Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Staff Predictions For Cowboys-Giants 


For the sixth time in eight years, the Cowboys and Giants will square off to open an NFL season.

In those five meetings, the Cowboys are 4-1 and will look to extend that dominance when they kick off the season at 3:25 p.m. at AT&T Stadium.

The staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 1 matchup:

Rob Phillips: The biggest key for me is how well the Giants protect Eli Manning. The 38-year-old can still make plays if he's got time, and the Giants have taken steps to fortify their offensive line by adding Kevin Zeitler and Mike Remmers in the offseason. That said, I like the overall balance of this Cowboys team. Quarterback Dak Prescott has far more weapons on offense than he did last season, and the defense is finally getting to full strength at the right time after being without DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Byron Jones all preseason. Both sides of the ball looked good in limited preseason work, and I predict it'll be a complete team victory on Sunday.

Bryan Broaddus: Opening Day of the NFL season can be such a crapshoot. Coaches attempt to plan for every possible situation that their club might face during a game. An area that we don't focus nearly enough in these early season games is the conditioning of the players. Time and time again we see players dealing with their bodies breaking down because they're not physically ready to play an entire game. This is where the depth of the roster shows. As starters are going off the field, are the backups doing a good enough job in their absence? In this matchup, the Cowboys clearly have the deeper roster and it will show. Look for Kellen Moore to not only put the pressure on the Giants with personnel but Kris Richard to do the same. Both will take full advantage of their players they have dressed and wear the Giants down. The Cowboys deep roster gets it done 27-13.

David Helman: I'm not interested in overthinking this one. The Cowboys have the better quarterback, the better defense and the homefield advantage. You could argue that they don't have the best running back in this matchup, but that hardly matters when they have so many other advantages. I'm really excited to see what this new-look offense is all about, especially with Ezekiel Elliott back in the fold. I think Dak Prescott is going to have a great game and throw for three touchdowns, but even if he doesn't – it's really the defense that will set the tone on Sunday. Yes, Saquon Barkley is amazing and you can't take any plays off against him. But the Cowboys have the ability to limit him, and I simply don't think the Giants have enough other weapons. This is the NFL, so it's not like I'm expecting a blowout. But if the Cowboys are the team we think they are, they should win fairly comfortably – something like 31-17.

Nick Eatman: This is why we call this "gut" feeling. My head thinks the Cowboys are absolutely better than the Giants in just about every way and will win this game going away. My gut tells me that I've seen this game – literally – too many times to think the Giants will just roll over like that. These division games are always closer than they should be. I still think the Cowboys will win, but it'll be a little closer than everyone thinks. I've got a big day for Michael Gallup, a big play from Dalton Schultz, who has been under the radar this whole camp. I think both Zeke and Pollard will combine for 200 all-purpose yards and the defense gets at least four sacks. Still, the Giants will hang around and the Cowboys prevail, 27-21.

Mickey Spagnola: If the Cowboys are to get where they want to go, and that's further than last year's 10-6 season, including an NFC East title and first-round playoff victory, then this season opener against the Giants is one they have to win. Now predicting these season openers is impossible. Who saw Packers 10, Bears 3, in Thursday night's NFL opener at Soldier Field? But from the looks of things, and even with the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford and Byron Jones not expected to play a heavy dose of snaps, the Cowboys should be able to pull off something like a 24-13 victory over the Giants.

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