NY Giants (0-0) at Dallas (0-0)
When: Sunday, September 11th 2016
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Time: 4:25 ET | TV: FOX
Two NFC East foes that had disappointing 2015 seasons will meet in their Week1 opener when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants on Sunday. The G-Men had trouble closing out games last season en route to a 6-10 record and have replaced long-time coach Tom Coughlin with Ben McAdoo. Veteran quarterback Eli Manning looks to improve upon a 35-touchdown performance in 2015 while trusted wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. reeled in 96 receptions last year – the second-most in a season in franchise history. Victor Cruz and rookie Sterling Shepard should prove to be a lethal trio for Manning this season. Rashad Jennings rode a running-back-by-committee approach to a career-high 1,159 yards from scrimmage last season. He ended up averaging 19.8 carries over the final three weeks and is expected to be the primary rusher at the goal line in 2016. On the defensive side of the ball, safety Landon Collins recorded a team-best 112 tackles during his rookie season in 2015 including 13 in two games versus the Cowboys.
The Cowboys were decimated by injuries in 2015 and have already suffered a big blow this season with QB Tony Romo gone for 6-to-10 weeks with a compression fracture in his back. Rookie Dak Prescott will take over the reigns after a very solid preseason (39-of-50, seven total touchdowns). He will have fellow-rookie Ezekiel Elliott to hand the ball to and veteran Dez Bryant as his top wideout. Bryant was plagued by a foot injury for most of 2015 and finished with a career-low 31 catches and three scores in nine games. His 12.9 yards per catch was also his lowest since his rookie season. The offensive line is one of the leagues best and should give the Dallas offense some confidence. Dallas was an NFL-worst -22 in turnover margin with a league-low 11 takeaways and had zero interceptions from their secondary. Linebacker Sean Lee led the club with 128 tackles last season, but defensive pressure up front could be an issue all season for Dallas.
The regular season is much different than the preseason and I expect Prescott to make some mistakes and for the Giants offense to capitalize on it. Manning is going to have a huge game against this Dallas defense and the Giants will earn a big road win.
Pick: Giants PK