Dallas Cowboys' coach Jason Garrett. - Streeter Lecka
Taking out the defending Super Bowl champions in the season opener at MetLife Stadium made many believe the Dallas Cowboys were destined for a big year. If one were to just look at the Cowboys stats this year -- 10th in offense, seventh in passing and fifth in total defense, they would think the Cowboys are having a successful season. And yet they sit in the NFC East with only a 3-3 record on the year.
Head coach Jason Garrett believes a big reason for this is due to turnovers and the team's red zone play.
"We haven't gotten a lot of takeaways on defense, which always contributes to scoring points," Garrett said. "We have turned the ball over too much. We haven't been as consistent as we'd like to be in the red zone. We have to be able to be more efficient there, but also make some more plays once we get down there."
Hurting the team even more going into the game is the loss of starting linebacker Sean Lee, one of the leaders on defense and a key for the team in stopping both the run and the pass. Lee is lost for the season with a toe injury.
"Sean Lee is a great football player," Garrett said. "He's very good against the run, he's really good against the pass; leader of our defense, makes the calls. Guys gravitate towards him. They gravitate towards him on defense and really throughout our whole football team."
During the first game in which the Cowboys won, Manning and the Giants offense struggled a bit more than most expected. Since that game though, the team has been on fire on offense, beating teams with the run and the pass.
"They can throw the ball with anybody in this league," Garrett said. "It seems like they're running the ball well, so when they have that balance they can be pretty dangerous. We will have our hands full. We did a lot of good things in that first game, but trust me, they're an outstanding offense."
As the Cowboys have struggled for consistency and the Giants start to pull ahead in the division, Garrett knows this game has huge importance for his team.
"They're a division opponent, so there are implications whenever you play within your division," Garrett said. "They certainly know us, we feel like we know them, like most division rivals do. It will be a great challenge for us at our place on Sunday against this football team."