4 X-factors that will be crucial in Cowboys' Week 1 clash vs NY Giants

Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys
Las Vegas Raiders v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
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2. The addition of Brandin Cooks

This time last year, Cowboys fans were wondering if Michael Gallup was going to return to form in order to help take pressure off CeeDee Lamb in the passing game. Well, that didn't work out so Dallas went out and got someone who could do it for them immediately in Cooks.

Now they have a player that can force teams to keep safeties from cheating over toward Lamb. But for this to be effective, McCarthy and Schottenheimer need to make sure Cooks gets the football early and often, if not the teams will continue to take away Prescott's best offensive weapon.

Cook's speed and route-running ability should make it easy for them and it will not only open up more targets for Lamb, but spread the defense out a little bit more. That would give Tony Pollard and the new-look running back group more space to run the ball and keep the chains moving. If used the right way, Cooks will be able to add an entirely new dimension to Dallas' offense.

1. Cowboys secondary

If there's one clear area the Cowboys have an advantage it's their cornerbacks against the Giants receivers.

With the addition of Stephon Gilmore, the gap between the two has grown, even despite New York's trade for Darren Waller.

The Cowboys have the ability to put one of their versatile safeties on Waller in order to slow him down. Their ability to cover will give their fast and aggressive defensive front more time and opportunities to get in the face of Jones and cause either turnovers or sacks.

Overall, Dallas' secondary is going to make it tough on quarterbacks this season if they can stay healthy. Jones just happens to be the first of an unlucky bunch that have to face them this season. It's tough to envision how Jones will be able to push the ball downfield against this group.