Friday, October 26, 2012
Dallas Cowboys down several key players heading into conference match up with New York Giants
A win would put the Cowboys half a game behind the Giants, who lead the division.
After defeating the Giants in Week One, the Cowboys hope to improve its 0-3 record against New York in Cowboys Stadium.
Eli Manning has torched the Dallas secondary for 1,036 yards in his last three games in the building, but the Cowboys’ second ranked pass defense hopes to repeat its season opening effort where it held Eli to only 213 yards in its 24-17 victory.
A Dallas defense that ranks fourth in yards allowed suffered a devastating loss with the news of its injured starting middle linebacker.
Sean Lee, who leads the team in tackles heading into Sunday, is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right big toe Tuesday.
“It’s frustrating that your foot, your toe, can keep you out a whole year,” Lee said in an interview on Thursday.
Lee, the third year Cowboy out of Penn State, has become the team’s vocal leader on defense over the last two seasons. Inside linebackers Bruce Carter and Dan Connor will be called upon to fill the void left by Lee.
The expected defensive drop-off means that Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ offense will need to start putting more points on the board this week and this season.
Averaging below 20 points a game, the Dallas offense will likely rely on the passing game to keep up with a Giants team that averages nearly 30 points a game.
Without a healthy Demarco Murray at running back, and with a beat-up Felix Jones, Dallas will need to attack the Giants’ pass defense, ranked No.25.
Relying more heavily on Romo may not be too comforting for Cowboy fans. The veteran quarterback is on pace for career worsts in passer rating and TD/INT ratio.
While showing flashes of big play potential, the chemistry between Romo and his receiving corps has been deficient. Receivers Dez Bryant and Kevin Ogletree have highlighted this inconsistency.
Surprisingly more consistent, has been the play of the Dallas offensive line. A continued impressive performance will be needed against the Giants’ who possess two of the league’s best pass rushers in Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora.
If Cowboys’ tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free can match up against these pro-bowlers’ speed, the Dallas passing game should be successful.
A win at home Sunday will put the Cowboys a mere half game behind the division leading Giants, and will give the team the important head-to-head tiebreaker at the end of the season.
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