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Storylines to follow in Giants vs. Cowboys


The Giants will hit the road for the second consecutive week as they travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in Week 10.

Coming off last week's loss in Las Vegas, the Giants will look to regroup against their division foe. The Cowboys defeated the Giants, 40-0, in the season opener, and have gone 4-3 since then.

Sunday's game marks the second of three straight road outings, as the Giants will take on the Commanders at FedExField next week.

Here are five storylines to follow in the Week 10 matchup.

1. DeVito to start at QB

Quarterback Daniel Jones suffered a torn ACL last week in Las Vegas and will miss the remainder of the season.

"It's tough, for sure," Jones told the media Wednesday. "You put a lot into the season. You put a lot into preparing to play and to get it taken from you through an injury is definitely tough. That's real and that's something that you deal with as a player, but it's part of the game at this level. At any level, really, it's something that you have to deal with, and part of it. I understand that and it's unfortunate, but I can't afford to feel sorry for myself or sulk. It's part of it, and I'll be fine. I'll bounce back, attack the rehab process like I have anything else and come back stronger."

Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor is also hurt and was placed on injured reserve last week following an injury to his rib cage in Week 8. On Monday, Daboll could not say for certain that the veteran will return this season.

With both Jones and Taylor out, the Giants made some moves to reshape their quarterback room, starting with the signing of Tommy DeVito from the practice squad to the active roster. When filling in for Jones last week, DeVito completed 15 of 20 passes (75 percent) for 150 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and added 17 yards on the ground. Daboll announced that the 25-year-old will start on Sunday.

"It was very helpful," DeVito said about playing against the Raiders. "I mean, I played in a game before, right? It wasn't just preseason. Whether it was the Jets – the Jets helped for the last week and this week's going to help for this one coming up. So, just trying to get better every play and every game and just trying to progress and move forward."

DeVito will become the first rookie free agent quarterback to start a regular-season game for the Giants in a non-strike season in the common draft era.

"He's a young rookie in this league, but he definitely did some good things," Daboll said about DeVito's performance against the Raiders. "This will be a challenging defense on the road, one of the better defenses in the league, with a lot of good players. I think the big thing for him is let's just focus on the things that he needs to do, put together a plan that we think he can go out there and operate and execute. He's going to do everything he can do."

"It feels good," the rookie added. "Just taking everything one play at a time, one meeting at a time, one day at a time and that's it. Just leaning on my teammates around me."

Additionally, Matt Barkley will serve as DeVito's backup. Barkley, who was added to the practice squad last week, has played in 19 games with seven starts since being drafted in the fourth-round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Eagles. He last played in 2020 when he appeared in five games with the Bills while Daboll served as the team's offensive coordinator. The Giants also signed Jacob Eason to the practice squad Tuesday. Eason, a fourth-round pick of the Colts in 2020, has played in just two NFL games.

"Yeah, I'd say we had conversations about a lot of guys, but Jacob came in, he was with us one time for a quick stint before, had a good workout. Feel good about him," Daboll said.

View photos of the Giants on the practice field ahead of the Week 10 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

2. Leaning on Saquon

With the Giants down to their third-string quarterback, the offense will look towards running back Saquon Barkley to help elevate the unit moving forward. Barkley had his most efficient outing of the season last week in Las Vegas. While he carried the ball just 16 times, he finished with 90 rushing yards, good for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Heading into last week's outing, his highest yards per attempt on the year was 4.3 yards all the way back in Week 1. Barkley also added three receptions for 23 yards and finished the day with 113 total yards from scrimmage.

Barkley has played well since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him three games. In those four contests, the talented back has gained at least 98 yards from scrimmage every week while averaging just over 114 total yards. He's caught at least three passes in each game during that span with an average of 27.5 touches.

The Cowboys boast one of the league's top defenses, but the unit has had more success against the pass than the run this year. Dallas ranks 15th in rushing yards and yards per attempt and 17th in rushing touchdowns allowed this season. In last week's loss to the Eagles, D'Andre Swift, Kenneth Gainwell and Rashaad Penny combined for 73 yards on 23 carries, although quarterback Jalen Hurts added another 36 yards on the ground.

3. Defensive bounce-back

The Giants' defense entered Sunday's matchup in Las Vegas on a bit of a roll. The unit had recorded takeaways in four straight games, held four of its last five opponents to under 300 yards of total offense, allowed just a total of 134 rushing yards over the last two contests, and surrendered no more than 14 points in three consecutive weeks. But all of that changed against the Raiders.

Rookie quarterback Aidan O'Connell threw for 209 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions, but it was the rushing attack that really impacted the game. Josh Jacobs ran for a season-high 98 yards and two touchdowns, while wide receiver Jakobi Meyers added a 17-yard touchdown run. Jacobs had four carries for 31 yards on the Raiders' first scoring drive, which ended in Meyers' run, before adding six attempts for 33 yards and a score on the second. After punching it in from the one-yard line on the very next drive, the Raiders had already jumped out to a 21-0 lead before the end of the first half, a deficit that would prove to be insurmountable with Daniel Jones out for the game.

The Raiders finished with 334 total yards of offense, due in part to the defense's inability to create any big plays. The Giants failed to force a turnover for the first time since Week 4. On top of that, the pass rush was unable to record a single sack of O'Connell, finishing the game with just one quarterback hit from Micah McFadden. On the flip side, the Raiders picked up eight sacks of Giants quarterbacks (from seven different players) in addition to two interceptions.

Dallas' offense is a tough matchup. The unit enters this matchup ranking third in the NFL in both points and third down conversions, thanks in part to the recent success of Dak Prescott. The veteran quarterback has thrown for 678 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception over the last two weeks.

4. Roster & injury updates

Let's start with the roster updates. On Tuesday, the Giants added quarterback Jacob Eason and running back Hassan Hall to the practice squad. With Jones and Taylor both on injured reserve, Eason is now the team's third quarterback, behind DeVito and Barkley. Meanwhile, Hall provides depth at the running back position with Jashaun Corbin missing Sunday's game in Las Vegas due to a hamstring injury and Deon Jackson suffering a concussion. Corbin was limited in Wednesday's practice while Jackson did not participate.

The Giants welcomed Azeez Ojulari back to practice Wednesday, as the outside linebacker was officially designated to return. The third-year outside linebacker has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, but Daboll said the team is hopeful Ojulari can return this Sunday in Dallas.

Right tackle Evan Neal returned to the lineup this past Sunday after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. Neal went on to injure his other ankle against the Raiders, putting his status for Week 10 in doubt.

"I'd say he's not great," Daboll told the media. "I'd put him in the week-to-week category. Not going to say he's definitely not going to make it, but I'd say he's probably more week-to-week than day-to-day."

Daboll also announced that cornerback Adoree' Jackson, along with Deon Jackson, are in the concussion protocol.

5. Scouting the Cowboys

We already touched on Prescott's recent success above, and the biggest beneficiary of the quarterback's production has been wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The fourth-year receiver has caught 57 passes this season for 824 yards, the fifth-most in the NFL, and three touchdowns. Lamb has recorded at least seven receptions in each of the last three games and has topped 100 yards in each of those. In fact, he is averaging 155.3 receiving yards per game during that stretch after going for a career-high 191 yards last week against the Eagles.

Lamb leads the Cowboys in the major receiving categories, but right behind him is Jake Ferguson. The second-year tight end has recorded 32 receptions for 328 yards this year while matching Lamb with a team-high three receiving touchdowns. Ferguson has found the end zone in each of the last two games, and is coming off a career-high seven receptions for 91 yards last week.

While Dallas' aerial attack has been ascending the last few weeks, the run game has slowed down a bit. After rushing for over 120 yards in each of the first four weeks of the season, the Cowboys are averaging just 82 yards on the ground in their last four games. Running back Tony Pollard has been held under 55 rushing yards in his last five games, and has not scored a touchdown since his two against the Giants in the season opener.

Now let's move over to the defense, which has held each of the last three opponents (and all but two on the season) to under 300 total yards of offense. This has helped boost the unit to third in the league in yards allowed, while they rank sixth in points surrendered.

Micah Parsons has once again put together a dominant start to his season. Through the first eight games of the season, Parsons has recorded 7.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hits, while Pro Football Focus has him down for 49 total pressures. He is on pace to break his record of 13.5 sacks set last season. Defensive end Dorance Armstrong Jr. comes in second on the team with 3.5 sacks, and Osa Odighizuwa is right behind him with three, while DeMarcus Lawrence has just one sack since the season opener.

Despite losing Trevon Diggs to a torn ACL back in September, the Cowboys' pass defense has still played well. Cornerback DaRon Bland is tied for second in the league with four interceptions, while Stephon Gilmore has two himself. Bland has impressively returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns.

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


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