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Big Picture: 5 Storylines for Giants & Cowboys


How about that for a statement win, Cowboys Nation? The Cowboys got back on track in a big way on Sunday against the Vikings by dominating their way to 40-3 victory behind seven total sacks from the defense and four total touchdowns between Tony Pollard and a healthy Ezekiel Elliott.

But don't enjoy the victory too long. There's another high-stakes game on the horizon come Thanksgiving Day against a division rival. The surprising upstart Giants sit at second in the NFC East at 7-3 despite a lackluster performance against the Lions where Daniel Jones threw two interceptions.

It's Round 2 of this divisional battle. Will the Cowboys sweep the season series on 'Turkey Day' or will the Giants even the score? Here are five storylines for each team before the Week 12 contest.


  • If anybody has the Giants at 7-3 after 10 weeks of the NFL season, congratulations to you. Whatever the case, first-year head coach Brian Daboll has done a magnificent job during his first season but hit a road bump against the Lions. Saquon Barkley had his worst game of the season, rushing for just 22 yards. Daniel Jones passed for over 340 yards and ran for another 50 including a touchdown but threw two picks. Add in a costly fumble late in the fourth by Isaiah Hodgins that led to a Lions' touchdown, and the Giants are looking to put that 31-18 loss behind them.
  • If you take out his tough showing against the Lions, Barkley has looked like the player of old in 2022. Now fully healthy, he's approaching a 1,000-yard threshold for the season with six touchdowns. In Week 3 against the Cowboys, he tallied 81 yards and one score. Barkley has been the engine to the Giants' offense this season and they go as he goes, so expect a heavy dose of him on Thursday.
  • As if they weren't dealing with enough injuries this season, the injury report got even bleaker on Monday for the Giants. Rookie wide receiver Wan'Dale Robinson tore his ACL in that loss to the Lions, while cornerback Adoree' Jackson suffered an MCL sprain and is likely to miss the next 4-6 weeks, thus making him unlikely to play to against the Cowboys on Thursday.
  • With Robinson now out for the season, Sterling Shepard missing the majority of the season due to his own ACL tear he suffered against the Cowboys, along with the trade of Kadarius Toney, the Giants find themselves fairly thin at the receiver spot. Outside of Darious Slayton, there aren't many household names fans would recognize and it has shown up in the receiving corps production. The Giants rank near the bottom in yards per game and touchdowns from their receivers this season.
  • Thursday's Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys will be just the third time since 1938 that the Giants have played on the holiday. The last time New York played on Thanksgiving? The 1992 season, against the Cowboys, who handedly won that game 30-3.


  • For all of the questions and concerns that swirled around the Cowboys' defense and their ability to stop the run against opposing teams, it's safe to say that answered those against the Vikings. They held Dalvin Cook to just 72 yards on 11 carries for no touchdowns, while also sacking Kirk Cousins seven times. Those two stats should bode well for the Cowboys as they prepare for the Giants, who have allowed Daniel Jones to be sacked 30 times this season.
  • On the injury front, head coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday that linebacker Anthony Barr reaggravated his hamstring injury prior to the Vikings' game and thus caused him to miss his second straight game. McCarthy said that Barr will be "hard-pressed" to play against the Giants. As for Micah Parsons who had his knee evaluated on Sunday before re-entering the game, McCarthy said the All-Pro linebacker will participate in the team's walkthrough on Wednesday.
  • After Sunday's win over the Vikings, owner/general manager Jerry Jones talked about his confidence level in the Cowboys potentially making it the Super Bowl, answering the question with "Yes, unequivocally," before turning his attention to the Giants. As for McCarthy, he was quick to point out that the Cowboys' focus is squarely on the Giants and dismissed any Super Bowl talk at this stage of the season. "Talking about anything other than the Giants is a waste of time... This is about beating the Giants."
  • With Ezekiel Elliott returning to the field on Sunday alongside Tony Pollard, the Cowboys finally got to see their dynamic backfield duo in action. And it delivered. Elliott rushed for two touchdowns, while Pollard totaled 80 rushing yards and another 109 receiving yards with two touchdowns. Having both healthy and ready to go could pay big dividends against a Giants' defense that has had their own struggles with the run.
  • Since the Cowboys are a Thanksgiving Day staple along with the Detroit Lions, they've lost three straight Turkey Day games and looking to prevent a four-game losing skid for just the second time in franchise history. The Cowboys are 31-22-1 in their 54 games on the holiday dating back to 1966, with their last loss coming just last season in an overtime thriller against the Raiders.

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