The bye week came at a perfect time for the Dallas Cowboys, not only giving quarterback Tony Romo a chance to heal his injured back but allowing the team to reclaim a share of first place in the NFC East. Dallas will play its first true road game in six weeks when it visits the skidding New York Giants on Sunday night in the second matchup this season between the division rivals. The Cowboys, who beat Jacksonville 31-17 in London prior to the bye, have won three straight matchups against New York.
The Giants have dropped five in a row, sit four games off the pace in the NFC East and do not own a victory over a team currently with a winning record, but they are holding out hope of making a playoff run. “This is a good team,” running back Rashad Jennings said. “When we’re losing, we see it’s a couple things here, a couple things there, and we’re like, ‘Come on guys.’ Button up. Let’s just button up this shirt, tighten a few things up, and we’ll be all right.” New York lost at Dallas 31-21 on Oct. 19.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC
LINE HISTORY: The line opened as the Giants +3, but jumped to +3.5 on Thursday where it remains. The opening total has jumped from 47 to 47.5.
INJURY REPORT: Cowboys – LB Ronaldo McClain (Ques-Knee), DE Tyrone Crawford (Ques-Knee) Giants – T Justin Pugh (Ques-Quad), LB Jacquian WIlliams (Ques-Concussion), DT Cullen Jenkins (Ques-Calf), T James Brewer (Ques-Back)
WEATHER FORECAST: A mix of sun and clouds are expected for game time in East Rutherford. Winds are going to be blowing around 6 mph with temperatures around 51°F.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Cowboys bye came at a good time to rest the wounded and get ready for the stretch run that includes four divisional games left including two against the Eagles. The Giants are all but done after 5th straight loss as is head coach Tom Coughlin. They host Dallas in a revenge game Sunday night before two straight road games.” – Covers Expert Matt Fargo
WHAT BOOKS SAY: “We opened at Dallas -3 (-120) and on Monday afternoon moved Cowboys to -3.5 after 91 percent of cash in first 12 hours was backing the Cowboys. On Friday we shaded the juice to -3.5 (-115) on Dallas. Good spot for Dallas, as they are coming off a bye and the extra time off is beneficial for both preparation and for injuries. Currently, 86 percent of cash & 84 percent of bets on spread are backing Dallas.” – Mike Jerome of TopBet.eu
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (7-3 SU, 6-4 ATS, 5-4-1 O/U): Romo returned from missing one game due to two small fractures in his back to throw for 246 yards and three touchdowns overseas as Dallas snapped a two-game losing streak. DeMarco Murray leads the league with 1,233 yards and has gone over 100 yards nine times, including a 28-carry, 128-yard performance in last month’s victory over the Giants. Wide receiver Dez Bryant torched New York for nine catches and 151 yards, which represented his season high until he had six catches for 158 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Jaguars. Romo has thrown nine scoring passes versus one interception over his last four starts and finished with 279 yards and three touchdowns in the earlier meeting between the teams.
ABOUT THE GIANTS (3-7 SU, 3-7 ATS, 6-4 O/U): After throwing a league-worst 27 interceptions last season, Eli Manning had done a much better job of protecting the ball until last week’s disastrous performance, when he was picked off five times in a 16-10 home loss to San Francisco. Jennings returned from a four-game absence to rush for 59 yards on 18 carries and expects to take on a larger role in what is a must-win scenario for New York. Rookie first-round draft pick Odell Beckham Jr. had four catches for 34 yards and a pair of TDs against Dallas and followed that up with 21 receptions for 357 yards in the past three contests. The Giants rank dead last in the league against the run (145.0), an ominous sign when going up against Murray.
*Giants are 0-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
*Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
*Under is 17-8 in Giants last 25 vs. a team with a winning record.
*Over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.