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Keys to Victory

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Keys to Victory: How the Giants get a win in Dallas


It is safe to say the NFC East, with a combined record of 3-12-1 through four weeks, is up for grabs.

But the 0-4 Giants are in no position to take anyone lightly. Their next three games (and five of the next six) are against divisional opponents, starting this Sunday in Dallas.

"Obviously, with divisional play starting, it's a big week for us as a team," coach Joe Judge said. "This rivalry, with that being said, obviously carries a lot of intensity to it. This is definitely a challenging opponent."

Here are three keys to victory for the Giants on Sunday:

Do your job.

As Carl Banks said this week, if there was ever a game when the phrase "do your job" applies, it's this one. The Cowboys have been scoring 10 billion points and rack up 30 billion yards per game this season, or it just feels that way, said assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. In reality, they are averaging a league-high 509.5 yards per game and averaging 31.5 points, third in the NFL. The Giants' front needs to be gap responsible and the back end needs to communicate to recognize personnel and formations.

"We have a challenge right there and then they have great players," Graham said. "From the O-line to the skill players, starting with the quarterback [Dak Prescott]. The coordinator [Kellen Moore], this guy is calling it at a high level. On top of that, you have [head coach] Coach [Mike] McCarthy, who in my opinion is one of the best offensive minds in the league from my time here in the NFL. I have a lot of respect for him. We have a daunting task in front of us."

Find balance.

This is a "good news, bad news" week. While the Cowboys have been piling up the numbers on offense, they have given up 42 points per game over the last three weeks, increasing their season total to an NFL-high 146. The Giants, meanwhile, have scored a league-low 47 points. The Giants have not scored a touchdown in consecutive games for the first time since 1998. This could be the week they get the ball moving while building off last week's performance, when they averaged 5.4 yards per carry for 136 yards.

"That obviously makes everything else be much better," said offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, who spent much of his life playing and coaching for the Cowboys. "You continue to persist with it regardless, but you're more likely to keep running the ball when you keep having success. We were able to do that [last week]. I think using some tempo helped us. I think we were controlling the line of scrimmage as well as we have in the running game all year long. A lot of positive runs. I thought the guys did a good job upfront blocking, not just the down guys but the tight ends. The receivers got involved and the runners ran the ball well, and we ran it different ways. That certainly helped us as the game wore on."

Win the turnover battle.

It's no surprise why the NFC East is what it is. The Cowboys have turned over the ball nine times, tied with the Eagles for the most in the NFL. The Giants and Washington have given the ball away eight times. Dallas has a league-worst minus-7 differential. Philadelphia is minus-5, Big Blue is minus-4, and Washington is minus-2.

"Coach Garrett is very familiar with their personnel," quarterback Daniel Jones said. "They've had some injuries and some turnover just in terms of the personnel, but his familiarity with a lot of the guys is certainly helpful when we scout them and look at them on tape. The system is different. They're running a different defense with a different coordinator. But a lot of the personnel is similar and Coach is very familiar with those guys. That's helpful. As far as the plan, we'll look to do what we do. Run the ball effectively and use that to open up things in the passing game. The defense has faced a lot of good offenses so far through the season. We'll certainly look to come in and execute on Sunday."

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


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