3 Cowboys X-Factors Against Giants in Week 1

The Cowboys will look to these three X-factors to make a difference in Week 1.
Tony Pollard is one of the Cowboys' three X-factors against the Giants in Week 1.
Tony Pollard is one of the Cowboys' three X-factors against the Giants in Week 1. / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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Sunday marks the 12th time that the Dallas Cowboys will face the rival New York Giants in Week 1. After sweeping this NFC East rivalry last year, Mike McCarthy's team looks to continue that trend with another victory at MetLife Stadium. 

On one hand, victory looks promising considering that the Cowboys have won 11 of their last 12 meetings with the Giants. On the other, underestimating New York could lead to an unnecessary upset to begin the new campaign. 

Certain Dallas players must show up to ensure that there isn't a tragedy on the road Sunday night. With that being said, here's a look at three Cowboys X-factors against the Giants in Week 1. 

3 Cowboys X-Factors vs. Giants in Week 1

3. Tony Pollard

The time has come for Tony Pollard to prove what he can do as the lead back in Dallas

After starting just 6-of-62 games over the last four seasons, Pollard is the Cowboys' No. 1 RB following Ezekiel Elliott's departure. There's a lot of faith in the 26-year-old rusher after racking up 1,378 total yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns on 232 touches last year. 

The Giants were a juicy matchup for RBs in 2022, surrendering 144.2 rushing yards per game (No. 27 in the NFL) and 5.2 yards per carry (T-No. 30). They also allowed 15 TDs to running backs, which was tied for the 11th-most in the league. 

The Cowboys need Pollard to take advantage of the Giants' defense. Finding success on the ground will not only tire out New York's frontline but also open up the passing game for Dak Prescott. Failure to do so will turn Dallas' attack one-dimensional. 

The good news is that Pollard did have success against the Giants last season, amassing 165 rushing yards on 31 carries. Assuming that he produces similar results on Sunday, the Cowboys will be on their way to victory. 

Without an Elliott-type RB behind him as insurance, Pollard must shine come Sunday.