Sunday, September 13, 2015

DMN - Scouting The Giants

Eli Manning was the first quarterback to get a win at AT&T Stadium back in 2009. He then won every single trip to Arlington until the Cowboys finally broke through in Week 1 of 2013 after the Giants turned the ball over six times. Last year in a game dominated by Dez Bryant, the Cowboys coasted to a Week 8 win, giving the Giants their second consecutive loss after four straight wins at the new stadium.
Since 2004 when he was drafted first overall, Manning is easily the leading passer in all categories â” good and bad â” against the Cowboys: 44 touchdowns (no other QB has more than Drew Brees' 18), 23 interceptions (next highest is Rex Grossman with seven), wins 10, and losses 11. Any way you slice it, the Cowboys have a familiar and contentious relationship with Peyton's little brother. But, there is much more to the Giants then the QB who has been compared locally to Tony Romo more than any other player. Let's look at three other Giants players who will help decide Sunday's outcome:

Ereck Flowers

Flowers, 21, was chosen with the ninth overall pick by the Giants. He might have taken over at right tackle, but veteran left tackle Will Beatty injured himself lifting weights and was lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. That means that Flowers' first NFL start will be protecting Manning's blindside and facing the Cowboys' improved pass rush. At the University of Miami, he was very solid in most areas of his game, but he needs to continue to develop. If he does, at his size (6-6, 329 pounds) and athleticism, he can quickly become one of the NFL's best tackles.

Odell Beckham Jr.

He missed his first four NFL games with a hamstring and played in only the final 12 last year in his rookie season out of LSU. But, in those 12 games, he was third in catches in the NFL, second in yards, and second in TDs (Dez Bryant had 13, Beckham 12). Needless to say, after those numbers, Beckham appears to be a superstar in the making. He should be even more difficult to deal with when Victor Cruz returns, but the Cowboys will attest that there is already no way to deal with him in the red zone. His four TDs against Dallas were a clear demonstration that it will take more than one man to try to contain him.

Johnathan Hankins

The Giants are generally known for their defensive front over the years, and they have always been more than willing to spend picks high in the draft to continue to fortify the ranks. But, Hankins, in his third season, might actually be the new leader of this group, despite just now coming into his own. When he arrived, he was surrounded by Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, and Jason Pierre-Paul. But now, the first two are gone and Pierre-Paul is temporarily absent after his fireworks mishap. Regardless, Hankins, the former Buckeye, is a massive defensive tackle (6-2, 320) at just 23 years old, cannot be moved and has quickness to disrupt. He will challenge the Cowboys interior with his impressive skill set.

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