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Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants: Prediction, preview, pick to win

By The Sports Xchange
Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants: Prediction, preview, pick to win
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys take on the New York Giants on Sunday. Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

DALLAS COWBOYS (6-6) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (2-10)

GAME SNAPSHOT

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KICKOFF: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, MetLife Stadium. TV: FOX, Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver (field reporter).

SERIES HISTORY: 111th regular-season meeting. Cowboys leads series, 63-45-2. Dallas has won six of the last nine. Dallas won 19-3 Sept. 10 in Dallas. The Giants won 10-7 in New York in 2016.

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KEYS TO THE GAME: After being humiliated last week when he lost his starting job, Eli Manning seems intent on putting to rest any notion that his skills have declined and that he should be more receptive to sharing time with rookie Davis Webb.

Manning sounds like a man who is on a mission to make someone pay for what happened last week. That someone could be the Cowboys, who have given up 234.8 passing yards per game. Dallas has allowed at least two passing touchdowns per game over the last five weeks. If the Giants can get the Cowboys' pass rush blocked, they might be able to do some damage with their passing game.

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The Cowboys will try to force the run with Alfred Morris and get timely first downs from quarterback Dak Prescott. Morris has rushed for 50 or more yards in three of his last four games. Last week, he ran for 127 yards and a touchdown against Washington, his old team.

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The Giants' run defense is the worst in the league -- the Giants have held their opponent under 100 yards only once -- so Morris could have another good day.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH:

--Giants TE Evan Engram vs. Cowboys FS Byron Jones. Engram is the Giants' lone remaining threat on offense. He had game-high totals of seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders last week. He has six touchdowns, most by a rookie tight end in team history, on 51 catches. Jones is the Cowboys' noted tight end stopper. He has had snaps taken away from him in the regular defense, but he remains a solid cover guy against tight ends.

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--Cowboys C Travis Frederick vs. Giants DT Damon Harrison. Harrison is not having the season he had a year ago, but he remains stout in the middle and is someone Frederick will have to contain and/or neutralize if the Cowboys hope to get the running game going. Harrison has 1.5 sacks and 59 tackles for a run defense that ranks last in the NFL. Fredericks will have to be up to the task if the Cowboys hope to exploit the Giants on the ground.

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FRIDAY INJURY REPORTS

DALLAS COWBOYS

--Questionable: WR Brice Butler (foot), T La'el Collins (back), DT Maliek Collins (foot), LB Justin Durant (concussion, illness), DE David Irving (concussion), CB Orlando Scandrick (back), T Tyron Smith (back)

NEW YORK GIANTS

--Out: LB B.J. Goodson (ankle), G Justin Pugh (back)

--Questionable: CB Eli Apple (hip, back), RB Orleans Darkwa (illness), DE Jason Pierre-Paul (finger), WR Travis Rudolph (hamstring), WR Sterling Shepard (hamstring), T Chad Wheeler (concussion)

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Giants QB Eli Manning. After the worst week of his professional career -- a week in which his starts streak was snapped -- Manning will return as the team's starter, much to the delight of the fan base. Before he was benched, Manning had struggled to complete more than 55 percent of his pass attempts in his last two games. With order restored in the Giants' universe, and an adoring home crowd sure to give him a rousing ovation once he takes the field, look for Manning to show his critics that he still has it.

FAST FACTS: Dallas QB Dak Prescott has just five TD passes in his past four road games. But he has run for three scores in those games and has 11 rushing TDs since 2016, most by an NFL QB. ... RB Alfred Morris rushed for 127 yards in Week 13, his first 100-yard game with Dallas. He has 254 rushing yards and a TD in his past three games. ... WR Dez Bryant has 72 TD catches, one more than Bob Hayes for the franchise record. He hasn't had many big games in New York, with just 441 yards and three TDs in his past six games. ... TE Jason Witten has 153 receptions and 14 TDs vs. the Giants, his most vs. any opponent. ... DE Demarcus Lawrence leads the NFL with 13.5 sacks is tied for second with four forced fumbles. He had two sacks last week, his league-best fourth multi-sack game in 2017. He had 1.5 sacks in the last meeting. ... DL David Irving has three sacks in his past three road games. ... Giants QB Eli Manning has 10 TD passes and two interceptions (a 100.9 rating) in his past six home games vs. Dallas. ... WR Sterling Shepard has 14 receptions for 198 yards in his past two games. ... Rookie TE Evan Engram has five TDs in his past seven games. He leads NFL rookies in TD catches (6) and ranks third in receptions (51) and fourth in receiving yards (569). ... DE Jason Pierre-Paul has seven sacks in his past 10 games vs. Dallas. ... S Landon Collins has 35 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in his past three games. He ranks second among NFL safeties with 90 tackles. ... LB B.J. Goodson had a career-high 18 tackles in the last meeting, most by any NFL player in 2017.

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PREDICTION: The Cowboys should own time of possession in this one, with Morris keeping the pressure off Prescott.

OUR PICK: Cowboys, 23-13.

--Chris Cluff

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