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The rivalry between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys continues on Sunday night in Dallas.
In recent years, Eli Manning and Tony Romo have provided us with some thrilling football and memorable moments and Sunday night looks to be no different.
Here are three things to look for heading into week 1:
1. Jason Witten vs. the Giants' Linebackers
Dez Bryant gets most of the buzz and rightly so, but last year in Dallas, Jason Witten had 18 catches for 167 yards in Dallas’s 29-24 loss to the Giants.
Heading into Sunday’s contest, Witten will be matched up against what looks to be the weakest link of Big Blue so the question is, what will the Giants do to adjust?
Starting safety Antrel Rolle recently said that there is no way the Giants will let Witten do that to them again. As a fan of the Giants, I’m not sure if Rolle’s “guarantee” makes me feel any better - sort of like an actor saying he/she hopes to be the best actor in a Pauly Shore movie (props to comedian Bill Maher for that one).
2. The Giants' Running Game
Heading into the 2013 season, the Giants were counting on the tandem of David Wilson and Andre Brown to carry the load at running back. Unfortunately, Brown suffered a broken leg in the preseason finale and will be out for the first eight games of the season on short-term IR, meaning Wilson will be getting the bulk of the carries until Brown returns from his injury.
Starting center David Baas will not start against the Cowboys, but Dallas is facing injury issues of their own on the defensive side of the ball as starting defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and starting defensive end Anthony Spencer are both out on Sunday. With Wilson’s “home run” ability, expect the Giants to run early and often.
3. The Giants' Red Zone Offense
The Giants' inability to score touchdowns in the red zone hurt them in 2012 and that issue carried over to the 2013 preseason for the first unit offense. If the Giants want to win this game, and ultimately win the division, they need to solve this problem and solve it quickly.
A healthy Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz will surely help in this area, but the unit's inability to get the ball in the end zone nearly cost them in last year’s game and, with the state of their defense, field goals will just not cut it in Big D on Sunday.