The New York Giants laid an egg in their season-opening 24-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys back in September. What could make this Sunday's game at Cowboys Stadium different? Let's look at some of the things to watch on Sunday.
Will the Giants play better defensively?
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell spoke this week about the Giants' defense not really being whole for the season opener, especially in the secondary. Prince Amukamara did not play. Michael Coe got hurt. Michael Boley and Jacquian Williams missed significant preseason time with injuries. Chris Canty was on PUP.
Now, the Giants seem to be in a much better place defensively. Williams and safety Kenny Phillips are out, but Keith Rivers can replace Williams and Stevie Brown has done an excellent job filling in for Phillips.
Hakeem Nicks' impact
We have been hearing about how Nicks is feeling better than he has all season, and how he believes he has some burst back after working through foot and knee issues. Can he be a difference-maker for the Giants on Sunday?
How much will Dallas miss Sean Lee?
The Cowboys' star linebacker is done for the season with a toe injury, and this will be their first week without him. How much of an impact will that have on Sunday's game? Blogging The Boys recently looked at the potential impact of the various injuries the Cowboys are dealing with.
DeMarcus Ware vs. Will Beatty and Sean Locklear
Ware is the Dallas defender the Giants have to control, and Dallas will move him from side to side, challenging both Beatty and Locklear. The Giants have surrendered just one sack in four games, and keeping Ware out of Eli Manning's face will be critical on Sunday.
Can the Giants run?
They didn't in the first game, netting only 82 yards. They really didn't last week against the Washington Redskins -- which Ahmad Bradshaw will be happy to tell you. But they have run very well at times this season, averaging 116.3 yards per game, 12th in the league, after placing last in that category a season ago. Running the ball certainly would help take the Dallas crowd out of the game, and keep Tony Romo off the field.