Can the New York Giants end their season with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys? Here is how your Big Blue View contributors feel about that.
Will the New York Giants end their season with a bang or a whimper? They, of course, would like to end the season with a bang and go out with a win over a play-off bound division rival. And the Giants would sure like to get Saquon Barkley in the records books.
On the other hand, the Cowboys SHOULD want to go in to the post-season able to say they won seven of their last eight games — rather than limp in, losing two of their last three and losing to a division rival.
The Dallas offensive line is still banged up and Zack Martin missed one practice and was limited in another. However, the Giants’ defense has struggled to slow down even injured offenses, and the addition of Amari Cooper changes the calculus from the first time these teams met back in week two.
This team is simply better with Odell Beckham than without, but Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Saquon Barkley is still a talent pool which several teams in the NFL would be happy to have.
If the Giants can go back to their game plan from the first half of the Colts game, and expand upon it rather than regress, I think they have a puncher’s chance of making this game interesting. At least, that is, before the defense’s eventual collapse.
Final score: Cowboys 28, Giants 24
Season record: 8-7
If the Cowboys are going to play their starters like they say they will, especially on defense where they’re ninth in DVOA, then Dallas should be able to handle this game easily. But are we talking about Demarcus Lawrence on the edge or a rotation of backups? Is it Dak Prescott throwing the ball or is it Cooper Rush? It sounds like the only way those backups come in is if this game is out of hand early with the starters. And if it’s not and the starters play the whole game, well then Dallas has the advantage there too. The Giants are already involuntarily down starters, most notably Odell Beckham Jr., and that’s going to hurt no matter who Dallas sends out there to defend.
2018 NYG passes to Odell Beckham:— Dan Pizzuta (@DanPizzuta) December 28, 2018
4.9% TD rate
41.5% first down rate
2018 NYG passes to not Odell Beckham:
3.6% TD rate
35.8% first down rate
Final score: Cowboys 24, Giants 17
Season record: 11-4
Something tells me I’m going to finish with the same record as the Giants—I mean I’m so close (not that I’m bragging about it). Anyway...
The Cowboys really don’t have anything to play for in terms of improving their playoff seeding and maybe getting some momentum as they head into the postseason.
The Giants, meanwhile, are once again playing for pride as they look to finish on a strong note. The problem is I’m just not sure they have the personnel to keep up with the Cowboys, who have added receiver Amari Cooper to the mix since the last time these two clubs met.
I expect that the Giants will come out and play hard, but unless the Cowboys commit all kinds of mistakes to help their division foes out, I’m not feeling good about the Giants ending their 2018 campaign on a positive note.
Final score: Cowboys 24, Giants 13
Season record: 5-10
This turbulent 2018 season will finally come to an end. Despite being out of playoff contention, the Giants made it very clear they would be going out with a fight after narrowly losing to the Colts last Sunday. You can expect them to have the same intentions against a Dallas team that has already clinched the NFC East.
The Cowboys have been one of the most wildly inconsistent offensive teams. They have gone from games in which they scored huge point totals to being shut out completely. However, this Sunday will be a productive one for the Cowboys. Behind the legs of Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas will produce huge rushing numbers against an already porous Giants run defense.
Saquon Barkley has struggled tremendously in the last few weeks against two of the stronger run defenses in the NFL. Dallas this season is only allowing 91.3 rush yards per game, making it another tough matchup for Barkley.
This game will be going down to the wire, but will not end in favor of the Giants once again.
Final score: Cowboys 24, Giants 23
Season record: 8-7
If you are a fan of an NFL team playing in the early time slot in Week 17, chances are your team does not have much left to play for. Since the NFL moved towards an emphasis on divisional games in the final week of the season back in 2010, there have been situations, such as the Sunday night game between the Colts and the Titans, when playoff berths are on the line.
That is not the case when the Cowboys and Giants square off Sunday. Dallas is locked into the fourth seed in the NFC and as such, making sure their starters are healthy is their priority come kickoff. The Giants, eliminated from the playoffs, are playing more for pride. Whether it is to finish off what could be an Offensive Rookie of the Year season (in the case of Saquon Barkley) or to hold onto your job for one more season (glances in the direction of Eli Manning).
In this instance, pride might just carry the day.
Final score: Giants 17, Cowboys 7
Season record: 7-7
The Cowboys are the better team, and by making the Giants a healthy favorite oddsmakers have been just begging bettors to put their money on Big Blue. I’m not a bettor, but I am going to drink the Kool-Aid here and pick the Giants to win this one.
I just think the Cowboys’ only interest here will be in staying healthy, while a lot of Giants — including Eli Manning and Saquon Barkley — still have things to play for.
Final score: Giants 24, Cowboys 17
Season record: 7-8