The New York Giants come in to this season hoping to find and somehow recapture the magic they had when they won recent Super Bowls in both 2008 and 2012. They are now coming off back to back losing seasons. The Giants are also looking to break a losing streak, having dropped four straight to the Dallas Cowboys. On the other side of the ball the Dallas Cowboys are hoping to duplicate their success of 2014 after breaking their own streak. The Cowboys went 12 and 4 last season after 3 consecutive years at 8 and 8. The Cowboys would also like again capture the NFC East title, being the first team to win back to back NFC East titles in 11 seasons.
Making a difficult task for the Giants even harder to start the season is the fact that their star and pro bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul blew up his hand in a fireworks accident this past 4th of July. The Giants still have no idea when Pierre-Paul can return to the field. Also missing the start of the season is star wide-out Victor Cruz who is still recovering from surgery following a torn patellar tendon from last season. Missing at least the first contest of the season will be starting middle linebacker Jon Beason who is still nursing a knee injury.
Returning for his 12th season with the Giants is quarterback Eli Manning. Manning rebounded from a horrible 2013 season in 2014 under the direction of a new offensive coordinator in Ben McAdoo. 2014 saw Manning post his third highest passer rating of his career at 92.1 as well as the second highest yardage mark, throwing for 4,410 yards. It was likewise his second highest career total in touchdown passes with 30 to go along with only 14 interceptions. Manning will also once again be throwing to 2014 break out rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr who is now enters his second season as a well known commodity.
Beckham, in only 12 games last season, recorded 1,305 yards reviving and 12 touchdowns. The last time the Giants faced the Cowboys Odell went off with 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including the one handed catch that helped make him a household name. While the Giants passing attack seemed fine in 2014 the rushing game was questionable, ranking 23rd in 2014 behind a shaky offensive line but what really seemed to hold the Giant back last season was the defense.
The Giants defense was downright dismal last season ranking 29th and giving up 395.3 yards per game. The horrible season defensively resulted in the firing of defensive coordinator Perry Fewell who was then replaced by former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo who has previously been with the Giants for two seasons, from 2007 through 2008.
The 2014 version of the Dallas Cowboys featured a very stout offense with quarterback Tony Romo leading the NFL with the top passer rating, 113.2. Their offense also featured the NFL's leading rusher, DeMarco Murray, who has since left via free agency to play for the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. This years rushing attack for the Cowboys will feature what they are calling running back by committee. Returning to the team are backs Lance Dunbar and Joseph Randle. Dallas also added Darren McFadden via free agency and Christine Michael via a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
The Cowboys expect to pick up right where they left off running the ball, despite the loss of Murray, with their foursome of backs running behind what most consider the most stout offensive line in the NFL. The Cowboys were second in the NFL in 2014 with 147.1 yards per game on the ground. Another NFL leader for the Cowboys in 2014 was Dez Bryant who led all pass catchers with 16 touchdown receptions. Bryant also signed an extension in the off-season that will pay him 70 million dollars over the next 5 seasons.
If the Cowboys have a weakness it's on the defensive side of the ball. The Cowboys lacked talent on the defensive side of the ball with most crediting defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli with putting together a scheme that allowed the Cowboys to still hold their own against most offenses. Dallas will start the 2015 season missing a couple of key players defensively with linebacker Rolando McClain missing four games while he serves a substance abuse violation suspension and defensive end Greg Hardy missing four games as well but for a suspension resulting from his domestic violence case.
- Date: Sunday, September 13th, 2015
- Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
- Channel: NBC
- Location: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Please use this thread to discuss this game or the Miami Dolphins @ Washington Redskins game from earlier in the day. As always providing or requesting of links to illegal game streams is strictly prohibited on the Phinsider and any other SBNation site.