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Keys to Victory

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Keys to Victory: Seeking back-to-back road wins


The New York Giants hit the road again in Week 5 for a meeting with the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys.

While the rivals split the 2020 season series, the Giants have not won at AT&T Stadium since 2016. The good news is the Giants are in the streak-busting business. Last week, they won in the Superdome for the first time since 1993.

Can they do it again on the road? Here are three keys to victory for the Giants:

Get Dallas off schedule

The Cowboys' offense ranks third in yards and fourth in scoring, but those are end results. A big part of why they sit near the top is what they do 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). They do it with both the run and short-pass games.

"The run game is extremely efficient and effective on early downs staying ahead of the sticks," coach Joe Judge said. "They're doing a great job on early downs with the short controlled passing game, ties a lot back into that West Coast offense with [Cowboys head coach] Mike [McCarthy] and how he's used it in the past. And, of course, they know how to really tie in shot plays down the field and create matchups for their players."

Mix up coverages

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescot has the fourth-best passer rating (116.9) in the league with a 1-2 punch at receiver in Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb. He also has a rising star in tight end Dalton Schultz. The key to slowing them down?

"Mix of coverages, mix of affecting the quarterback," assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Patrick Graham said. "But the thing about them is they're moving those guys around, whether they're in the slot, they're out, number 1. I think one thing that can help us is making sure [we] take care of the deep part of the field, maybe get some hits on them when they're down at the line of scrimmage but keep changing it up on them. They're pretty dynamic, they're pretty dynamic players, so we've got a challenge ahead of us."

Continue to take care of the ball

Only three teams have fewer turnovers than the Giants, who have given away the ball just three times in four games. They are tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a plus-1 turnover differential, the 11th-best mark in the league. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are tied with the Buffalo Bills at the top of the league at plus-7.

"I just think [Daniel Jones has] made progress over the last year-and-a-half that we've been with him," offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said of the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week. "It starts with playing winning football. You have to take care of the ball, and I think he's done that. Starting from about midseason last year, he's done a great job taking care of the ball. He has made really good decisions, he's played decisively. I think he's getting a better understanding for what we're asking him to do, what defenses are trying to do to us and he's seeing the field and he's making a lot of good decisions. When things aren't there, he's made good decisions to get rid of the ball. Two or three times in the game the other day, maybe a rusher came free, or something didn't come up exactly like we wanted to, he used his feet, he threw the ball away, we went to the next down. So, I think that's a big sign of maturity and then he's been able to make more and more plays."

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

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