The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants clash on Monday Night Football in a pivotal game for both teams.
Cowboys Giants – MNF upset?
Although the Giants are riding a four-game losing streak into Week 9, a win over the NFC East Division-leading Cowboys would actually pull them within one win of first place.
On the other hand, the Cowboys are a seven-point favorite at most NJ online sportsbooks in this spot and fresh after a week off. They’ve had an up-and-down season, winning three in a row, losing three in a row, and then beating the Philadelphia Eagles before their bye.
Win on Monday and the Cowboys can start to build momentum for the second half of the season. Lose on Monday, though, and the Cowboys are going to face a media firestorm with all sorts of questions about Jason Garrett, Dak Prescott and more.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
Monday, November 4th – 8:15 PM ET
When The Cowboys Have The Ball
Although this is a must-win situation for the Cowboys, this should be a fairly straightforward game for the Cowboys. The Giants have lost four in a row and have given up 135 rushing yards per game in that span.
Typically, if Ezekiel Elliott is running well, the Cowboys are winning. Elliott has surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark four times this season and the Cowboys are 3-1 in those games.
For the Giants, the issue isn’t just that they’re bad at stopping the run; they’re also bad at stopping the pass. The Giants allow the eighth-most passing yards per game at 264.4. Opposing quarterbacks are compiling a passer rating of 104.4 against New York, which is the fifth-highest rating.
It gets worse as the 9.1 yards-per-attempt that this defense is allowing is the worst in the NFL, which means not only are they giving up a lot of yards, they’re giving up a lot of big plays.
The Cowboys have had their fair share of struggles this season but a lot of that had to do with injuries.
- Offensive linemen Tyron Smith and La’El Collins have been banged up as well as star wideout Amari Cooper.
- Everyone has had a week off to rest and recuperate, and they should be fresh for this game.
When The Giants Have The Ball
The Giants have lost four in a row and the games haven’t been close. The last two ended up as one-score defeats but the Giants weren’t in those games. And the two losses before that were by at least three touchdowns.
The issue has been turnovers as they lead the NFL in giveaways with 19. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has looked really good at times but the turnovers are a major concern. He has 12 turnovers in six starts and no team can win consistently if the quarterback is averaging 2.0 turnovers per game.
One of the ways the Giants can minimize the giveaways is by helping Jones a little bit with the ground game.
- Saquon Barkley has just 136 total rushing yards over the last two weeks and that’s putting more of a burden on Jones and the passing game.
The good news is the Cowboys have been a bit soft in terms of their run defense.
Opponents are averaging 4.2 yards-per-carry against them, so if Barkley can have a big game, the Giants should be able to compete here.
Could the NY Giants really upset the Cowboys?
The Giants are at home here but the oddsmakers are making it quite clear that there is a wide gap between these teams. Home-field advantage has been much of one for the Giants this season as they’re just 1-3 in front of their own audience. They are just 5-14 against the spread in their last 19 at home.
As for the Cowboys, they are actually 4-1 against the spread in their last five as a road favorite of 3.5 to 7 points. They’ve feasted on their division, winning and covering all three of their NFC East games this season as well as 13 of their last 15 (both straight up and against the spread). That includes five straight wins in this series.
For the Giants, it really feels like they don’t have much of a shot in this game. The question for bettors is can they cover?
If Barkley goes bananas or if Jones has a stellar, turnover-free game – which is possible – then the Giants can pull this off.
The pressure is squarely on Dallas, so the longer the Giants hang around, the better. At the same time, the Giants haven’t allowed less than 27 points in a game in four straight. Consider it a mild miracle if the Cowboys don’t score 30 in this one.
The Giants have basically been blown out in four straight weeks. As long as the Cowboys aren’t sloppy with penalties, sacks or turnovers, this should be an easy win and cover.
My gut is saying Giants, but my head is saying Cowboys…
Our Pick: Cowboys -7