EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 29: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks to throw a pass against the New York Jets on August 29, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Opponent: The New York Giants, aka the New York Football Giants (if you’re an annoying person), the Jints, aka the Elis, aka the Pant Shooters.
The Line: Cowboys by 3
Last Game: An impressive 23-17 curb stomping of the Redskins that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. I know this, because I was forced to sit through it at a neighborhood barbecue. There’s nothing more fun than watching Jason Campbell wait to be sacked.
The Coach: Tom Coughlin. Coach Coughlin saw you make your bed this morning and isn’t happy one bit with that slight crease in the bedspread. Now drop and give him 75 pushups. And do it five minutes ago.
The Offense: The Giants’ offensive line was brilliant as usual on Sunday, picking right up from where they left off a season ago. They pushed the retooled Skins defensive line all over field. Rookie Brian Orakpo barely saw the light of day, and Albert Haynesworth spent more time gasping for oxygen than doing actual, productive stuff. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw stepped seamlessly into Derrick Ward’s shoes, once again giving New York a formidable two-back attack. In Mario Manningham, the Giants may have found a deep threat who can at least recoup a small percentage of what the team lost when Plaxico Burress went to the pokey. It’s something the Cowboys need to take into account, given that they let Byron Leftwich get off two deep passes to Michael Clayton and nearly gave up a huge pass to Antonio Bryant before the half on Sunday.
The Defense: Osi Manyvowels has returned, and combined with Justin Tuck the Giants again have one of the league’s finer outside pass rushes. But it’s tough to gauge how good this defense really is, given that they spent last week going against one of the league’s most passive offenses.
Key Matchup: Flozell vs. Osi. Two days ago, the Cowboys proved they have more than enough weaponry to bust a game wide open. Martellus Bennett caused the Bucs’ all kinds of matchup headaches, and Roy Williams proved he can make the gamebreaker. And we haven’t even seen Felix Jones get all Felix Jonesy yet. If the Cowboys can keep the Giants rush ends at bay, this offense can be productive against any team on any field. But it all rests on Flozell and co.’s considerably massive shoulders, especially since Tony’s got himself a tender ankle.
The Stadium: It’s the opening of the new Cowboys Stadium Sunday night. Perhaps you’ve heard stuff about it. This thing is more ubiquitous than a Leno promo.