Big Picture: Cowboys Start 2015 With RB Questions; Big Injuries For Giants

(Editor's Note: Each Tuesday, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will present "The Big Picture" for the upcoming game, presenting an overall update for each team as they head into the upcoming contest. This week, the Cowboys and Giants square off in a Week 1 battle at AT&T Stadium on NBC's Sunday Night Football).

WHAT:New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
WHEN: Sunday, 7:30 (CST)
WHERE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
TELEVISION:NBC

Dallas Cowboys

All summer long, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has preached to his team and the media that 2015 is a new season. He seems to have no interest in building off the 2014 success that included a 12-4 record and the Cowboys' first playoff win under Garrett.

The biggest change right now is at running back, where the Cowboys decided to let DeMarco Murray leave in free agency to the Eagles. Along with his club-record 1,845 rushing yards last year, Dallas also lost one of its top pass-blockers against the blitz.

For now, the question still remains who the starting tailback will be come Sunday night against the Giants. It appears Joseph Randle is the leader, but veteran Darren McFadden also started one preseason game and looked sharp in just seven carries.

The Cowboys even went out and traded for Christine Michael, who spent the last two years with the Seahawks behind Marshawn Lynch. It's unlikely Michael will be ready for a big role come Sunday, but don't be surprised if the club at least give him a crash-course on the offense, so he can be in uniform.

Injury-wise, the Cowboys didn't see anything from Dez Bryant in the preseason as the star receiver rested a hamstring issue. It's likely he will practice on Wednesday and should be 100 percent for the game.

Other injuries include linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who has missed most of camp with a foot injury. The Cowboys have continually said he should be ready for the opener. If so, look for Hitchens to start in the middle.

New York Giants

Coming off a 6-10 season in 2014, the Giants likely will try to build off winning three of their last four games of the regular season, rather than the seven-game losing streak in the middle of the year that included a pair of losses to the Cowboys.

The Giants played Dallas tough in both games, falling 31-21 on the road before a 28-24 thriller in the Meadowlands that saw Dez Bryant upstage Odell Beckham's catch of the year with a game-winning score in the final minutes.

The Cowboys have won four straight against the Giants, but Eli Manning does own a 4-2 record at AT&T Stadium, after winning his first four games in Arlington.

This year, the Giants went 2-2 in the preseason and have a few key injuries to keep an eye on for this week.

Linebacker Jon Beason has been out with a knee injury he suffered in the preseason three weeks ago, but appears closer to returning and could play Sunday night. The Giants seem rather optimistic about Beason, who suffered a sprain, but has at least returned to the practice field.

The same might not be the case for Victor Cruz, who missed most of last year with a torn ACL injury. He's now dealing with a calf strain on the other leg and his chances of playing still seem doubtful. What he does this week in practice could change that, but the Giants should probably be thinking of other options at receiver.

And then there's the question of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and his hand injury. He finally visited the Giants this week, and there is talk of him playing with a cast or protective wrap on his hand, but no official word has been issued on JPP's status for Sunday.

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