The Giants will get a go at the rival Dallas Cowboys on Monday night in the national spotlight a MetLife Stadium. New York’s NFC team has shocked plenty with a pair of wins over the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers through the first two weeks and could go 3-0 for the first time since 2009 with a win over Dallas.
New York could get a pair of edge rushers back this week and the Giants won’t have to go up against Dak Prescott, who is injured for Dallas. The Giants will also induct their 2022 Ring of Honor class on Monday night during halftime.
There is plenty of intrigue with this one and here is a look at three keys to the game for the Giants.
Continue to be aggressive on defense
Head coach Brian Daboll has continued to preach an aggressive style on both offense and defense, and against the Cowboys, they’ll want to keep true to that mantra on the defensive side of things especially. New York’s heavy blitz caused Baker Mayfield some issues during Week 2 and they’ll want to put the screws to Cooper Rush and contain Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.
Dallas also has a relatively new-look offensive line, especially with several young players on the left side, that could be exploited by Wink Martindale’s defensive scheme. The Cowboys also have the fifth highest run rate at 47% in the NFL, which the Giants will need to be prepared for.
One boost for the Giants could be Azeez Ojulari and Kayvon Thibodeaux returning this week. Both have been practicing and are expected to make an impact for Big Blue this season.
Withstanding Dallas’ attack
New York’s defense may be aggressive, but Dallas has shown how they can get to a quarterback. The Cowboys enter Monday’s game with a league-leading eight sacks this season and second-year linebacker Micah Parsons has four of them entering Week 3, which also leads the NFL. That will prove to be a hefty challenge for an offensive line that has made strides, but has still shown that it can improve its protection of Daniel Jones.
As a unit, Dallas has faced two of the best quarterbacks and offenses through the first two games of the year in Tampa Bay and Cincinnati. The Cowboys are sixth in the NFL in yards and passing yards allowed and they’ve averaged 18 points against per game, which puts them ninth among the 30 clubs in the NFL.
Daniel Jones continues to trend in right direction
Things haven’t been perfect for Jones through the early part of the season, but in a year that the fourth-year QB needed to show improvement, he has done that. New York wouldn’t be 2-0 without the play of Jones in the early go, and in Week 2, he showed that he can make the decisive plays when called upon.
Jones has hit nearly 71% of his passes for three touchdowns so far this season, but that hasn’t stopped Daboll from chewing into his QB when he has needed to. And credit to Jones, he has responded to it well and seemed to learn from it. Jones did not throw a single interception in Week 2 and Daboll told reporters on Wednesday that Jones had been making the right decisions a lot of the time.
Doing that against Dallas will be key with such a potent defense on the other side of him that could make him pay if things go haywire.