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3) Rein in Witten. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten had a night for the ages in their last meeting, hauling in 18 catches for 167 yards. Limit him and the Giants can take away the comfort of quarterback Tony Romo.
4) Use the big butts. The backsides became bigger at defensive tackle with the personnel the Giants brought in, and the Giants will need them to gain some interior pressure. That will pave the way for linebackers, who will be equally as important against the run.
5) Communicate. The Giants will be playing two offensive linemen who have never started an NFL game, including rookie first-rounder Justin Pugh at right tackle. That’s a tall order for a road game in the division and against a new scheme under defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, who took over in Dallas this season. Pugh and Brewer will rely heavily on the vets around them.
6) Make the Cowboys offense one-dimensional. The Cowboys threw the ball 658 times last year compared to just 355 rushing attempts (second-lowest in the NFL) . They want to return to a more balanced attack this season, but the Giants will try to prevent that. Sometimes the best game plan is taking away the opponent’s.
7) Take the fight to the opponent. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell has said he wants his unit to be more aggressive this year. That means bringing pressure from different areas, not just the front four. Look for safety Ryan Mundy in that department.
9) Limit the big plays. The rivalry has been decided by a touchdown or less in six of the last eight meetings. The games boil down to who can make the big plays on offense and limit them on defense. Look to players like David Wilson to spark the offense and Prince Amukamara on defense to follow up a 2012 season in which the Giants finished plus-14 in turnover differential.
10) Be consistent. That encompasses everything above and is at the root of all the solutions to 2012’s problems. Time to put it to the test.