New York Giants At Dallas Cowboys: When Dallas Has The Ball

(Sports Network) – Moving the football hasn’t been too tough a task for the Cowboys, but the multitude of penalties and miscues have stymied an offense that doesn’t lack for weapons. Tony Romo (1566 passing yards, 10 TD, 7 INT) is a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback who’s hit on nearly 70 percent of his passes for the year, while there’s depth abound for a receiving corps headlined by Miles Austin (33 receptions, 486 yards, 2 TD), a true game-breaker who excels at gaining yards after the catch. Counterpart Roy Williams (21 receptions, 5 TD) is finally starting to shake his underachiever tag, with the well-paid wideout having garnered five touchdown catches over his past three games, and tight end Jason Witten (23 receptions, 1 TD) is as reliable as you’ll find at his position. Romo’s been intercepted five times during Dallas’ current two-game slide, however, and the team hasn’t always run the ball consistently. The dangerous Felix Jones (229 rushing yards, 18 receptions) and short-yardage specialist Marion Barber (175 rushing yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions) do form a capable two-back tandem, with Jones having received the bulk of the work as of late. The former first- round pick had a career-high 24 touches, including 10 receptions for 61 yards, against the Vikings.

The Cowboys have done an excellent job protecting Romo, who’s been sacked one time or less in all but one of this year’s games, but the line will have its work cut for it against a New York defense that’s made life miserable for enemy quarterbacks lately. Ends Osi Umenyiora (16 tackles, 8 sacks) and Justin Tuck (36 tackles, 4 sacks) spearhead a fierce pass rush that’s produced 14 sacks during the team’s three-game surge, with the former having amassed an eye-popping seven sacks and forcing six fumbles as a one-man wrecking crew over that time span. The Giants have also been very good against the run this month, having yielded a scant 49 rushing yards per game over the past three weeks, with Tuck and tackle Barry Cofield (28 tackles, 2 sacks) holding their own up front and linebackers Michael Boley (39 tackles) and Jonathan Goff (31 tackles, 0.5 sacks) doing a good job in containment. New York’s seventh-ranked rush defense (92.8 ypg) has been complemented well by a sound secondary that’s gotten good play out of rugged corner Terrell Thomas (33 tackles, 2 INT, 8 PD) and safeties Antrel Rolle (37 tackles, 1 INT) and Kenny Phillips (32 tackles, 1 INT).

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