N.Y. Giants at Dallas
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Ezekiel Eliott (21)
ARLINGTON – In a division featuring the defending Super Bowl champions, neither the New York Giants nor Dallas Cowboys want to be staring at the prospect of an 0-2 start to the season. The longtime NFC East rivals each sputtered offensively in season-opening losses and will look to break into the win column when the Giants pay a visit to the Cowboys on Sunday night.
“It’s a big hole, especially in this conference game. So, we need this game,” New York safety Landon Collins said. “We need this win. It’s definitely big to us. Out of the two teams that we’re both 0-1, one of the teams got to come out with a victory.” Dallas swept the season series in 2017, outscoring New York 49-13, and the trash-talking has already heated up between the clubs. Collins said the Giants will bolster their chances of winning by choking off the Cowboys’ running game and putting the ball in Dak Prescott’s hands, to which the Dallas quarterback responded: “Challenge accepted.” Expect both teams to lean heavily on the ground game in the first matchup between Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and New York’s Saquon Barkley, this year’s No. 2 overall selection.
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Cowboys -3. O/U: 42.5
ABOUT THE GIANTS (0-1): New York struggled offensively against Jacksonville’s ferocious defense in a 20-15 loss, but the highlights were provided by Barkley and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Barkley finished with 106 yards on 18 carries in his NFL debut and scored the Giants’ lone touchdown with a highlight-reel 68-yard run while Beckham, who missed most of last season due to a broken foot, had 11 receptions for 111 yards. Beckham has five touchdown receptions in six games against Dallas, so he can expect another heavy dose of targets from Eli Manning, who was intercepted three times in the two matchups versus the Cowboys last season. New York’s defense struggled to contain Jacksonville’s ground game despite an injury to lead back Leonard Fournette.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (0-1): Dallas did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter in last weekend’s 16-8 loss at Carolina, managing only 232 yards of total offense and allowing Prescott to be sacked six times. Elliott, who scored the only touchdown and finished with 69 yards on 15 carries, rushed for 104 yards and added five catches for 36 yards in his lone matchup against New York in 2017. The Cowboys’ passing game struggled with the departures of longtime standouts Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as Prescott threw for only 170 yards, with Cole Beasley leading the way with seven receptions for 73 yards. Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory (concussion) missed practice again Thursday while defensive tackle Datone Jones (knee) was limited.
1. Manning has 49 career scoring passes against Dallas, his second-highest total versus any team (51, Philadelphia).
2. Prescott torched New York in the last meeting with three TD passes and a career-high 332 yards.
3. Barkley can become the first rookie since 2005 to rush for 100 yards in each of his team’s first two games of the season.
PREDICTION: Cowboys 19, Giants 17