The New York Giants are hosting the Cowboys at Met Life stadium in East Rutherford, NJ week 7. They currently lead the NFC East with a 3-2 record. A win against the Eagles Sunday will leave the Cowboys in a desperate situation when it comes to any hopes of winning the division.
The Giants had a sluggish start entering the 2015 NFL season and ceded two 4th quarter leads to start off 0-2. However, we have seen this pattern from the Giants before and veteran head coach Tom Coughlin, found a way to rally his troops and right the ship. Eli Manning is playing as well as I have ever seen him play and they have a lot of momentum heading in to their week 6 match-up on the road in Philadelphia. A win there, will not only add to that momentum, but ignite more confidence in the locker room.
The Giants are seeking revenge for the week one beating they took from Tony Romo following his miraculous 4th quarter comeback in the absense of Dez Bryant. The odds of them being successful the second time around are much better with Romo on the sidelines nursing a broken collar bone suffered week two vs the Eagles.
As we predicted, Brandon Weeden failed miserably as the signal caller for a struggling Cowboys offense that is entering the bye week following a three game losing streak.
Coughlin insists this is a different team than last year and guys have stepped up to face the adversity of injury. Per an article posted on SportsDayDFW:
“Well, the grit, the way in which we play, the energy that is spent, the scrappiness, the will, the ability seemingly to have people miss games and others kind of step up and help us win,” Coughlin said.
A lot of players stepped up for New York on Sunday night, especially after Beckham and fellow receiver Rueben Randle had hamstring injuries. Dwayne Harris, rookie Geremy Davis and recently signed Myles White were the receivers on the final drive.
“If this happened last year we would not have won,” center Weston Richburg said after the game. “This one says a lot about the guys we have, the resiliency we have. It was awesome. It was great.”
Unlike the Giants, the Cowboys have no momentum, Street, Whitehead and Escobar haven’t stepped up and the confidence of the other players has to be in question in the absence of their fearless leader, Tony Romo; who I believe is chomping at the bit to get on the field and try to salvage what many believed would be a successful season. He is forced to watch his hopes of playing in a championship slip further and further away at the hands of inept quarterbacks.
Against my better Judgment, Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have yielded to the pressure of the National Media and elected to go with Matt Cassel as their starter entering the bye week.
However, there are a few out there who aren’t ready to jump on the Matt Cassel train besides YDCFF. When two time MVP Kurt Warner was asked if he thought Matt Cassel could right the ship, he shared the same thoughts I did on the subject by mentioning Cassel’s history of throwing a lot of interceptions and questioned how well he knows the playbook after only a few weeks in Dallas.
So far, former Lions player Nate Burleson, who spent time with Kellen Moore in Detroit, is the only one among the members of the mainstream media who hasn’t been afraid to step out there on Moore’s behalf. He did so on two separate occasions during the QB discussion on NFL Network. The first time he talked about Moore being a very cerebral, accurate, micro manager. When I was watching NFL Network this morning he said,
“I believe at this point it’s not about big plays for this offense. It’s about micro-managing the game offensively at the QB position. I’m gonna throw a wrench in the system right now and I got a feelin that I would like to see Kellen Moore.”
“Ya, I know you guys might say he’s inexperienced, he doesn’t have the repertoire as far as the tools to go out there and play at the pro level, but in 2011 at Boise State, he was a winner. He had 43 touchdowns, only 9 interceptions. He can play ball, and on top of that, he knows the system better than any QB on the roster.”
My sentiments exactly. Who would know better than someone who was in the same locker room with him and knows his character and leadership ability first hand? Not only that, he was a successful receiver who caught passes thrown by Moore and had plenty of opportunities to watch him run the offense.
I am adamant in my opinion that I will take a smart, accurate QB with a history of winning, who doesn’t turn the ball over, and has an uncanny ability to read defenses with success at finding the weaknesses: ratherÂ than a QB with a history of turning the ball over frequently and a losing record. Either way, we have to accept the decision made by Coach Jerry whether we like it or not. What’s done is done and all we can do is hope that recent history doesn’t repeat itself. By making this decision, Jerry Jones put the season in the hands of a QB who turned the ball over more times than he put it into the endzone in recent years.
The Giants will have plenty of time to see how other defenses exploited Matt Cassel’s weaknesses. I am sure they are frothing at the mouth entering the rematch with Tony Romo on the sidelines. If the Giants beat the Eagles and follow up with a win against the Cowboys, any hopes of winning the division are pretty much lost. With a record of 2-4 entering week 8, any hopes of getting a wild card slot are pretty much zero to none for the Cowboys.
If Matt Cassel plays as I anticipate he will, I don’t see him winning a shoot out with Eli Manning, who is on a hot streak. It seems he is always at his best when he plays the Cowboys anyway; regardless of how bad he played in recent weeks.
All we can do is hope we get the Matt Cassel of 2010 and not the one we have seen since then. If that is the case, they can beat the Giants. However, with the short amount of time he’s had to learn the offense and his tendency to turn the ball over it’s a crap shoot at this point. But, he is the QB now and I have to support him whether I like it or not and give him the benefit of the doubt.
The Cowboys defense came out “Kracken” against the Patriots. They played better than I have seen them play in a long time. In the game against the Giants, we will find out if Greg Hardy’s debut was a fluke or not. When I revisited the game tape, I noticed Nate Solder was favoring his arm. Now that it has been released that he has a torn Bicep, I wonder how well he was able to play against Hardy.
On the positive side of things, Randy Gregory is expected to play against the Giants and will add some much needed depth to the defensive line rotation. Gregory didn’t have any tackles or sacks in the last match-up with the Giants, but I expect to see some production this time around. Hopefully his first NFL sack. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing Eli Manning eat the turf.
Dez Bryant is slated to return which should give Cassel an advantage over what Weeden had to work with. There will be no excuses that he didn’t have anyone to stretch the field.
I was behind Cory White from day one and my instincts proved to be correct. He was much more comfortable playing out of the slot than Tyler Patmon. Byron Jones continues to impress me with his physical style of play. His awareness and mental toughness is excellent for a rookie. It is no easy task for seasoned veterans to limit Rob Gronkowski the way he did. His ceiling is extremely high and he has the potential to be an All Pro defensive back. I expect to see improvement every week.
Entering this match-up, I don’t have as many concerns with the defense as I do the offense. I am anticipating the return of Dez Bryant, but at the end of the day, this game is going to come down to whether or not Matt Cassel can convert on 3rd down, extend drives and get in to the endzone without turning the ball over.
If Tony Romo were starting this game, with or without Dez Bryant, I would predict a win, but until I see that Matt Cassel can not only micro-manage the offense, but play with any type of consistency, I am going to have to go with the Giants. As much as I would like to, I hope I don’t have to say I told you so again in regards to coach Jones choice at QB. By the time they find out whether or not Cassel can play better than Weeden, it will be too late to salvage the season.
By that time, Kellen Moore will be at a colossal disadvantage getting thrown in to the fire having had no first team reps to build some chemistry with the starting receivers. Doing so over the bye week would have been very helpful. Coach Jerry made his decision and will have to live with it. He will have no one but himself to blame if the Cowboys don’t make the playoffs because of poor QB play.
My last article was titled Matt Cassel: Jones Next Blunder as GM. Believe it not, I really do hope I was wrong, but I am a show me type person and Matt Cassel hasn’t been able to do that since 2010. I learned a long time ago, when it comes to Garret and Jerry’s decision making, “to live in hope, is to die in despair.” If there is one thing we always had under Tom Landry, Jimmy Johnson or Bill Parcells, it was hope. A loss to the Giants, will leave very little of that.