Players to Watch
RB Brandon Jacobs- Things looked rocky for Jacobs and the Giants earlier in the season as he was seeing significantly less carries and pouting about it on the sideline and after games. Recently, however, Jacobs has kept his mouth shut, and has been rewarded with several goal line opportunities which have resulted in 4 touchdowns in his last three games. Look for Jacobs to once again be used in goal line and short yard situations, which is crucial in the usual smash mouth football games against the rival Cowboys.
DE Osi Umenyiora- The British defensive end has been on an absolute tear recently, and is only .5 sacks behind leader Clay Mathews III. The Cowboys have a very suspect offensive line, so look for Osi to exploit the weaknesses and take become the NFL sack leader after this game.
WR Hakeem Nicks- The sophomore out of UNC is listed as questionable for tonight’s game, but Nicks is determined to play, which the Eli Manning needs as Nicks has quickly become his go-to receiver. If Nicks can play at a decent level, look for the Giants offensive to go to the air often.
Key Matchup: Corey Webster vs. Miles Austin
In what was supposed to be a ridiculously high powered offense, Austin has become the only real true threat. Roy Williams isn’t worth a 4th round pick, let alone the 1st rounder the Cowboys gave up to get him back in 2008. Dez Bryant is going to be a great receiver in this league, but rookies hardly have pro-bowl seasons in their rookie year. That leaves the talented Austin, and if the Giants can lock him down, then they have an outstanding chance at stopping the Cowboys. The defensive line won’t give Tony Romo much time back in the pocket, so coverage will be key to force Romo into picks or to allow another big sack night for the Giants.
Why the Giants Will Win: The Giants have a better running game and defense than the Cowboys which is what you look for in these divisional rivalries. This is a must win game for the Cowboys, but frankly if you cannot treat every game in the NFL as if it is a must win then you have no business playing. Tom Coughlin is a lot better coach than Wade Phillips, and will expose the Cowboys weaknesses just enough to win.
Prediction: Giants 20, Cowboys 17