Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Cowboys' next opponent. This week, that opponent is the New York Giants.
The Opponent: It's our first rematch of the 2012 season as the Cowboys play host to their Week One opponents. There was a lot of talk after that opening Cowboys win that they and the Giants were moving in different directions than in past years. Things look about the same as ever right now, though, as the Giants are the class of the NFC East and the Cowboys are trying to find consistency from week to week.
The Line: Cowboys by 1, which will likely cause Giants coach Tom Coughlin to have one of his periodic fits of moaning about nobody respecting his team while simultaneously claiming that talk is cheap.
Last Game: Another dose of fourth-quarter magic lifted the Giants to a 27-23 win over the Redskins. Victor Cruz took an Eli Manning pass 77 yards for a touchdown and the Giants forced a Santana Moss fumble to seal the victory a couple of minutes later.
The Coach: Coughlin's reliance on outmoded motivational techniques would seem much more ridiculous if they didn't work. Nitpickers are free to point out that it shouldn't be so hard for a coach to convince his team to actually play, but the two Super Bowl rings pretty well drown out such suggestions.
The Offense: When Cruz dropped pass after pass on opening night, it seemed like he might be the latest inclusion on the list of players who let one good year go to their heads. That's proven not to be the case as last year's slot receiver has turned into this year's No. 1 receiver even with Hakeem Nicks back in the lineup. The running game has been erratic, but Manning's presence makes that a lot less of an issue than it might be in other cities.
The Defense: The Giants pass rush has shown some sparks of life in the last two games, but all is not well on that side of the ball in New York. They have consistently yielded big games on the ground to the opposition, which would be a pretty positive sign for the Cowboys if not for their injury issues at the position. It's not the fearsome unit from the end of last season, although, again, it's not like the Giants bother to actually show up and play every week of the season.
Key Matchup: DeMarcus Ware vs. Will Beatty - The Giants line has solidified after some early issues and finally losing David Diehl because of an injury. Manning has been sacked only once in the last three weeks and he's picked apart defenses thanks to the comfort level in the pocket. Ware needs to make things uncomfortable if the Cowboys are going to beat the Giants for the first time ever at JerryWorld.