NFL Week 1: Keys for Giants offense vs. Cowboys

Joe Flacco

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of intrigue going into the 2017 season.

Remember that the Giants swept the Cowboys a year ago, and that was when Dallas didn't have the distraction of the Elliott suspension hanging over their heads. In the eight previous matchups in Dallas only one of the games have been decided by more than a touchdown, each of the past two games have been decided by a single point.

If the Giants can't protect Manning, the offense will be in for a long night. They feature two of the best pass rushers in the game in Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul at defensive end and a shut down corner in Janoris Jenkins.

CHEERLEADER BATTLE: The Giants don't have cheerleaders so the Cowboys win this matchup easily.

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (2016: 13-3 SU, 10-6 ATS, 6-10 O/U): Elliott wasn't the only Dallas rookie to make a spectacular entrance into the National Football League as quarterback Dak Prescott played with the poise of a veteran by throwing for 23 touchdowns against only four interceptions and compiling a 104.9 passer rating. However, he added that there is "real doubt" whether Beckham will play in the NFC East game. It was too much to overcome. Sustaining that elite pace will be hard, but the team's play over the last half of the prior year lends hope.

If the Giants are without him, it would be hard to see how NY wins this game. Though they have a bevy of receiving talent, the Giants' offensive line and running game leaves a lot to be desired.

One would think that such a scenario would provide a whole bunch of familiarity... and it does, but every game is different.

"Odell is getting treatment", coach Ben McAdoo told reporters (via ESPN). This automatically created more low-percentage passes and limited Dez's effectiveness.

"I wouldn't count it out", Beckham said on Wednesday. Part of this is because most teams play the Cowboys with a single safety in the deep middle. (It's worth noting Elliott would have played Sunday night either way.) A crowded NFC East field, perhaps the best division in the National Football League, will likely come down to these two teams, the Giants' defense clashing with the offensive firepower of Elliott and second-year quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Giants ruled out linebacker Keenan Robinson, who is dealing with a concussion.

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