The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants will meet for the 118th time on Sunday. The Cowboys have won 69 of the previous meetings, including seven in a row. The Giants (5-10) briefly led the NFC East this year after beating Seattle on the road to cap off a four-game winning streak, but since then they have dropped three straight, losing to Arizona, Cleveland and Baltimore.
The Cowboys (6-9) have managed to win three in a row, over Cincinnati, San Francisco and Philadelphia, putting up 108 points in those victories – and leading the league in takeaways during that same stretch. Thanks to the weak play in the division, the winner of this game would take the NFC East crown if Washington (who just cut starting quarterback Dwayne Haskins) loses to Philadelphia on Sunday night.
Dallas Cowboys at N.Y. Giants (Sunday, January 3)
When: Sunday, January 3, 2020, 1:00 pm ET
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Radio: KRLD 105.3 FM Dallas / WFAN 660 AM New York City
JAZZ Sports Odds: Cowboys -3 / Total 44.5*
Why the Cowboys Will Win
Andy Dalton has finally come into his own in a backup role running the Dallas offense. He had three throws for more than 50 yards (thanks in large part to yards after the catch) in the Cowboys’ win over Philadelphia in Week 16. The Eagles went up 14-3 before Dallas flipped a switch and went on a 34-3 tear to end the game. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup all got into the act in the receiving game, showing just how talented that group is for Dallas. Ezekiel Elliott broke the 100-yard barrier for the first time in 2020.
It is the defense, of course, that poses the problems for Dallas. They permit 30 points and 390 yards per game, and no team does worse stopping the run than the Cowboys. Jaylon Smith leads the team with 144 tackles, and Trevon Diggs has a team-leading three interceptions (all against Philadelphia, though). Which defense will show up on Sunday?
Why the Giants Will Win
Daniel Jones is an interesting quarterback who can cause problems for opponents – and for his own team. He has nine touchdown passes and nine interceptions, but just one touchdown pass in his last four games. He can hurt opponents with his legs, taking off for long scrambles, and that is something that Dallas has not yet figured out how to stop in 2020. Wayne Gallman has emerged as a solid running option with Saquon Barkley out for the season, and he could find room to run against the Cowboys.
The Giants’ defense has stood tall on a number of occasions this season, such as when they held the Seahawks to 12 points thanks to an aggressive pass rush. Leonard Williams leads the team with 8 ½ sacks, and if the Giants can put pressure on Andy Dalton, who is not known for his mobility, the Giants could keep the Dallas offense off the field.
The Final Word
Dallas has played well down the stretch and looks like they have figured things out well enough to get by the Giants. With the game on the road, I’m not putting a huge stack of cash on the Cowboys here. As well as they have played against other struggling teams, though, they should pull away from the Giants and be in position to win the East if Washington falls.
*Odds are subject to change.