The Cowboys have appeared to find some life in what has been an up-and-down season thus far. A slaughtering of the Washington Redskins has the team’s current record at 6-6 with playoff hopes still alive.
This week they’ll face the lowly New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The Giants are coming off of a loss to the Oakland Raiders last week. The loss was the final straw that led to the firing of Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese. They’re in one word, desperate. Their playoff hopes are dashed so they have nothing to play for besides spoiling the Cowboys’ hopes of making it to the post-season.
One bright spot for the Giants this season has been their rookie tight end, Evan Engram. Engram has filled in nicely for New York as their leading pass-catcher after the losses of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall.
Engram had four catches for 44 yards in his first career game against Dallas. Now that he’s had almost a full season to get acquainted with the NFL game, expect Engram to be a lot more comfortable this time around. It would not be a shocker to see him post better stats than the ones he had in week one.
Speaking of stats, Engram has been putting those up in bunches. He is tied for third amongst tight ends in touchdown receptions with six. He’s also in a seventh-place tie with Jason Witten for receptions amongst tight ends with 51. Engram checks in at fifth in receiving yards with 569.
Now that the Giants have re-inserted Eli Manning into the starting lineup, expect Engram to once again assume the rank of Manning’s favorite pass-catcher.
The Cowboys have been very shaky defending tight ends in 2017, they rank right around the middle of the NFL. They have allowed 57 receptions for 615 yards and four touchdowns this season. Engram’s athleticism and jaw-dropping catching radius could cause problems during Sunday’s matchup.
The responsibility of covering Engram will most likely fall on the shoulders of Byron Jones. The third-year safety has recently been in the news as someone who may lose his starting job. Backup safety Kavon Frazier has earned more playing time subbing in for Jones and has been a difference maker.
However, in this game, Jones’ athleticism should be the deciding factor in who should get the bulk of the snaps against Engram and the Giants.
All-in-all, this is a game that the Cowboys should win. The Giants are a bad team that hasn’t shown any life all season. That may change now that McAdoo and Reese are gone, but there is no excuse for the Cowboys to drop this one. Especially since they are a team fighting for their playoff lives.
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