Dallas upset the Giants on their turf to begin the 2012 NFL campaign.
Fierce NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, play their second and final regular season meeting Sunday in Big D.
The Don Best Pro Odds opened the Cowboys as 1½-point home favorites, but it was quickly bet around and they’re now 1½-2 point ‘dogs. The total is 47½-points and FOX will have this ratings buster starting at 4:25 p.m. (ET).
These teams opened the NFL season on Wednesday, September 5. Dallas was a 3½-point ‘dog at the defending champs, but won 24-17 after winning the total yardage battle 433-269. Quarterback Tony Romo (307 yards, three TDs) outplayed his counterpart Eli Manning (213 yards).
The 41 combined points scored went ‘under’ the 45½-point total. The ‘under’ is 2-0 in the last two meetings between the teams after the ‘over’ was 5-0 in the previous five.
The Cowboys (3-3 straight up, 3-3 against the spread) may have peaked in that Giants game as not a lot has gone right since. They did pull out a victory at struggling Carolina last week, 19-14 as 1-point favorites, but the offense has trouble putting up points (18.8 PPG, tied-for-24th) despite being 10th in total yards (374.8 YPG).
The running game is a concern Sunday with DeMarco Murray (foot) doubtful after missing last game. Felix Jones was the main guy, but rushed for just 44 yards on 15 carries and is questionable with a knee injury.
That puts a lot of pressure on Romo. He didn’t throw an interception for the first time this season last game, but it’s hard to imagine that happening again versus the imposing Giants pass rush.
Dallas’ defense ranks fourth in total yards allowed (292.3 YPG), but just got devastating news with leading tackler Sean Lee (toe) out for the season. He has 58 tackles with the next closest at 32, and the Giants will try to run the ball at replacement Dan Connor.
Note the Cowboys are 0-5 ATS in their last five at home (0-2 ATS this year). They beat Tampa Bay (16-10 as 9-point favorites) before getting embarrassed by Chicago (34-18 loss) on MNF. Romo had five picks in that Bears game, which is the last time the home crowd saw him.
The Giants (5-2 SU, 3-3-1 ATS) have won five of six since the Dallas opener, although they haven’t always been pretty. Last week’s home game against Washington is the perfect example. The G-Men were outgained 248-64 on the ground with the scrambling of Robert Griffin III a big factor, but Manning threw a 77-yard TD pass to Victor Cruz with under 1:30 remaining.
The sterling 27-23 victory failed to cover the 6½-point spread and also went just ‘under’ the 51½-point total. The ‘under’ is 4-1 in the Giants last five games, 3-0 away this year.
Manning can throw on any team and has been better on the road (94.5 rating). Receiver Hakeem Nicks keeps rounding into form after injuries and could have a breakout game. That will take pressure off the sensational Cruz.
Ahmad Bradshaw has been dealing with a foot issue and was held to 43 yards last week after an average of 158 the prior two. As mentioned above, the G-Men will really test the Dallas run ‘D’ and Bradshaw is a big part of that.
New York has been a great road team since last December, going 7-1 SU and 7-0-1 ATS (including the Super Bowl). The numbers this year are 2-1 SU and 2-0-1 ATS with the outright loss at Philadelphia (19-17) on September 30.