Dallas Cowboys: Is this the trap game we’ve all been fearing?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys will be taking on the New York Giants at home this Sunday. The Cowboys are rolling with three straight wins showcasing one of the most efficient offenses in the league with a physical, turnover-creating defense unlike anything fans have seen in Dallas the last decade. Dallas is in a position they rarely see themselves in after the first four games of the season.

Meanwhile, the New York Giants have the opposite record at 1-3, but that record is a bit deceiving. The team has played in three straight games decided by one score. The record itself is music to Dallas fans’ ears, but it’s hard to look at New York’s body of work and not be somewhat concerned about how the Giants will match up against the Cowboys?

This Week Five matchup with the Giants may be a trap game for the Dallas Cowboys

Daniel Jones has been quite good for New York. According to ESPN, he currently has the fifth-highest EPA amongst all NFL quarterbacks with top ten passing and rushing EPAs as well. In general, he’s completing 66.7 percent of his passes at 8.2 yards per attempt with six total touchdowns and one interception. The more I talk about it, it catches me less off guard that Jones is one of Pro Football Focus’s higher-rated quarterbacks this season.

Daniel Jones isn’t the turnover-prone quarterback Dallas is used to him being! It seems he’s taken well to former Dallas HC Jason Garrett’s offense displaying good accuracy and mental processing that had him highly touted enough for the Giants to take him at pick number six in the 2019 NFL draft. According to the scatterplot, Jones has been better under pressure showing the ability to play in a clean pocket and while under duress. Jones seemingly has the tendencies of Justin Herbert rather than Sam Darnold.

However, the Cowboys’ problems don’t stop there. Jones is a big reason why the Giants have the 10th highest offensive DVOA in the league, but the offensive line has stepped up this season. They are currently 18th and 16th in Pass Block and Run Block win rate respectively. It’s a bit odd to highlight a league-average offensive line, but the Giants were dead last in pass block win rate in 2020 at 47 percent.

As for their running game, the Giants continue to be league average in run blocking win rate, but SaQuon Barkley has returned this season providing the team with a big play boost at any time. His rushing efficiency is still below average, but since his rookie season, he’s yet to be a super-efficient rusher. for one reason or another.

Lastly, former Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett is currently the New York Giants offensive coordinator. From his time in Dallas, it is well known how well he game-planned for divisional opponents. As the head coach of Dallas, Garrett’s teams had a 37-20 record within the division with a 48-45 record in non-divisional games. The difference is apparent and incredibly uncanny.

Last season, the often anemic Giants offense looked noticeably more aggressive and explosive against the Cowboys, once again, highlighting how seriously Jason Garrett takes divisional matchups.

In 2020, New York’s defense ranked in the bottom half of the league in defensive DVOA. This year, their defense is somehow even worse ranking near the bottom of the league. It’s an exploitable defense especially with how the Cowboys’ offense has been efficiently moving the ball, but they have playmakers at different positions like Dexter Lawrence, Leonard Williams, James Bradberry, and Jabrill Peppers.

Picking against the Cowboys seems like an ill-advised thing to do given what we’ve seen of them this season, but they are currently favored by seven points against a team that has played a lot of physical football the last four weeks and is looking to spoil the Cowboys’ lead in the NFC East.

The Giants have a good quarterback, apparently, an improving offensive line, and an upgraded receiving corps from previous years all led by an offensive coordinator likely looking to exact revenge again on his previous team and a head coach who is known for his aggression and his  “awe-inspiring” quotes at press conferences.

dark. Next. How the Dallas Cowboys offense reached balance

In case you forgot, they are also one of Dallas’s division rivals. This seems like the perfect opportunity for the Cowboys to let their guard down and invite a hungry football team to feast on their home turf. Could Dallas be in for a wake-up call on Sunday afternoon? I guess we’ll just have to find out!

  • Published on 10/09/2021 at 12:21 PM
  • Last updated at 10/09/2021 at 12:22 PM