Week 12 NFL: Previewing the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys matchup


New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys

It seems the Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones are at a crossroads in the season, and it’s time to see if Jones makes the right turn. He made too many wrong moves in Week 11, when New York got blown out at home by the Lions. Jones threw two interceptions and his only touchdown pass came late in the game to make the final score of 31-18 look more respectable.

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It’s also unfair to pin most of the blame on Jones, who passed for 341 yards and rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown. The Giants’ inability to get running back Saquon Barkley (15 carries, 22 yards) going against what was the NFL’s second-worst run defense raises more concerns about the offensive line. To make matters worse, rookie wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, who had nine receptions for 100 yards against Detroit, went down in the fourth quarter with a season-ending knee injury. The Giants (7-3) have reasons to be discouraged for the first time in coach Brian Daboll’s first season.

The Cowboys (7-3) got back on track by crushing the Vikings 40-3 in Minneapolis as Dak Prescott completed 22 of 25 passes with two touchdowns. A breakout performance from Tony Pollard was a big boost. Pollard, who deserves to be Dallas’ No. 1 running back ahead of Ezekiel Elliott, had 80 rushing yards in addition to 109 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The Micah Parsons-led defense allowed only 183 total yards in an all-around dominant showing. The Cowboys rolled as road favorites and now they are bigger home favorites. The Thanksgiving Day lookahead line of Dallas -6.5 has been adjusted to -9.

Expect the betting public to play the Cowboys, who could close as double-digit favorites. Dallas also seems to be closing in on a deal to add free-agent wideout Odell Beckham Jr., who is less likely to sign with New York.

This has been a one-sided rivalry in the NFC East in recent years, with the Cowboys winning 10 of the past 11, including a 23-16 decision at New York in Week 3. The underdog is typically attractive in divisional rematches, but it will require some courage to take the points with the Giants.

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