Date: September 8th
Kickoff Time: 7:30pm CDT
TV Channel: NBC Sunday Night Football
Live Stream: NBC Live Extra
Tonight the season finally begins for the Dallas Cowboys. The 8-8 Cowboys of 2012 are officially in the past and before us sits the 0-0 Cowboys team of 2013. So much hope. So many expectations. So many worries. So much concern. No matter what camp you are in, the optimists or the pessimists, today we all stand as equals. We are all 0-0. We all want to kick New York’s butt.
The toughest game to predict is the first game of the season. For everything we know about the Cowboys – we don’t know about the Giants. For everything they know about the Giants – they don’t know about the Cowboys. The national media – just seems clueless about both. So what needs to happen today?
The Dallas Cowboys NEED to get off to a hot start or the Giants are going to run all over them. The Cowboys biggest defensive weakness is stopping the run. Severely lacking girth and depth at DT the Cowboys will struggle to stop the run today. If the NY OGs are able to get past the Dallas DTs and make it to the next level, the talent of Sean Lee and Bruce Carter will be neutralized. The best remedy for a poor run-stopping defense? Get ahead.
For as much as the Cowboys want to run the ball in 2013, getting an early lead is more important (until Brian Waters starts playing and Ronald Leary settles in). The Cowboys can’t afford to run the ball for 2.5 YPC and go scoreless the first few possessions. They need to score early and often and force the Giants to abandon the run themselves.
The Cowboys will still operate primarily out of the 12 formation utilizing 2 TEs and 1 back. They will start with a decent run/pass balance but will have to shift to passing out of need. The Giants will focus on stopping Austin and Bryant on deep routes. The Cowboys will counter with a dink and dunk offense 5-7 yards at a time. The Giants are always content with letting Witten catch anything he wants. Expect the TEs to play a big part. As long as Romo can stay patient and take what is given to him the Cowboys will be fine.
At the end of the day the Cowboys will walk away with an opening week victory. They will have finally beaten the Giants in Texas and will do so in convincing fashion.
Final Score: Dallas 27 New York 17