The last time that these two clubs met in Week 1, this Cowboys offensive line did an outstanding job of keeping Tony Romo clean in the pocket. When you play the Giants, how you handle their rush is the biggest concern.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell ideally wants to try and get pressure with his front four and play coverage behind his line. For the Giants, it does start up front, and that is with Jason Pierre-Paul and Justin Tuck. The Giants want to bring that pressure off the edge by squeezing the pocket. As they are coming off that edge, they are trying to get that push in the middle with Linval Joseph and Cullen Jenkins.
These are two big-bodied players that can handle blocks inside, which allows these ends to have to face the one-on-one blocks. I have to say that I have been very impressed with what they have found in Jenkins. He was not a good player in Philadelphia, but he looks like he is once again back to the level that we have seen him before in Green Bay.
In this rotation, you will also see Mike Patterson and Mathias Kiwanuka. When the Giants go with their nickel package, Tuck will slide inside to play tackle and Kiwanuka will rush off the edge.
After the first meeting, the Giants front office realized that their linebacking core was not as good as it needed to be to compete, so they went out and made a deal for Jon Beason from the Carolina Panthers.
What Beason has done is bring a great deal of stability to the Mike position, where in the past they have had their struggles. Beason is a complete linebacker in every sense of the word.
He is a sideline-to-sideline player that can also be physical at the point. He will take on blocks, shed and find the ball. He is an outstanding tackler and plays with nice awareness in the passing game. He can cover the back out, and when he has to handle the tight end inside, he can do that as well. Keith Rivers and Spencer Paysinger play next to him and are very active, as well. [embedded_ad]
The Giants have had their share of troubles in the secondary. As a group, they have had to deal with injury and some poor play. Their best player, Corey Webster, has missed the last two games against the Packers and Raiders.
In his spot, Trumaine McBride has made those starts, and I thought he has played well. Opposite him is Prince Amukamara, who, when they play press coverage, really struggles when he doesn't get his hands on the receiver.
There is separation to his game, and I do not believe that he has the catchup speed to handle when a receiver goes by him. If there is one area that he appears to be good at it, it's when the ball comes to the edge. He will stick his nose in there, although there have been times before when he played like a selective tackler.
In the nickel, Terrell Thomas plays the slot, and there are plays where he has his hands full. At safety, Antrel Rolle still shows range in coverage and can also cover down in the slot if needed. Will Hill has been the starter at free safety, replacing Ryan Mundy who now comes off the bench. With Rolle and Hill together, the Giants have two safeties that are not scared to lay the wood to ball carriers.
Where the plays are to be made in my opinion, it on Thomas at nickel and up the field on Amukamara.