Jason Garrett’s first test at the helm comes Sunday against the Giants.
So much for the Dallas Cowboys being the first team to play in a Super Bowl on there own field.
At least Wade Phillips has left the building. Being the most disappointing team in football at 1-7 will get you fired.
Things certainly aren’t looking up either for interim coach Jason Garrett as Dallas takes on the NFC-East leading New York Giants, the hottest team in the NFL with five straight victories and a 6-2 record.
Game time Sunday is 1:15 p.m. at the Giants’ $16 billion New Meadowlands Stadium.
Just three weeks ago, Dallas hosted the Giants and was 3 ½-point favorites. The Giants built a 38-20 lead and coasted to a 41-35 victory knocking out Tony Romo. The combined 76 points sailed ‘over’ the 45-point total.
Now the Giants have been bet up to 14-point home favorites, a swing of 17 ½ points from the first meeting. The ‘over/under’ is 45.
NFL oddsmakers opened the Giants as low as 10-point favorites, but early money has poured in against the Cowboys.
It’s easy to see why.
Dallas hasn’t started this bad since 1989. The Cowboys have surrendered 232 points, the most they’ve allowed through eight games in 21 years. Dallas has given up an average of 40.3 points in its last three games, its worst stretch since its expansion season of 1960. All together, the Cowboys rank second-from-the-bottom in scoring defense yielding 29 points per game.
The Giants are a complete contrast. They are averaging 36 points in their last four games, their highest four-game average since 1966. The Giants rank No. 2 in total offense averaging 401 yards per contest and are fourth in scoring putting up 27 points per game.
Eli Manning has completed 46-of-67 passes in his last two games for 596 yards and seven touchdowns. He threw four touchdown passes against Dallas in the first meeting.
Sparked by Ahmad Bradshaw, the Giants rank third in the league in rushing. Dallas, on the other hand, is 31st in rushing. Bradshaw is the third-leading rusher in the NFL with 765 yards.
Dallas fell apart in Jon Kitna’s second start since replacing Romo, who suffered a broken collarbone when sacked by linebacker Michael Boley, losing 45-7 to Green Bay as eight-point road ‘dogs this past Sunday night. The combined 52 points went ‘over’ the 46-point total.
Kitna has a two-to-six touchdown-to-interception ratio filling in for Romo. The Cowboys have failed to adequately pass block or develop a run game to relieve the pressure on the 38-year-old quarterback.
Romo was the fifth quarterback the Giants have knocked out this season. The Giants are 22-9 ATS following a victory, but have failed to cover in seven of their last 10 home contests.
Jumping off to a fast start is nothing new for the Giants under Tom Coughlin. They’ve been 6-2 or better after eight games in five of his seven seasons, going 5-3 during the other two years.
However, the Giants have gone just 21-27 under Coughlin during the second half of the season.
The ‘over’ has cashed in Dallas’ last five games. The ‘over’ has cashed in the Giants’ last seven NFC East games. The ‘over’ also has cashed 14 of the last 17 times the Giants have met an NFC foe. The ‘over’ has been a winner, too, during four of the last five meetings in the series.
The Cowboys won’t have defensive end Marcus Spears, who suffered a season-ending calf injury against the Packers. They may be without linebacker Anthony Spencer (hand), too.
The weather forecast is for partly cloudy skies with temperatures in the low 50s.