The New York Giants are the defending Super bowl champions, but the Dallas Cowboys still seem to get the attention heading into the season opener on September 5th. The Cowboys have made noise in the offseason with an aggressive draft and are claiming this is the year they make the next step to winning it all.
The oddsmakers are still giving the Giants respect as the spread for this game opened up with New York as a (-3) point favorite with the total set at 47. The line has moved since the opening and currently the Giants are (-4) point favorites and the total is set at 46.
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The Cowboys are a very talented team, but the injury bug has to be a concern for this offense. Tight end Jason Witten has been a safety valve for quarterback Tony Romo, but he is suffering from a lacerated spleen.
In fact in a recent tweet by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it is reported that Witten has not been cleared medically and will not be available for the game this week. That is just the start of problems for the Cowboys offense.
Dez Bryant is dealing with a banged up knee, and Miles Austin is struggling with hamstring issues. Center Phil Costa has had to deal with back stiffness and the guards are battling with injuries, in fact when the regular season begins the Cowboys will be playing for the first time this year with the starting offensive line on the field.
Despite the injuries, the Cowboys are preparing the right way for a revenge game against the divisional rivals.
”That’s the great thing about playing for the Cowboys. You play in games like this. You play against teams like the Giants,” linebacker Sean Lee said. ”You are going to have these intense night games that you have to prepare for. Mentally, I think we are preparing the right way.”
The Giants are dealing with injuries as well. Prince Amukamara, the young cornerback has been hobbling around camp with a boot and wide receiver Hakeem Nicks is still recovering although it seems he si ready to go.
It has not stopped the Giants from talking smack to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. New York Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka kicked off Giants-Cowboys week Thursday by saying Cowboys owner Jerry Jones probably is getting tired of the Giants “whupping his ass” for such a long time.
“It’s gotta be tough on the outside looking in on all these championships lately,” Kiwanuka said.(via NFL.com)
The numbers say that it could happen again this year. The Cowboys are just 1-5 against the spread (ATS) in the last six games against the Giants. The Giants have a strong defense that is ready to go and they will face a Cowboys offense that has not had playing time as a unit.[poll id=”33″]
On offense the Giants are healthy enough to get on the field and show up for this big game. Eli Manning will be under center backed by a strong running game with Ahmad Bradshaw and impressive rookie David Wilson.
The Cowboys will be good this year but it will take some time to get everyone healthy and get the defense clicking as a unit. In the meantime, the Giants will win and cover in the NFL opener.
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