Giants Coach Brian Daboll Needs to Avoid Sophomore Slump

The New York Giants responded well to first-year coach Brian Daboll last season. The Giants opened the season with a 7-2 stretch and, despite struggling to a 9-7-1 record, were able to earn a Wild Card berth. New York upset the Minnesota Vikings in the first round before bowing to Philadelphia in the second round.

The Giants hit a few bumps in the road in the offseason but are still hoping to compete for an NFC East title this season. The Dallas Cowboys came close to doing so last season. The Cowboys, despite finishing with more regular-season wins than New York, ended up in nearly the same spot. Dallas scored a big first-round playoff win, then was eliminated by San Francisco in the next round.

Despite there being optimism on both sides, the Giants and Cowboys will need to prove they can do it on the field.

Dallas Cowboys Have Run Over the Giants

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Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t had many issues with the New York Giants, either historically or recently. The Cowboys lead the series 73-47-2 in a rivalry that dates back to 1960. Dallas will be favored to win this year’s season opener, as the Cowboys are 3.5-point favorites for the game that will be played at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Dallas has won 11 of 12 games in the series. The Cowboys swept the two meetings last season, winning 28-20 at home and 26-23 on the road.

New York Battled With Star Running Back

 

The Giants had to tag running back Saquon Barkley with the franchise tag after negotiations broke down in the offseason. After two injury-plagued seasons limited his production, Barkley returned with a bang last season. Barkley racked up his third career 1,000-yard rushing season by carrying the ball 295 times for 1,312 yards and scored 10 touchdowns.

Barkley was hoping that after New York gave quarterback Daniel Jones a big extension in the offseason, he would be paid next. Unfortunately for Barkley, that check never came. New York decided to use the franchise tag instead, and Barkley is playing this season. With his contract up after the season, Barkley may be inclined to take things easy.

Dallas Cowboys Hope for Good Injury News

 

The Dallas Cowboys had an important player pulled out of practice on Monday. Left guard Tyler Smith missed practice with hamstring tightness on Monday. The 2022-first-round pick became a key piece of Dallas’ offensive line last season.

If Smith can’t play, the Cowboys may play fifth-round pick Asim Richards in his place. Richards was a third-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection last season at North Carolina. Owner Jerry Jones said that they will keep people posted on Smith’s condition. Jones also said he wished they had more depth at the position, but it was a feeling he felt many other owners around the league would share.

Waller Ready to Make Impact at Tight End

 

Sometimes, a change of scenery can lead to good things. While New York Giants tight end Darren Waller was unhappy his trade from Las Vegas put him further away from his wife, Las Vegas Aces’ star guard Kelsey Plum, there will be more opportunities for him in New York. Last season, Waller had to compete with Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams for targets.

Waller only appeared in nine games last season, catching 28 passes for 388 yards. Injuries have plagued Waller over the past two seasons. He last had back-to-back 1,100-yard receiving seasons in 2019 and 2020. If New York can figure out a way to utilize him well, Waller could have great success.

Dak Prescott Looks to Cement Legacy for Dallas Cowboys

 

Prescott missed five games for the Dallas Cowboys last season. When Prescott returned from injury, Dallas’ quarterback was one of the best in the league. The Cowboys put up 32.5 points per game in the 11 games down the stretch after he returned.

Prescott has always piled up passing yards but still struggles with decision-making at times. The Dallas quarterback was 8-4 as a starter last season and threw for 23 touchdowns. Unfortunately, Prescott also tossed 15 interceptions. Prescott has thrown double-digit interceptions in four of his seven seasons in the league.

The Cowboys have added some depth at the quarterback position as well. Dallas added former San Francisco first-round pick Trey Lance in a trade. Lance was dealt out of the Bay Area after Brock Purdy emerged as the 49ers’ starting quarterback.

Jackson Ready for New Role

 

New York Giants cornerback Adoree Jackson will be playing a bigger role in the Giants’ secondary this season. Jackson may see a lot of time in trying to slow down Dallas’ top receiver, CeeDee Lamb. Few defensive backs found much success with that last season.

Lamb was selected to the All-Pro team after catching 107 passes. Lamb has put together two consecutive 1,000-yard seasons with receivers. In the past three seasons, Lamb has caught 74 or more passes.

Giants’ Offense Needs to Find Spark

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New York Giants

Last season, New York’s offense ranked last in explosive plays, which are plays that go 20 yards or more. The Giants obviously brought Waller in to help open up the field with that. If Waller can draw attention to the center of the field, New York’s third-round draft pick, wide receiver Jalin Hyatt, may be able to utilize his speed on the outside.

The Giants also have Parris Campbell, Wan’Dale Robinson, Sterling Shepard, Isaiah Hodgins, and Darius Slayton. For New York, the question may be if Daniel Jones can take another step forward at quarterback. He hasn’t passed for more than 20 touchdowns in a season since 2019. Jones did pass for a career-high 3,205 yards last season. 

New York had a much more grind-it-out style of offense last season. The Giants are hoping to catch teams napping this season. Will they catch the Dallas Cowboys snoozing?