pollard will be ready and willing to take the reins with ease.
The 2018 Offensive Rookie of the Year could certainly return to form in 2022, but there’s truly no certainty. And, as we’ve learned with Elliott, these days, running backs just aren’t able to last as long as teams hope.
Overall, the odds are definitely in the Cowboys’ favor for both Week 3 and Week 12. The first matchup will be on Monday Night Football and the Giants are 25-45-1 in MNF games, including a 16-32-1 record for road games. The second matchup is the Thanksgiving game, and the Cowboys are going to want serious revenge from last year’s ugly loss to the Raiders.
On paper, Dallas should win both of these games with ease.