The hardest division in football will kick off action this weekend when the Dallas Cowboys host their first regular season game inside the new Cowboys Stadium when they host the New York Giants Sunday night
Online PR News – 20-September-2009 – – The hardest division in football will kick off action this weekend when the Dallas Cowboys host their first regular season game inside the new Cowboys Stadium when they host the New York Giants Sunday night. Both teams captured wins in their openers. The Giants withstood a tough challenge from the Washington Redskins. However, in the end Eli Manning and the passing game got the job done holding onto a 23-17 victory. The Cowboys took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. Tony Romo had a big game with the help of some emerging Cowboys receivers. Romo threw for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to a 34-21 victory. However, both teams real test will come this weekend when the always important record in the division makes its first tally on the standings page.
The game features two offenses who are both trying to overcome big losses. Eli Manning lost favorite target Plaxico Burress while Tony Romo lost an equally dangerous Terrell Owens on the outside. The Giants also lost a part of their running threat that was apart of the most dangerous duo in the NFL in 2008. Derrick Ward parted ways to Tampa Bay after a 1,000 yards season sharing time with Brandon Jacobs in the backfield. Jacobs the primary back also was over the 1,000 yard mark in 2008 and will be the main threat on the ground for the New York rushing attack this season. Jacobs did not get off to an overwhelming great start last week carrying the ball 16 times for just 46 yards. If the passing game starts to struggle like they did at the end of 2008, Jacobs will have to be a bigger contribution to the offense.
The offense will still rely on QB Eli Manning to get the job done. Manning has some talented young guys in the arsenal, but they really need one of those guys to step up to be a big playmaker since they are without a big play threat at the receiving position. Steve Smith is the most likely candidate after 6 catches for 80 yards last week. It is jus Smith’s 3rd year in the league and with Burress out there is a good chance that Smith could have a breakout year. Manning had some accuracy issues last year struggling with interceptions, but looked solid last week completing 70% of his passes. Still, the Cowboys got to the quarterback more than any other team in 2008 sacking the quarterback 51 times and it will be interesting to see if Manning can stay effective if the guys with the stars on their helmets start getting into the backfield.
The Cowboys as noted earlier are also trying to find some wide receivers to emerge into big play threats. Romo still has one of his favorite targets in tight end Jason Witten who caught more passes than anyone in their opener (5). Witten has racked up over 2,000 yards receiving over the last two years and is one of the most effective pass catching tight ends in the NFL. Still, Romo is awaiting a wide out to really add the big play threat. Roy Williams was brought over from Detroit to fill that void and revive his career. However, Williams is yet a 100 yard receiving day for the Cowboys. Williams did catch 3 balls for 86 yards last week, but the Cowboys offense could truly be dynamic if he could become a big threat week in and week out. The other candidate on the outside is Patrick Crayton. Crayton has decent speed and a knack for getting behind defenders as seen last week on an 80 yard touchdown pass. Crayton ended the day with a team high 135 yards of receiving. If the Cowboys can get that kind of results out of Crayton, then it will not matter how Williams performs. Still, the Cowboys offense was up against a fairly weak defense last week and it will be interesting to see how they are able to move the ball against one of the best defenses in the NFC.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys played very well during the 2nd half of 2008. The defense was expected to perform better than expected this year if you ask Cowboys faithful. However, they were not overly impressive last week allowing 450 total yards from an average offense. The defense must be better throughout the remainder of the season. Also, even more shocking the defense failed to bring down the quarterback at all last week. The Cowboys racked up more sacks than any other team in the NFL last week and failed to pick up a single sack against what many would consider a weak offensive line. Considering how well the Giants offensive line is as an entire group. If the Cowboys defensive line does not penetrate, Manning will have all day to throw the ball and Jacobs could run wild. The Cowboys allowed over 170 yards on the ground last week. If they play that way against the Giants, Jacobs will have 300 yards by the time the whistle blows. Rest assured the defense is aware they have to play better, but will they play better enough to stop the run and get the victory?
Final analysis and football betting pick – The first meeting between these two every year have a history of being a shootout. Considering both defenses have not started clicking yet, the trend may continue. Take the over 45.
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