Every Friday, we’ll tackle five big questions for the Cowboys going into the weekend’s game.
1. Can the Cowboys stop the Giants running attack? That’s the big question, especially after the Cowboys allowed Cadillac Williams to rush for 7.5 yards a carry last week. Despite the blowout, the Bucs still piled up a good amount of yardage on this defense, and now in come the Giants with their road-grading o-line. Also, the cozy new confines of Cowboys Stadium will shield Eli Manning from the elements that so cruelly toyed with his passes last January. Stop Jacobs and Bradshaw, and Manning is still more than capable of beating you in this kind of environment. The Cowboys won’t stymie the Giants at every turn. What they’ll need instead are the moneymaker plays: the sacks, the picks, the intentional Manning femur shatterings. That kind of stuff. Without that, the Cowboys offense better score a whole lotta points.
2. Okay, will a punt hit that stupid video board or not? I WANT THOSE FRIED GREEN BEANS. It’s the question on everyone’s mind. I have no corroboration on this, but I’m virtually certain that the Double J has already told Mat McBriar privately that, if he dares hit the video board with a punt, he will be fed to the pen of lions located in the new stadium’s catacombs. So I think McBriar will do everything in his power to avoid that giant black elephant hanging from above.
Giants punter Jeff Feagles presents a more intriguing case. Feagles is considered one of the best hang time specialists in the game. The more hang time you get, obviously, the higher the punt. Feagles averaged 44.0 yards per punt last year, good for 17th overall among all punters. He had just one punt against the Skins last week. It traveled 48 yards. The old man can hit that board, if he eats his fiber that morning. And, if I were the Giants, I’d want Feagles to try and hit it anyway. Just to piss Jerry Jones off. After all, it’s a do-over, so why NOT hit it just out of spite?
I hope it happens. I really do. I asked kicking expert Stefan Fatsis if Feagles will pull it off Sunday Night. His answer?
“He’s too mature to try to hit the JerryTron just because it's there, like the 9-year-old rookie from Tennessee probably was doing, possibly subconsciously, in that preseason game. Plus, Feagles is 151 years old. So he may not have the leg strength to hit it on a consistent basis anyway. The main reason he likely won't do it is that he's a directional punter, and one of the best. Feagles doesn't do the booming hang-time punt down the center of the field. He's always angling one way or another. So mark me down as NO.”
3. Will Felix Jones do something awesome this game? With a deep thigh bruise? And a spot on two of my fantasy rosters? No. No, Felix Jones is a colossal tease. He’s Megan Fox with a star on the side of his head.
4. Omigod, the new stadium’s finally opening! I can’t wait! I can’t wait! Can you? Well, I won’t be attending the game, so yes, I can wait. One of the annoying things about a new stadium opening up is when the TV announcers talk to you about how awesome it is to be there. Dude, I’m not there. I don’t care. I’m watching it on TV. The game may as well be held in an Armenian mountain pass. A shot of the fancy new concession stands means nothing to me. If you aren’t showing the field, the players, an angry coach, or a cheerleader on camera, I’m not paying attention.
I’m happy for Jerry Jones that he’s rich enough to build a giant luxury stadium. But do I really care, as a TV viewer? Nope. Hope you Party Passers find a good place on the concourse to put down your picnic blanket, though.
5. What sort of drinking game can I play for this matchup? Drink a shot out of a boot-shaped shotglass any time they mention how nice the stadium is. Time of death: 9:56PM.