After starting the season off by winning their first three games, the Dallas Cowboys have come back down to earth. The team snapped their three-game losing streak against the Philadelphia Eagles before their Week 8.
It has been a bit of a struggle for the New York Giants, who have lost their last four games that have put them near the cellar of the NFC East. Despite all that, the Cowboys and Giants have played each other quite evenly over the years. Here are three things to keep an eye on during Monday’s game.
3. Dak Prescott bouncing back
During the Cowboys’ hot start to the season, Prescott was a big reason for their success as he had put together a promising stretch of games. However, he has had his ups and downs since then with his play under center.
Prescott is coming off a solid outing against the Eagles, where he completed 21-of-27 passes for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception while holding a 100.5 passer rating. The Cowboys should be confident that their quarterback can build off that as he had torched the Giants in the season opener for 405 passing yards and four touchdowns.
The table is set for him to put up another strong outing against a porous Giants’ secondary that is allowing 283.5 passing yards per contest. They are also coming off seeing Matthew Stafford torch them for 342 passing yards and three touchdowns.
2. Saquon Barkley’s impact
Barkley is clearly working his way back into the fold to get his legs under him, where he has notched more than 60 rushing yards in the last two games. He will have the opportunity to be a significant factor in the offense as he had success earlier this year against the Cowboys.
In Week 1 action, Barkley tallied 120 rushing yards on 11 carries along with four catches for six receiving yards. The Giants will be looking to lean on the second-year back to carry them forward while rookie quarterback Daniel Jones continues to garner much-needed experience.
Barkley’s production will likely not correlate to the Giants winning the game, given their struggles to move the ball down consistently. It should prevent him from receiving a significant workload, eyeing his first 100 rushing yard performance since Week 2 action against the Buffalo Bills.
That said, he should put up a solid night for fantasy football owners looking to make a last-ditch effort to etch out a win.
1. Cowboys defense on the road
Over the last couple of years, the Cowboys have put together an intriguing core group of talent on the defensive side of the ball.
Dallas hasn’t had the same type of success with that unit this season, but they have a chance to put forth another solid effort, pushing them back to being one of the better defenses in the league. They are coming off a strong showing against the Eagles, limiting them to just 10 points with three sacks, four turnovers and two failed red-zone trips.
The Cowboys have been effective against the run, giving up 96.9 yards per contest and are fifth allowing just 17.7 points contest. A key part to their success on Monday night will be to limit Barkley’s impact on the game as he’s proven to be the Giants’ best offensive talent.
It will be a different challenge this time around as New York will have Jones under center while veteran wide receiver Golden Tate will be in the mix offensively. The Cowboys have added a stronger pass-rush presence as well with the acquisition of defensive end Michael Bennett from the New England Patriots.
Ultimately, this is a game that could shift in their favor behind the play of their defense.