At 4:25 pm on Sunday, the 2016 season will begin for the New York Giants as they will be playing their NFC East rival, the Dallas Cowboys, in Dallas. This will the 109th meeting between the two NFC East teams as their first meeting was back in 1960. Since then the Cowboys have a lead in the series of 62-44-2. However, it seems that the Giants end up playing well at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Here are three keys to victory for the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
New York Giants will win if:
Pressure Dak Prescott
This will be Dak’s first regular season game, and it will be the first time he will be facing a team that is specializing their defense towards him. During the two games that Dak started during the preseason, the defenses were giving a general picture to their defense. This game will be a true test for Dak Prescott.
Make Dez Bryant and Jason Witten nonfactors
These are the two guys who Dak will be relying on big time in his first game. If the Giants defense can make them non-factors and force Dak to throw into situations that he is uncomfortable, it is bound to be a long day for Dak and the Dallas offense.
Keep the Dallas off the field as much as the Giants can
For the Giants to be able to do this, Eli Manning needs not to make the mistakes that he has made over the years. One way the Giants will be able to do this is continue to convert on third downs. They have converted 3rd downs 47% time compared to Dallas who has turned it 38.9%. However, the Giants don’t convert as often as they should.
Dallas Cowboys will win if:
Dak Prescott plays smoothly
There will be a ton of pressure on the rookie to jump into the leadership role on the field. If he can play smooth and limit his mistakes, then the Cowboys will have a shot to grab a win.
Keep Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr off the field
Since Odell was drafted, he has not played alongside a healthy Victor Cruz. This Sunday will be the first time that Giants fans will be able to see both players on the field together, so they will both be amped to play. If your Dallas, keep them off the sideline or try to limit them.
Force Eli Manning to make tough passes
Although Eli is a veteran of this game, he can still make bad throws. If the Cowboys can get him out of the pocket and throw into tough situations, then it will be a long day for the Giants offense.
Prediction: Giants 28 Cowboys 21. I think the Giants will be able to make one better play than the Cowboys. The wildcard in this game will be Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot who are both making their season debuts on Sunday. Either it won’t work or it can be a great duo. The Giants having a veteran in this game will be their advantage as Eli will be able to think ahead and at some points will think better than Dak Prescott.