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10 things to watch in Giants vs. Cowboys



Sunday's loss was only the Giants' second outing not to finish as a one-possession game this season. The Giants lost by 13, but it would have been even more had it not been for Richie James' late fourth-touchdown. The offense turned over the ball a season-high three times, while the defense failed to register one. Despite the struggles, the Giants must turn the page quickly as they return to the field only four days later.

"It wasn't our first loss," Daboll said Monday. "You come in after a loss; you don't feel great. You feel very disappointed. You put a lot of work into it during the week, and you don't get the results you want. You should be disappointed, but you can't let it linger. In this particular case, it's such a quick turnaround. You've got to move on quickly. That's something that we've stressed really since we've gotten here: Take it day-by-day. Learn from the things you can learn from. You're going to hit bumps in the road. Whether that's a practice or a game, a play, a call, a decision, those things are going to happen. And you move on from them."

The Giants will have an opportunity to get back at the Cowboys for the Week 3 matchup in which Dallas handed Big Blue their first loss of the season. However, the team may be a bit short-handed for the Thursday game. Six Giants, including five starters, had to leave the Detroit game with injuries. However, Daboll knows his team will be ready to compete, no matter who suits up.

"We're not about excuses – never will be. We have people on our roster that are going to be ready to play," said the head coach. "And that's our job as a coaching staff is to get these guys ready to play. Again, you're always going to hit adversity – whether it's in a game, whether it's in a season. We've talked about that since April. I don't think that's something you all of a sudden talk about. You have to teach it, and you have to try to learn from it. And that's everybody – it's myself, it's the coaches, it's the players, it's the support staff. You have to believe in your process. You have to go out there and try to execute the best you can. And if you do those things, you live with the results. And you move onto the next week."


Thursday's game is the 122nd all-time meeting between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys and the second game this season. The Cowboys picked up the victory in the first matchup between the two teams back in Week 3, 23-16, and have now won the last three games between the division rivals. The Giants' last win over the Cowboys came in the 2020 season finale, when Big Blue defeated the NFC East rival 23-19 at MetLife Stadium.




Out: TE Daniel Bellinger (eye), OL Josh Ezeudu (neck), C Jon Feliciano (neck), CB Adoree' Jackson (knee), OL Shane Lemieux (toe), CB Fabian Moreau (oblique), T Evan Neal (knee/illness)

Questionable: S Dane Belton (clavicle), WR Richie James (knee), T Tyre Phillips (neck), S Jason Pinnock (jaw), T Andrew Thomas (illness)


Out: LB Anthony Barr (hamstring)

Doubtful: DE Tarell Basham (illness), DT Jonathan Hankins (illness)

Questionable: DE Dante Fowler (illness), CB Kelvin Joseph (illness), DE DeMarcus Lawrence (foot/illness), DT Osa Odighizuwa (knee), LB Micah Parsons (knee/ankle), DT Neville Gallimore (illness), S Donovan Wilson (illness)


Wan'Dale Robinson suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Week 11 loss. The promising rookie wide receiver caught a season-high nine passes for 100 yards in the game and had become one of the most reliable receiving options over the past month.

"Wan'Dale had a good game," said Daboll. "He was really trending in the right direction."

Robinson being lost for the year is just the latest blow to the team's wide receiver corps. Collin Johnson looked poised for a big role on offense this season before he tore his Achilles late in training camp. Just over one month later, Sterling Shepard, the longest tenured player on the team, was lost for the season following an ACL injury of his own.

James seems like the most logical replacement for Robinson in the slot. The veteran ranks tied for third on the team with 23 receptions, while his 230 yards ranks second. After Robinson departed Sunday's game, James stepped in and caught all three passes thrown his way for 48 yards and a touchdown. However, James is now dealing with a knee injury and is listed as questionable for Thursday's game.

One player the Giants will have to lean on even more following Robinson's injury is Darius Slayton. After a slow start to the season, Slayton has been the team's leading receiver over the last seven weeks. Since the Week 5 game against the Packers, the fourth-year wideout has registered 23 receptions for 402 yards and two touchdowns. He has finished with at least 58 receiving yards in all but one game during that stretch, and is coming off a season-high 10 targets last week, which he converted into five receptions for 86 yards.

Kenny Golladay could also be in line for more snaps. Golladay caught his first two passes (for 29 yards) since Week 1 on Sunday. Isaiah Hodgins played in his second game as a Giant and caught three passes for 29 yards (70 yards on five grabs over the past two weeks), but did lose a fumble. The depth chart also includes Marcus Johnson and David Sills, in addition to practice squad members Robert Foster, Kalil Pimpleton and Makai Polk.


Heading into Week 11, Saquon Barkley led the NFL in rushing yards and was second in rush attempts. Barkley had his most difficult outing of the season against the Lions, gaining 22 yards on 15 carries for an average of 1.5 yards per attempt. The total yardage and average yards per carry were the lowest of the season for the fifth-year running back. Barkley still ranks second in the league with 953 rushing yards.

Barkley will look to get back on track on Thanksgiving. In Week 3 vs. Dallas, the 25-year-old registered 14 rush attempts for 81 yards (5.8 avg.) and scored a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 45 yards. Barkley is averaging over 5.0 yards per carry in seven career games against Dallas.

The Cowboys defense ranks 26th in both rushing yards allowed (136.1) and yards per attempt (4.7). While they limited the Vikings to just 73 yards on the ground this past Sunday, Dallas surrendered over 200 rushing yards in each of their previous two games (207 against the Packers, 240 against the Bears).


Similar to the wide receiver position, the Giants appear to be short-handed when it comes to cornerbacks. Aaron Robinson remains on injured reserve with a knee injury suffered in Week 4. Adoree' Jackson, the team's top cornerback, was ruled out by Coach Daboll on Tuesday due to a knee injury suffered last week. Fabian Moreau (oblique) was then ruled out on Wednesday, leaving the Giants without their top two cornerbacks for the matchup against the Cowboys.

The Giants have several players who could be in line for increased playing time due to the injuries. Nick McCloud was on the field for 39 defensive snaps (58 percent) Sunday and finished with three solo tackles, including one tackle for loss. Second-year cornerback Rodarius Williams made his 2022 debut and had four solo tackles on 27 snaps (40 percent). Meanwhile, rookie Cor'Dale Flott registered a pass breakup and three tackles (two solo) on 22 snaps (33 percent). All three could see more of a role this week.


Dexter Lawrence has played well in all facets this season. Although he did not register a sack of Lions QB Jared Goff last week, he picked up two total pressures, including one quarterback hit. The fourth-year lineman made an impact in the run game with five total tackles on running plays, including three run stops. Lawrence finished the game with a season-high seven total tackles (three solo) while playing 88 percent of the defensive snaps. It was the sixth time in the last seven games that he played at least 86 percent of snaps.

The 25-year-old is enjoying a breakout campaign with career-highs in sacks (five) and quarterback hits (17) despite having seven games left on the schedule. Both of those numbers are more than twice as many as any other Giant. His 40 total tackles also puts him on pace to break his previous career-best of 54 total tackles set last year.

Last week's win over the Vikings marked the first game in which Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was not sacked. He had been sacked multiple times in three of the previous four games prior to Week 11. The Cowboys' 14 sacks allowed on the season are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the fewest in the league. Cooper Rush started for the injured Prescott in Week 3 and completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 215 yards and a touchdown for a passer rating of 98.2.

"Wherever they found success against us last game is probably something that they're going to try to come back to this week," defensive lineman Leonard Williams said on Monday. "That's something I'm going to try to study and prepare for and watch a lot of what happened to us last game."


Thursday's contest is the Giants' 16th Thanksgiving game, the sixth-highest total in NFL history, with all of them being played on the road. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Giants were regular Thanksgiving participants. But after their 7-7 tie against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbetts Field in 1938, they didn't play on the holiday again until 1982.

The Giants are 7-5-3 all-time on Thanksgiving but have lost their last three Turkey Day games, in 1992, 2009 and 2017. Their last win on Thanksgiving came in 1982 when Lawrence Taylor picked off a Gary Danielson pass in the fourth quarter and returned it 97 yards for the only touchdown in the Giants' 13-6 victory. It is still the third-longest interception return in Giants history.


Speaking of Prescott, the 29-year-old quarterback has improved since returning from his thumb injury suffered in the season opener. Over the past three games, Prescott has averaged 263.7 passing yards per contest with a 7:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has earned a passer rating of 113+ and completed at least 76 percent of his passes in three of four games since returning to the field. Dallas won all three of those contests.

The Cowboys have one of the most talented pair of running backs in the NFL this season in Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. The two have helped lead Dallas to the eighth-best rushing offense in the league with 136.2 rushing yards per game. Sunday's win was Elliott's first game back after suffering a knee injury back in Week 7. The two backs combined for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries.

Dallas has a clear top target in the passing game in the form of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The third-year receiver has been targeted 93 times through 10 games, catching 58 of those passes for 751 yards and five touchdowns. All of those numbers are at least double any other player on the Cowboys. Ranking second on the team in receptions is tight end Dalton Schultz. Over his last four games, Schultz has caught 20 passes for 199 yards. He appears to be one of Prescott's preferred targets in recent weeks.

"They have a lot of good skill players," Daboll told the media. "I think their roster construction has been really good with really offense, defense and the kicking game. This is a dynamic team, I'd say, in every area. They've got great skill players. When I say skill players, I also include defensive ends, who are skill players. Explosive – scored a lot of points, obviously, last week. (They had) seven sacks, 40 points against an 8-1 team at their place. It will be a huge challenge."


The Cowboys come into this game with the league's No. 1 scoring defense, surrendering just 16.7 points per game. While the unit has played strong in all facets this season, they have excelled in the passing game. Dallas has allowed a league-low 174.5 passing yards per game and racked up a league-high 42 sacks. The 42 sacks are the most by any team in a single season through 10 games over the last 20 years.

Leading the way in the sack department is talented second-year linebacker Micah Parsons. The 23-year-old's 10 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits and three forced fumbles all lead the team. Parsons has five games with two sacks this year. Defensive ends Dorance Armstrong Jr. (seven sacks), DeMarcus Lawrence (six) and Dante Fowler (five) have all contributed to Dallas' successful pass rush as well. Three of Lawrence's six sacks came in the first meeting between the two teams in Week 3.

In terms of the Cowboys' pass defense, the discussion begins with Trevon Diggs. One year after leading the NFL with 11 interceptions, Diggs has found success again this season as his three interceptions and 13 passes defensed are more than double any other player on the team.

Dallas is coming off their best defensive performance of the season. Going up against the then 8-1 Minnesota Vikings, the Cowboys held them to just three points and 183 total yards of offense. It was also the eighth game in which the unit forced a turnover. Their 16 turnovers forced on the season is the seventh-most in the NFL.

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