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Fact or Fiction: Predictions for Giants vs. Cowboys


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The winner needs to score at least 30 points on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fact - This could end up being fiction if both teams struggle to score in the red zone, although this is unlikely. The Cowboys have punted only 12 times this year, which is an average of only three times a game. They are averaging 31.5 points per game and have moved the ball at will in all four of their games. The Cowboys; defense has made a lot of big plays (10 takeaways), but they have also given up nearly 400 yards per game. If the Giants can avoid turning over the ball they should be able to move the ball and score on Sunday.

Dan Salomone: Fact – The Giants and Cowboys have met 12 times at AT&T Stadium (Giants trail, 7-5, after starting with four consecutive victories there). The winner averages 30.4 points.

Lance Medow: Fact - The Cowboys have scored at least 29 points in three of their first four games and at least 36 in each of their last two. Dallas is fourth in the NFL in scoring, averaging 32 points per contest, whereas the Giants are tied for 21st at 21 points per game. Based on those numbers alone, from New York's perspective, this game is on the Giants' offense, meaning that unit will have to consistently put points on the board if the team wants to walk away with a victory.

Matt Citak: Fact – The Giants are averaging just over 20 points per game, so it is possible that the Cowboys could win without scoring 30 points. But for Joe Judge's squad to emerge victorious in this divisional matchup, the offense will likely need to have a big outing. The Cowboys have scored 29+ points in three of four games and are fresh off a 36-point explosion against a good Panthers defense. Dallas has the most talented offensive unit among the Giants' first five opponents - they enter this weekend ranked fourth in points and third in yards per game. It's going to take another breakout performance from Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the offense to win this NFC East showdown.  

The winner of Giants-Cowboys will emerge as the frontrunner to win the division.

John Schmeelk: Fact - It is hard to argue given how the first four weeks have gone that Dallas appears to be the best team in the division at 3-1. If the Giants can beat them on the road after winning in New Orleans last week, they will be only one game behind them in the standings and should be considered legit challengers for the division title. Washington is 2-2 and could also be in the mix if they can figure out their third-down issues on defense.

Dan Salomone: Fiction – This is a whacky division with no repeat champion since the early 2000s. Plus, a long season got even longer with the 17th game added this year. The winner in Dallas will certainly be hyped up as the front-runner in the ensuing week, but all that matters is what they're saying in Week 18. There will be many ups and down between then and now.

Lance Medow: Fiction – It's a fair thing to say, based on the first quarter of the season, the Cowboys have emerged as the NFC East front-runner, but even if they lose this game, they'd still be in first place and 1-1 in the division. So don't say the winner will emerge as the front-runner to win the division. One game rarely defines a season. No matter Sunday's result, there's a lot more football to be played.

Matt Citak: Fiction – It is entirely possible, even likely, that the winner of Giants-Cowboys ends up taking the division crown at the end of the season. But if there's one thing we've learned about the NFC East in recent years, it's that you never know what might happen. Last year's division race came down to the very last game of the 2020 regular season, with the Giants needing an Eagles win over Washington, a couple of hours after the Giants defeated the Cowboys, in order to sneak into the playoffs. Sitting at 3-1, the Cowboys are currently considered the front-runners to win the division. A victory over the Giants on Sunday likely would not move the needle much on that front. Even if the Giants were to beat Dallas, they would still be a game behind the Cowboys with 12 left to play. A true front-runner to win the division will not emerge until we are at least halfway through the season.

View rare photos from the historic rivalry between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

Stopping the run is still priority No. 1 against the Cowboys' potent offense.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - What makes the Cowboys' offense so dangerous is their ability to move the ball on offense in nearly every conceivable way. Despite Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard being two of the most talented backs in the league, allowing five yards per carry to them is probably a better option than allowing Dak Prescott to throw the ball over the field for 300 yards and make several big plays over the top. If Dallas can run the ball, the Giants can still keep them out of the end zone once they get into the red zone or try to force them into mistakes to short-circuit long and methodical drives.

Dan Salomone: Fact – They're especially potent on early downs. Dallas ranks first in average yards to go on second down (6.84) and percentage of first-down plays gaining at least four yards (67.5). The key is to stop the run and get the Cowboys behind the sticks.

Lance Medow: Fact - The Cowboys are second in the NFL in rushing yards per game (166 avg.). They're coming off a win against the Panthers in which they ran for 245 yards and averaged over seven yards per carry. You don't just have to worry about slowing down Ezekiel Elliott but Tony Pollard as well given his larger role within the offense this season. Dak Prescott can easily air it out, as was documented in Week 1 when he threw the ball 58 times against the Bucs. But what makes Dallas even more dangerous is the ground attack, especially when that offensive line is playing bully ball.

Matt Citak: Fact – Dak Prescott comes into this game with a 75.2 completion percentage and a 10:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Between Prescott and his top targets (Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, Dalton Schultz), it's going to be tough to shut down the Cowboys' passing game. Slowing down Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and the run game has to be the top priority for Big Blue's defense. The Cowboys rank second in rushing yards, fifth in rushing touchdowns and second in yards per carry this season. Elliott is averaging an impressive 5.3 yards per carry, which doesn't even come close to Pollard's 6.8 yards per attempt. The Giants did come out with the victory last week despite allowing a season-high 170 rushing yards to Alvin Kamara and the Saints. They won't have the same success this week if they allow the Cowboys to run crazy.

Kadarius Toney is the X-factor this week for the Giants.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Let;s go with Azeez Ojulari. Terrence Steele is the Cowboys' starting right tackle and even though he has played better than he did last season, Brian Burns gave him some serious problems on different snaps last week. With Tyron Smith, Connor Williams and Zach Martin anchoring the rest of the line, the best chance the Giants have in getting to the quarterback is against Steele. If Ojulari can get consistent pressure on Prescott throughout the game, the Giants might be able to force him into some mistakes and turnovers that can create momentum. Toney would be a good choice on offense, however, especially given the struggles Dallas nickel cornerback Jourdan Lewis has had this season.

Dan Salomone: Fact – Toney is the posterchild of an X-factor. He's electric with the ball in his hands and can be used anywhere on the field. Heck, he can even throw the ball on a trick play.

Lance Medow: Fact - Kadarius Toney didn't disappoint in the biggest workload of his young career. He finished with six receptions on nine targets for 78 yards and produced several explosive plays, including a first down conversion on a 3rd-and-18. Toney's speed and elusiveness makes him a very dangerous player and if he can turn short passes into significant gains, that can go a long way in helping the Giants' offense match the Cowboys' firepower. You can put John Ross as a very close second, but Toney's game-changing ability makes him an intriguing player. Now it's a matter of how defenses adapt to his skillset with some of his explosive plays on the NFL level well documented.

Matt Citak: Fact – This one was tough, and you could say John Ross after his strong Giants debut last week, but Toney edges him out. Last week was the first time the Giants made a concerted effort to get their rookie first-round pick involved, and it's not a coincidence that the offense had its best outing. Toney led the team with nine targets, catching six of them for 78 yards. More importantly, the 22-year-old showed his play-making ability with some very impressive runs after the catch. The Cowboys enter this matchup ranking 31st in the league in passing yards and 26th in passing touchdowns allowed, something the offense must exploit.

View photos from Thursday's practice as the Giants prepare for their Week 5 matchup against the Cowboys.

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