The New York Giants didn’t allow the Dallas Cowboys much running room in the season opener. The result: a 20-19 Giants victory, the only loss in 2016 for the 11-1 Cowboys.
Can the Giants repeat the feat against the Cowboys’ offensive line, arguably the best in the NFL?
ESPN NFL Insiders analyst Field Yates says to look specifically at Giants left defensive tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison, No. 98.
“His production is insane,” Yates said Thursday on NFL Insiders. “He has 72 tackles in 12 games. He’s 350 pounds and is on pace for 96 tackles. No player in league history at 325 pounds or more has ever had more than 84 tackles” in a season.
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Insiders panelist Joe Banner threw some cold water on the Giants’ defensive capability. The loss of defensive end Jean Pierre-Paul, he said, puts the Cowboys in position to win both lines of scrimmage. And given that, only a significant deficit in turnovers can keep the Cowboys from victory, he said.
How about the Giants offense? Can it regain what it had in a six-game winning streak before a putrid performance in a 24-14 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers?
NBC analyst and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy said before the Chiefs-Raiders Thursday night game that the Cowboys found they couldn’t handle Odell Beckham Jr. one-on-one in the opener and went to zone, and Eli Manning “ate them up” with intermediate routes.