We need to have a happy Monday around here if our New York Giants are going to play any more meaningful football games this season. So, to make that a reality here is what I think needs to happen today against the Dallas Cowboys.
There will be lots of 'Kudos' Monday if ...
- The Giants find a way to stop the run. This, of course, has been the reason for many of the lineup changes the Giants appear to be making defensively. The Cowboys ran all over the Giants for 251 yards in Week 2, and the run defense really hasn't gotten better since then. The Giants have given up too many big plays in the run game, and never seem to get a big stop when they need it. That has to change.
- Jonathan Goff is not overmatched. Goff will not only be making his first start, he will be playing the first meaningful downs of his NFL career. Giants' brass and Giants' fans all want to know if he can do the job, which is why he is getting to play. If he can, the run defense should get better.
- The Giants can contain Jason Witten. They usually can't. In fact, they usually can't contain most quality tight ends. But, if Michael Boley can slow him down that will help neutralize Tony Romo's favorite target.
- David Diehl can slow DeMarcus Ware. Again, he usually can't. Ware has speed that usually is a problem for Diehl. The Giants need to help Diehl so that Eli Manning isn't running for his life.
- The Giants re-discover the running game. We have debated the reasons for the struggles in the run game all week. All I am asking for this week is one or two big plays out of the running game. Maybe the fact that Brandon Jacobs is likely to play a lot more snaps with the depleted running back situation will get him into a rhythm.
There will be lots of 'Wet Willies' Monday if ...
- The Giants don't play with passion. The most disappointing thing about the turkey of a game they played Thanksgiving Day in Denver was that a team that has played with tremendous passion and resolve for the past few seasons looked like it was mailing it in. Let's see what they bring to the table today.
Tony Romo has a big day. The last time the teams played Romo gift-wrapped the game for the Giants with three picks. If he slices up the beleaguered Giants secondary that's a big problem. Maybe the revamped front seven can generate some pressure.
- The Giants offense is one-dimensional. If Manning is forced to try and throw 40 or more times, we could be looking at one of those games like the one last year when the Cowboys sacked him eight times. I don't care how they do it, but the Giants need to have enough success running the ball so that Dallas doesn't just go full-force after Eli on every play.