New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Free Pick 9/8/13
New York Giants (9-7) at Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm (Cowboys Stadium)
The Line: Dallas Cowboys -3 -- Over/Under: 49 See the Latest Odds
The Giants and Cowboys begin their NFL season with a divisional clash in Big D in what is surely going to be an exciting encounter between two bitter rivals.
Eli Manning and the New York Giants are hoping their recent history will repeat itself as they have followed up each of their last two non-playoff campaigns with a Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots and while the opponent doesn’t matter to the G-Men, they will be hoping for another Super Bowl crown. While Manning isn’t necessarily regarded as an elite level quarterback in a league that is filled with some of the best to ever play the game, he does have two championship rings and knows what it takes to be the best, even if he doesn’t get the recognition of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and his older brother, Peyton. Manning will have the luxury of Victor Cruz catching a number of his throws this season, to go along with a healthy Hakeem Nicks, an emerging Reuben Randle, and newcomer Brandon Myers. That is all complimented by sophomore running back David Wilson. Offensively, the Giants look like a sound unit, but it will be their play on defense that will dictate their success this season. Facing a high-powered offense like Dallas in the season opener will be a key measuring stick for the rest of the year.
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The Cowboys, meanwhile, continue to deal with the annual hype that surrounds one of the league’s most storied franchises, but it has been quite some time since “America’s Team” has added a chapter to that book and this year doesn’t appear to be much different. Despite the constant criticism, Tony Romo is actually a more than capable quarterback, in fact, he might be in the conversation as one of the league’s elite and if he and the rest of the Cowboys’ offense can take the next step this season, they could very well crown themselves NFC East champions and get back to the playoffs. Dez Bryant has emerged as one of the game’s best wide receivers and he will be called upon heavily by Romo this season, but the likes of Miles Austin, and Jason Witten will surely get their looks as well. The main concern for Cowboys fans is the ground game as Demarco Murray, who was once regarded as the next big thing in Dallas has struggled to secure his starter’s job this season, leaving Cowboy Nation in a state of distress. Lance Dunbar could emerge as the starter in Big D, but until that time comes, Murray will surely be under the microscope, even more so than Romo. With all this uncertainty plaguing the Cowboys heading into the season, I think they come out flat, leaving the floodgates open for criticism as early as week one. I think Manning and the Giants leave Dallas victorious.