The Cowboys are coming off a bye week and have most of their players healthy and ready to go in the rematch with the Giants.
With six games to play, this is the proverbial "stretch run" that always seems to get mentioned when talking about the Cowboys and their playoff chances. It starts Sunday night against the Giants in the first four straight games to be played on national TV.
Here are the first gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman.
David Helman:I almost feel superstitious, because I can look at the variety of ways the Cowboys are a better team than the Giants – and yet I still have a bad feeling about this game. The Redskins reminded us several weeks ago that anything can happen in the NFL, especially in a division game. Hell, the winless Raiders started off Week 12 by beating a division rival that's jockeying for a playoff spot. Despite all of that, I have to trust that the Cowboys' mantra for this week is going to pay off. They have refused to look past the Giants, and they have proven they know how to win on the road, which means they should be ready for this trip. New York is woeful against the run, so the Cowboys shouldn't need to get too cute. I think DeMarco Murray will go over 100 yards, and I also think Joseph Randle will have the first 100-yard game of his career. Odell Beckham Jr. is going to make the Dallas secondary look foolish a few times, but it won't be enough. Cowboys should grab their fifth road win – something like 24-17.
Bryan Broaddus: I believe that the Cowboys offensively can attack this Giants defense a couple of difference ways but it really depends on what type of look that they scheme wise to execute the plan. If defensive coordinator Perry Fewell decides to bring the safety down in the box to help against the run then that opens up the middle of the field. If he plays the safeties back then look for the Cowboys to attack them with the run. In the last meeting they had five catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. My feeling is that he brings Antrel Rolle down and they attempt to defend the run which is going to allow these Cowboys tight ends access inside. Look for Jason Witten and Gavin Escobar to be targeted early and often at expense of the way that Fewell is going to play his coverage. Big night for these Cowboys tight ends.
Nick Eatman: If the Cowboys really are going to be a different team this year and have a different result later in the season, then go out and win this game against a team that appears on the verge of quitting, if they haven't already. Now the Raiders-Chiefs game from Thursday night should be a good indication how a team can rise up at home, especially against a division rival. I certainly don't expect the Cowboys to dominate the Giants, who will come out and be a scrappy, tough opponent. But after 10 games, you don't just rank last against the run for no reason. Obviously the Giants struggle to stop the run and the Cowboys will look to exploit it. I can see a big game for [embeddedad0]Terrance Williams and Rolando McClain will be dominant. And Devin Street makes a big play for this team, possibly even scoring his first career touchdown. Overall, I see Dallas coming out and imposing its will early on the Giants, but won't necessarily pull away. New York gets down, rallies back but falls short 26-24.