Two NFC East teams collide on Monday Night Football this week as the New York Giants are set to host the Dallas Cowboys. The 2-6 Giants are coming off of four straight losses, while the 4-3 Cowboys are coming into the contest confident after beating the Eagles, 37-10 two weeks ago. The Cowboys lead the NFC East but need the win to keep ahead of Philly, as the Eagles beat the Bears on Sunday to improve to 5-4.
Since 2010, the Cowboys are 4-5 on MNF, while the Giants are 6-8. Both teams’ previous appearances on Monday night resulted in losses. Still, with bitter division rivals like these two, you may see some fireworks. Currently, the Cowboys are favored by six in the contest, while the over/under is 48.5.
Riding the Rookie
Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones’ play hasn’t exactly knocked anyone’s socks off; however, since taking over for Eli Manning, Jones has racked up nearly 1,500 yards and thrown 10 touchdowns. He also has thrown seven picks, and his passer rating is a meek 84.4. Although, if you take the ugly three-interception start against the Patriots away, his numbers look exponentially better.
Second-year running back Saquon Barkley is off to a bit of a slow start in 2019, mostly due to an ankle injury that kept him out for a month. Barkley is still averaging five yards per attempt this season, good for 10th in the NFL, eighth amongst running backs. His opposing running back in this game, Ezekiel Elliott, is only averaging 4.5, 20th in the league.
The Giants defense is giving up 386 yards per game this season, 28th in the NFL. The defense is much better at home, though, only giving up 324 yards per game, good for 11th in the league. They’re certainly going to need that D to show up Monday night.
Restarting the Fire
The Cowboys’ hot start turned very cold, very quickly earlier this year, given that their hot start was against the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins, teams who have a combined four wins right now. Regardless, Dak Prescott looked fantastic, spreading the ball around to the likes of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb.
Dallas then lost to the Saints, Packers, and the hapless New York Jets. Sam Darnold threw for 338 yards on the Cowboys defense, which had been pretty good all season. The Cowboys rank eighth in the NFL in yards per game this season, allowing 324. They rank eighth in passing yards per game and 12th in rushing yards allowed per game as well.
Cooper has averaged over 16 yards per catch this season, already racking up 621 yards and five touchdowns. Cooper has maintained his value even through some tough losses this season and looks to help the Cowboys get back on track against a passing defense that allows 264 yards per game.
History Repeats Itself?
History tells us to take the Cowboys here. These two teams have been rivals for a long time and have met 115 times. Dallas has dominated the all-time series with 67 wins. Since 2010, they are 12-7 against the Giants. However, New York is playing at home, with a semi-lenient spread. This game may not go the way you’d think. My pick is the underdog. Take the six points and the Giants.