The Giants and Cowboys will rush at least 250 yards together.
Johannes Schmeelk: Fact – If the Cowboys have one obvious weakness, it’s their run defense. They have given up 200-yard rushing in two of their last three games, and their 4.73 yards-per-rush allowed is the sixth-worst mark in the league. The Giants’ best chance in this game is to slow down the Cowboys’ pass rush and force them to limit their forward movement by successfully executing the ball on early downs. The Giants allow 5.29 yards per rush game and Tony Pollard has emerged as a major game threat while Ezekiel Elliott is a short-barreled weapon.
Dan Solomon: Fact – They average almost 300 together for the season so 250 is out of the question. The Giants are one of five teams that run more than they pass (Bears, Falcons, Titans, Eagles), and the Cowboys aren’t far behind at 47.5 percent.
Lance Medow: Fiction – In Week 3, both teams put together 343 yards on the ground, and it’s fair to say their running defense left a lot to be desired given they’re ranked right next to each other in the league (25th and 26th in the NFL) . Interestingly, the Giants posted one of their lowest rushing totals of the season against the Lions (89 yards), while the Cowboys limited the Vikings to 73, a big product of game flow. On the other hand, both teams have been consistent in their ability to hammer the ball, as New York and Dallas both rank in the top eight in the league and average 289 yards together. I think it’s going to be very close to 250, but I would imagine the total only marginally increases because I think game flow will affect local production.
Matt Citak: Fact – It’s no secret that the Giants want to rule football. Even after struggling to move the ball on the ground against the Lions, the Giants still have the fourth-best rushing attack in the league. In the Week 3 matchup between these two teams, the offense gained 167 yards on the ground. As for the Cowboys, Dallas has conceded at least 134 yards in each of their last six games. Ezekiel Elliott just returned and joined Tony Pollard in the backfield to provide Dallas with a powerful double strike. The Giants and Cowboys could easily combine for 300+ yards on Thursday.
Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons is the focus of the Giants this week.
Johannes Schmeelk: Fact – Any time the Cowboys go into action, the Giants will be the first to determine where Micah Parsons is positioned. He lines up on both edges and can also be stacked as an inside linebacker where the Cowboys try to get him one-on-one against guards and centers. The Giants will likely add extra help to block him in passing situations, so recognizing where he is before each snap is important.
Dan Solomon: Fact – The Cowboys have the best four-player pass rush in the league with at least five sacks. Parsons has five games with two sacks in 2022; The NFL record is eight by Reggie White with the Eagles in 1987.
Lance Medow: Fact – Micah Parsons is one of the most disruptive players in the league as he leads the Cowboys with 10 sacks, 19 quarterback hits and 11 tackles for loss. Dallas is also very effective at moving him. Even if he doesn’t record a big game, his athleticism and the attention he draws create opportunities for his teammates. Keep in mind that the Cowboys have multiple pass rushers as four different players have at least five sacks each, including DeMarcus Lawrence, who had three when they first met, so there are a handful of playmakers the Giants need to keep a close eye on. Despite not posting a sack in Week 3, Parsons still had a pair of QB hits and a tackle for loss. This is the one player you don’t want to let call the shots because they can change the game on the fly. Just ask the Vikings as he had a stripe sack after just three games in the competition last week.
Matt Citak: Fiction – Micah Parsons is a special talent. The sophomore linebacker has up to 10 sacks in the season, with five different two-sack games. His 10 sacks and 19 QB hits easily lead the Cowboys, but Parsons isn’t the focus of the Giants this week. He’s not even the primary focus of Dallas’ defense. Back in Week 3, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence wreaked havoc on the offensive line with three sacks. Whoever starts with the right tackle is up in the air, with Evan Neal still working his way back from a knee injury and Tire Phillips, his back-up for the last three weeks, suffered a neck injury on Sunday. Those who start there will see Lawrence in abundance. The Giants also have to worry about Pollard and Zeke. Parsons will certainly be a focus on offense, but he could be focus 1B or 1C instead of 1A.