Can the New York Giants get their chins off the floor, to use Tom Coughlin's expression, and keep their season pointed in the right direction with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium? Here is what your Big Blue View staff members think.
Alex Sinclair (6-0)
I'm going to pick the Giants to rebound from a nasty game in Philadelphia and take back their pride with a strong showing against a Cowboys team that will be starting its third quarterback this year, Matt Cassel, and will likely be without their top receiver, Dez Bryant.
The defense held up their end last week, but the Giants offense contributed as much to the other teams' points total as they did their own. That can't happen, and Eli Manning knows it. I think this will be a statement game where the gameplan will be to let Manning and this offense play within its limits. With Odell Beckham Jr., Rueben Randle, and Shane Vereen, the Giants have plenty of options to pick apart a Dallas offense that will admittedly be improved since their last meeting.
I'm taking the Giants at home against a slumping team making desperate moves at quarterback.
Final score: Giants 34, Cowboys 13
Chris Pflum (1-5)
This game is shaping up to be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside of an enigma. It's a turducken of questions for both teams.
Will Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle be healthy enough to separate so the Giants can run their offense? Can the offensive line hold up? Who will be healthy enough to suit up on the defense? And the ultimate question: Will the New York Giants show the grit and relentless perseverance they claim to have and keep the mistakes from week 6 from snowballing into a lost season?
Will Dez Bryant play? If so, how much and how well? Will Dallas hold him back for fear of their investment self-destructing, or will they let him play all-out to beat the Giants, then risk a "Hakeem Nicks" downward spiral? Will Matt Cassel play like the career backup he has been, or will he step up? Will Christine Michael do in Dallas what he couldn't do in Seattle?
But ultimately, the Giants have one less question mark on their team, and it happens to be at the most important position. I believe in Eli, and I believe that the Giants can, and will, rebound from Monday night.
Final score: Giants 28, Cowboys 20
Stephen Milewski (4-2)
It's a big question mark if the Giants are healthy this Sunday, especially key players such as Odell Beckham Jr., Devon Kennard and Robert Ayers, among others. The Giants offense sputtered in Monday night's contest against the Philadelphia Eagles, turning the ball over and struggling to move the chains in the second half. The Giants seem to have a sour taste in their mouths after their heartbreaking Week 1 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, so I expect them to come out, as Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy would say, "guns blazing."
My X-Factor, if he is able to suit up in this game, is Robert Ayers. The defensive end is arguably one of the best pass rushers on the Giants roster and would become a huge bonus in pressuring quarterback Matt Cassel, who will make his first start for the Cowboys this week. While the Giants' offense has not looked spectacular during the last few weeks, the Cowboys seem to be having more struggles, particularly with stars Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out for a few more weeks and an overall lackluster rushing attack. I think the Giants will move back to one game over .500 when this one is all said and done, but the Cowboys will give them a good contest, because they're the Cowboys and it's never easy against them.
Final score: Giants 24, Cowboys 20
Keane Macadaeg (3-3)
The Cowboys are "revamping" their offense by starting Matt Cassel and Cristine Michael. These changes might end up being for the better, but these still aren't names to be afraid of. The Cowboys still don't have anything resembling a Dez Bryant replacement so there's really no excuse for the Cowboys to put up points.
The Cowboys defensive front is something to be scared of though. Say what you want about Greg Hardy, but he probably accumulated more pressures against atom Brady than the entire Giants defensive line in every game this season. Randy Gregory will also make an appearance so Ereck Flowers and especially Marshall Newhouse will have their hands full - putting it mildly. The Cowboys will also get to field Sean Lee and Rolando McClain together which is a rarity. While their secondary isn't good, neither was the Eagles but their front was able to shut the Giants out for 90 percent of the game.
The Giants offense is slacking a bit as they've struggled scoring points. They need to regroup and rethink their strategies (giving Andre Williams carries, leaving Newhouse out on an island, not throwing to Odell Beckham) if they want to make a run for the division title.
Final Score: Giants 20, Cowboys 13
Mike Gallop (4-2)
It's a simple formula really. Matt Cassel = bounce back week. The Giants defense will be playing angry after the offense gave them no shot last week. The Patriots Cassel of 2008 ain't walking through that tunnel. We should be able to create turnovers and mayhem, and give the offense enough opportunities to score TDs.
Final score: Giants 24, Cowboys 14
Jesse Bartolis (3-3)
(From Jesse's weekly picks against the point spread)
Time for depressing stat of the day! The New York Giants currently hold a 1-9 record against Philadelphia and Dallas since 2013 with their win coming against Matt Barkley-led Eagles. Yikes! Last week the Giants got beat up front and couldn't generate any sort of offense this week could lead to similar problems as the return of Greg Hardy and possibly Randy Gregory add a dynamic that could be difficult for the Giants to handle. Despite all that being said, the Giants are at home and have Eli Manning and the Cowboys are trotting out Matt Cassel. Plus, I'll be in attendance this week as I make the trek from Rochester to East Rutherford to watch my beloved G-men.
Pick: This team seems like a resilient bunch, more so then teams in the past and that's what I'm banking on. With trepidation, and because I'm a homer, I'll take the Giants to win by more than 3.5
Valentine's View (3-3)
Over at Blogging The Boys, I told the Cowboys fans that I really have no idea what to expect from this game -- from either team. That's the honest truth. No clue which Giants team shows up at MetLife Stadium. Will it be the gritty one that plays its way through mistakes? Will it be the defeated one that folds its tent and goes home at the first sign of stormy weather? No idea. What will the impact of Matt Cassel, Christine Michael and Greg Hardy be for Dallas? Again, no idea.
I have to pick someone, though. Because I want to be an optimist, because I want to believe that there is a stronger personality to this team, because I really don't want to end up feeling like I wasted the 2½-hour trip to the Meadowlands and back I'm going to pick the Giants. I'm going to do that with trepidation rather than conviction because we've seen this situation too many times from the Giants in recent years, and we've seen it end badly again and again. So, I will pick the Giants. But, don't go and bet your hard-earned cash on my say-so.
Final score: Giants 30, Cowboys 24
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