If the Cowboys are going to win the division on Sunday, they can't afford Eli Manning to throw for 400 yards, as he did in Arlington in Week 14.
Much of the blame for that loss, and a number of defensive breakdowns recently, has gone to the secondary, and that group must play better, for sure. But it would certainly help those guys on the back end if the Cowboys could get more pressure on the Giants quarterback this go-round.
Manning threw 47 times in the first matchup between these teams, and wasn't sacked once. He was only hit twice, though linebacker Victor Butler did get in to tip a pass that led to an interception. In New York's final two drives to steal the game, however, the pass rush was absent.
"I thought he did an outstanding job, if you watched that game, moving and throwing the ball away," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "There were a number of times where we had potential pressure on him and potential sack-type situations, where he moved and got the ball out of his hand.
"From our standpoint you've got to keep trying to affect him. The goal is certainly to sack the quarterback . . . he's a hard one to do that to."
Manning has been sacked only 26 times this year, the Giants line allowing him to be dropped on just 2.9 percent of his passing attempts, this fifth-best rate in the league.