Cowboys: Eli Manning Not Looking Good With Giants


The Dallas Cowboys might be catching New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at the right time heading into this weekend’s Week 7 matchup.

The Dallas Cowboys have begun preparations for the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Part of this effort undoubtedly includes watching Big Blue stumble and bumble around Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Monday night, a performance that hardly resembled a division-leading outfit in the NFC East.

Manning completed his first 10 passes of the evening while getting New York into the end zone early for a 7-0 lead. At that point, he looked like he field general of previous Giants teams under head coach Tom Coughlin that begin to find their stride towards mid-season and then stake their claim as an NFC East contender.

But Manning followed up that early touchdown with an interception, a pass that was basically caught and stripped by the Eagles defense.

Things went downhill from there, and in a big way.

If I’m Dallas defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, I’m studying hard some of the ways that a Philadelphia defense that’s not too scary to most opponents delivered a pre-Halloween scare to Manning.

Defensive ends Vinny Curry and Fletcher Cox combined for 2.5 sacks of Manning, which accounted for most of the damage created in that area. Beyond that, Manning was consistently harassed and pushed around and never looked very comfortable in the pocket, inside or out, following that strong 1st quarter of play.

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Yes, there’s opportunity here for the Cowboys.

With the expected return of rookie defensive end Randy Gregory, Marinelli should have a full box of tools at his disposal on passing downs that should make life difficult for Manning even on his home turf next weekend.

Nick Eatman of offers a deeper breakdown of what Marinelli can expect from a defensive front that’s just now coming together as we approach midseason. For the first time this year, the Cowboys should feature waves of premium pass-rushers that weren’t here before in 2015 and certainly not during a successful 2014 campaign that probably only lacked what’s here now in order to reach the NFC Championship Game.

"Against the Giants, we might see (Greg) Hardy more from the inside, as the Cowboys could use (DeMarcus) Lawrence and (Randy) Gregory as outside rushers and let Hardy and (Tyrone) Crawford work the inside at the tackle spots. That could leave (Jeremy) Mincey out on some pass-rushing situations, but as we saw last week, the Cowboys used a variety of defensive packages."

The Cowboys earned almost half of their season total of 11 sacks during the Week 5 loss to the New England Patriots in Arlington.

The Eagles, by contrast, have exactly 14 sacks of opposing passers after getting 3.0 against Manning on Monday night.

What does that mean?

Well, it suggests that the Cowboys are not only about to see a sharp rise in sacks if key players stay healthy, but they could also create major issues for a Giants offensive line that seems to be struggling. Manning is especially prone to making big mistakes when pressured. Not that all quarterbacks don’t struggle in these conditions, but he younger of the Manning brothers is especially bad in this scenario.

If you need proof, just watch the replay of Eagles-Giants on Monday night.

Further complicating the situation for the Giants is the fact that the Dallas front seven is largely different – and better – than it was back on September 13. This game presents players like defensive ends Greg Hardy and Gregory and also middle linebacker Rolando McClain.

Yes, these recent additions instantly transformed a decent defense into one that was capable of beating the Patriots on Week 6 had there just been a good offensive attack to go with it.

The Cowboys are obviously not guaranteed anything against a Giants team that’s always capable of beating just about anybody on a given day. This team can desecrate the Super Bowl as winners with a record of just 9-7.

Remember that the Giants also struggled at home against a San Francisco 49ers team on Week 5 that entered that game with a record of 1-3. If you missed that game, I’ll just say that were about 20 seconds from talking about a Giants team that’s now 2-4 with victories against only the Washington Redskins (2-4) and the Buffalo Bills (3-3).

Think about that – and you too, Matt Cassel.

Next: Cowboys: Upcoming Seattle Having Major Issues

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