One of the great rivalries in the NFL gets renewed this weekend when the New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys. The two teams have started the season in different ways, although you can usually throw away the records when the Cowboys and Giants get together. The current betting odds list the Cowboys as seven-point home favorites with an over/under of 52 points.
While there were plenty of questions about the Cowboys coming into the season, they have answered many of those questions on their way to 3-1. Dallas nearly knocked off Tampa Bay in Week 1 and is one late field goal away from being 4-0. Nevertheless, the Cowboys have rattled off wins over the Chargers, Eagles, and Panthers on their way to the top of the NFC East.
Meanwhile, the Giants are at the bottom of the NFC East standings at 1-3. For what it’s worth, two of those three losses have come by a combined four points, so the G-Men aren’t far from also being 3-1. They also scored an impressive road win in New Orleans last week, perhaps turning things around for Joe Judge’s team.
The Daniel Jones Experience
One of the biggest surprises early in the season is that Daniel Jones is one of the leading passers in the NFL. He’s fresh off a 400-yard performance against the same New Orleans defense that dominated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in Week 1. On the other hand, Jones has only thrown four touchdown passes and is also the team’s leading rusher, which speaks to the struggles the Giants have had getting Saquon Barkley going.
Meanwhile, the New York defense hasn’t been good enough to win low-scoring games. The Giants have been good against the run but allowed mediocre or aging quarterbacks to have a lot of success against them. Plus, the six sacks and four takeaways they’ve forced over the first four games of the season just aren’t enough.
There were countless questions about Dak Prescott’s health heading into the season, but with the Cowboys scoring the fourth-most points in the league, it’s safe to say those questions have been answered. In fairness, the Dallas rushing attack has been leading the way, with both Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard contributing. But Prescott has also been efficient, completing 75% of his passes while finding both Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb for big plays.
With the Dallas offense rolling the way the Cowboys were before Prescott’s injury last year, the Dallas defense can get by being solid but unspectacular. The Cowboys have allowed at least 21 points in three of their four games, so teams can score against Dallas. But with nine sacks and ten takeaways on the season, the Cowboys can be effective defensively when playing with a lead.
Too Close for Comfort
The Cowboys may look like the real deal so far, but a seven-point spread is a lot to cover against a division rival. With Jones looking much better throwing the ball, it’ll be hard to put the Giants away and win by more than a touchdown. Bet on New York to beat the seven-point spread against the Cowboys.