If you ask old school scouts what is required to field a championship contender, they will quickly tell you that it takes eight to twelve blue-chip players to compete for a title. This premise has been the standard for general managers around the league and I rely on it to help me identify the players to watch on game day.
With that in mind, I thought I would take a little time to identify the players to watch on the Cowboys' next opponent. Here are the current Giants' blue-chips players:
Saquon Barkley, RB: Do not let Barkley's production fool you into believing the former No.2 overall pick is no longer a dangerous playmaker with the ball in his hands. The 6-foot, 232-pounder is dynamic, elusive, and explosive on the perimeter with enough shake and wiggle to pop a big play whenever he touches the ball. The Cowboys need to be aware of his whereabouts and commit to gang tackling No.26 in space.
Kenny Golladay, WR: As a long, rangy pass catcher with superior size and speed, Golladay can create problems for defenders on 50-50 balls down the field. The fifth-year pro has not put up eye-popping numbers but his big-play skills as a WR1 could give the Cowboys problems if they fail to take away the deep ball.
Kadarious Toney, WR: The rookie has emerged as the Giants' most explosive playmaker on the perimeter after settling into his role as the No.2 option in the passing game. Toney's speed, burst, and stop-start quickness make him a threat to go the distance whenever he catches the ball on the move on crossing routes and diagonals.
Sterling Shepard, WR: If the Giants need a critical first down, the ball is going to No.3 on an option route at the sticks. Shepard has a knack for winning in the slot and his reliability makes him an ideal chain mover in the Giants' ball control offense.
Leonard Williams, DT: The nimble 300-pounder is a crafty pass rusher who utilizes a mix of power and finesse to whip blockers at the point of attack. Williams is more than capable of wrecking a game plan with his dynamic skills and disruptive presence between the tackles.
Azeez Ojulari, OLB: The rookie pass rusher has given opponents fits with his combination of speed, quickness, and burst off the edges. Ojulari is a relentless pursuer from the backside and his freakish athleticism will give the Cowboys' offensive tackles problem on long yardage downs.
Xavier McKinney, S: The second-year pro has quietly become one of the best safeties in football with a rock-solid game built on instincts, awareness, and ball skills. McKinney displays exceptional diagnostic skills and range as a roving centerfielder with a knack for getting his hands on the ball.
James Bradberry, CB: The Giants' CB1 has the size and length stymie wideouts on the edges in press coverage. Bradberry is not playing at an all-star level this season, but he is a former Pro Bowler with a competitive streak that could help him rise to the occasion against the Cowboys' dynamic WR corps.