The Giants’ bid for NFC East control took a hit last Monday in the form of a 27-7 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia.
Now 1-2 in division play with one meeting remaining against each NFC East foe, the Giants host the rival Cowboys on Sunday afternoon at MetLife Stadium.
Like every team in the division, the Cowboys are vulnerable right now thanks to injuries to key contributors and some shifts in starting personnel. Dallas enters the matchup coming off its bye, so they’ve had two weeks to prepare for Big Blue, who suffered a heart-wrenching one-point loss in Week 1 to the Cowboys.
Here are three keys to the matchup with the Giants’ old rivals from Texas.
Get Beckham going
Odell Beckham Jr. has either scored a touchdown or accrued 100 or more receiving yards in four out of six games this season. The Week 1 loss wasn’t one of those, as Dallas limited him to five receptions for 44 yards and no scores. His involvement in the offense is critical, injured hamstring or no injured hamstring.
Does Dez do it?
Dez Bryant injured his foot against the Giants and hasn’t played since. His status for Sunday is unknown at this point, but his presence on the field could sway the tide, even with an uncertain quarterback situation. Matt Cassel has supplanted Brandon Weeden as the starter with Tony Romo still relegated to the injured reserve.
Can Big Blue stop run?
The Eagles’ DeMarco Murray torched the Giants for 112 yards on 21 carries last week. This week, they likely will face little-used Christine Michael. If that doesn’t go well, it’s time for the Giants to worry.