Monday Night Football - Cowboys at Giants

Dallas Cowboys Monday Night Football New York Giants NFL

I’m not sure how good either the Giants, or the Cowboys are, but they make for a very watchable matchup on Monday night. Big D is coming off a bye, after dismantling the Eagles on Sunday night. Meanwhile, Daniel Jones is coming off a nice game against the Lions, albeit in a losing effort that wasn’t as close as the score would suggest. Jones gets to stay home on Monday night while the Cowboys travel to the Meadowlands.

Cowboys Offense vs. Giants Defense

This can either go one of two ways for the Cowboys. Either they blow the doors off this Giants defense as they should and get a small amount of credit for doing what is expected. Or, they fail to take advantage of one of the NFL’s worst defenses and fall short of expectations as we’ve come to assume with the Cowboys. I’m not sure how much it will say about Dallas overall, but I expect them to move the ball at will on Monday night.

While the Giants are surprisingly not too bad on the defensive line, ranking 12th in adjusted line yards allowed to running backs, it’s the second level that is the main issue for NYG. Overall, the Giants allow the 10th most rushing yards per game.

On the other side of the ball is a Dallas offensive line that is 3rd in adjusted line yards, first in not getting stuffed, and third overall in pass protection. And when it comes to the pass game, that’s where New York turns from below average to horrific on defense. Only Miami, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Oakland have worse pass defenses than the Giants in 2019. While Dak Prescott may not ever be an MVP candidate, his QBR of 78.8 is currently #1 in the NFL.

Giants Offense vs. Cowboys Defense

This game could turn into a high scoring affair if the Giants commit to establishing the fact that Saquan Barkley can run all over this Cowboys defense. The Cowboys are 22nd in pass rush on the defensive line, and are firmly in the bottom quarter of the league in every rushing D metric. Dallas also ranks 20th defending the pass, so the Giants should be able to keep up with Dallas, at least for a while.

The problem for the Giants is that Daniel Jones is a rookie QB. The rookie QB’s that can go out and play like veterans may seem to be the norm these days, but it’s just not realistic to expect a rookie quarterback to perform on a weekly basis without making multiple mistakes. To Jones’ credit, his numbers look much better after a strong performance against the Lions last week. Overall, he’s completing 62.5-percent of his passes and has 10 TD to 7 INT.

With the help of a strong running game, Jones, ranked 15th in QBR, may be able to keep the Giants competitive in this one.

The Spread

The look-ahead line on this one was Cowboys -9 and some show that as the officially opening number, while others show -7 as the opener. Currently, the number is split between Cowboys -7 and Cowboys -7.5. Either way, that’s a lot of points to be giving up on the road. Although, it’s also hard to handicap the spread on this one, because Dallas may score on every possession. There’s no reason why Dallas will have trouble scoring points, but the Giants have the ultimate weapon in Saquan Barkely.

At the end of the day, I think the talent gap between the Cowboys and Giants shines through and Dallas covers this number, but I’m not sure how much value there is at 7, and I would not be comfortable at all giving up the hook.

The best way to get after this game may be the total. It opened at 48 points but is down to 47.5 in some places. I’d be very surprised if both teams aren’t scoring somewhere between 20-30 points, if not more, so the over is pretty temping. Getting a 47 would be key though, so holding out for that extra half point may be worth it in the long run, as you can imagine a 24-23 outcome.

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