Enemy Exchange, Cowboys Edition

This week I had a few minutes to exchange with Fansided’s Cowboys guru Josh Sanchez of The Landry Hat, here is what he had to tell me about tonight’s matchup between the division rival Giants and Cowboys.

A few weeks ago the Giants were 1-2 and it was looking like Tom Coughlin was in his last year as Giants head coach. Jerry Jones has made it clear that he’s against making a coaching change mid-season. Do you agree or disagree based on what you’ve seen the last few years and is Wade Phillips really in danger here?

Wade, unfortunately, will finish out the year as the team’s head coach. He has done an abysmal job during his tenure with the Cowboys as the head guy, but has actually done a solid job with the defense. If I had my way, Jason “Brain Dead Red” Garrett would be fired, Wade Phillips would be demoted, and a new head coach like Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, or John Fox would be brought in.

Your team boasts a top 5 offense and defense in terms of yardage — what do these statistics mean in terms of the upcoming game against the Giants? Is there anything to be gleaned from that ranking?

The Cowboys have both a top five ranked offense AND defense. The defense should be able to slow down Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, and Manning like they have done to all other offensive threats thus far. However, the problem is penalties. While the team hasn’t allowed many yards, they are committing deadly pass interference penalties. If they can keep that to a minimum and finally get some turnovers, we could be looking at a solid performance for Dallas tonight.

Dez Bryant, what is the larger story with his injuries and what can we expect from him Monday night?

Bryant should be a go tonight. A lot of people are disappointed that he is constantly injured, but he has made up for it on the field. There hasn’t been a game to date that Bryant hasn’t showed flashes of brilliance and made an impact. Whether it be returning a punt for a touchdown or converting a huge first-down, Bryant is making plays.

Roy Williams, Miles Austin, Jason Witten. Who is going to be the star of the show Monday night in terms of catching passes?

My guess would be Witten. Romo has sort of gotten away from using his security blanket, but whenever the impressive Giants pass rush is running him down he will have no choice but to dump it off.
The Cowboys running game has not been as productive as some would hope…. I had both Barber and Jones for Fantasy Football myself. What have the Cowboys been working on that would suggest they can still run all over the Giants this week like they did last year for 200+ yards on the ground?

Well really, Jason Garrett just needs to get over his fascination with the passing game. If he can truly commit to running the ball and using his massive offensive line towards their strengths, they should be able to run the ball well and often against New York.
How can the Giants best control DeMarcus Ware and the rest of the Cowboys pass rush? I mean…. Can they?

No one can really control Ware, so they need to make sure they at least keep Anthony Spencer quiet. When both pass rushers get going, it is a long day for opposing quarterbacks.
Speaking of pass rush, how about the Giants defense this season? The Giants have knocked out 4 QBs so far… Are people nervous about Romo getting dinged up this game?

Amazing pass rush. I have to be honest and say that I am jealous of the G-Men when it comes to that aspect. Every game the Cowboys play, you have to worry about Romo getting hurt. There is little depth on the roster at quarterback and while he may be prone to making Brett Favre sized mistakes, Romo is still one of the better QB’s in the league.

The Eli Manning signature in the locker room after the home opener last year, are people still talking about it?

Honestly, I forgot about this until you just mentioned it. Maybe it is still talked about in the locker room, but with the way this season has gone Dallas has much bigger mistakes to worry about.

Are the Cowboys defense thinking they can shut down the Giants this week? Who is making the front page down in Dallas in terms of the players to watch on the Giants offense?

Hakeem Nicks needs to be shut down. Mike Jenkins has had some rough games this season and also has been flagged for some blatant pass interference calls. Jenkins needs to lock down Nicks and try to get himself an interception.

What is the X-Factor for the Cowboys to win this game?

Discipline and play-calling. This has been the story of the Cowboys all season. They play great, but have penalties to negate what they are doing. The find something that works, but inexplicably change the game plan and air it out for fifteen plays in a row. If Garrett calls a solid game and the team doesn’t commit any idiotic penalties, they have a real shot at starting to turn their season around.

What is the X-Factor for the Giants?

The Giants need to keep up their amazing pass rush. Everyone knows that Dallas’ line has played pathetic at times, and whenever Romo is under pressure he makes some horrific passes. If the pass rush comes flying, so will some interceptions and possibly a Giants win.

Final Prediction?

I think there is too much for the Cowboys riding on this game for them to lose. Every game from here on out is do or die, and this team will refuse to die. I expect a nice, physical battle and a hard fought game. Give the Cowboys the victory 23-20 on a David Buehler field goal with time expiring — you can be sure that Cowboys fans will be having anxiety when he lines up for the kick.

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Monday, Nov 33 Nov8:30Indianapolis ColtsBuy Tickets

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