New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
The 2012 NFL season kicks off on Wednesday Night in New Jersey as the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys face off. The Giants are -3 point favorites over the Cowboys with an over under point total set at 46.5.
It was nothing short of a magical ride for the New York Giants in the playoffs last year where they went from a team who barely made the playoffs to a Super Bowl winner. At QB Eli Manning transformed his legacy from a guy looking for respect to a two-time Super Bowl MVP and he looks to make it three this season. Manning has help in the backfield with Ahmad Bradshaw and first round draft pick David Wilson who replaces Brandon Jacobs. As receiver Victor Cruz emerged as a star in his own right and with Hakeeem Nicks are a tough WR tandem. While Bear Pascoe is listed as the starter at tight end we may end up seeing more of Martellus Bennett who never reached his potential in Dallas. The Offensive live was steady and got the job done at the end of the year but like anything else in the NFL there were some changes in the offseason. For the Giants defense it all starts with the pass rush and Jason Pierre-Paul emerged last season as a star while the Giants still have penty of others to breing the heat like Jason Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, and Mathias Kwanuka. Michael Boley is a tackling machine and the seconday is somewhat vulnerable but they have two good tackling safeties in Kenny Phillips and Antrelle Rolle. Being the Super Bowl champs the Giants will have a target on their back every week.
The Dallas Cowboys have been seen as underachievers for the past several season but really it has been more of not having the talent to win consistently at the NFL level. Tony Romo has put up big numbers throughout his career but numbers don’t mean win as some stats depending on timing within the game can be meaningless. The Cowboys hope to have found the answer at running back where DeMarco Murray looked outstanding last season before getting injured. At receiver Dez Bryant is getting better known for his off the field troubles but on the field he is spectacular when healthy and Miles Austin has shown he can play with the best, if he is healthy. The Cowboys’ offensive line has improved but we are going to find out if it is a playoff caliber line very early. Defensively Dallas has spent years trying to build and improve their secondary and they are hoping Morris Claiborne is the shutdown corner they were looking for as he pairs with Brandon Carr for what looks like a nice CB tandem. DeMarcus Ware is the best pass rusher in all of football and if he can get some help from Anthony Spencer, Kenyon Coleman, and Jason Hatcher it could be another big year for him and the defense. The Cowboys need to emerge from a team being under pressure by owner Jerry Jones to win to a team who goes out and wins every week, something they haven’t been able to do.
New York is 6-0 against the spread in their last six games overall, 4-0 against the spread in their last four games against the NFC, and 9-4-1 against the spread in their last 14 games in December. Dallas is 4-1 against the spread in their last five openers, 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games against NFC teams, and 0-6 against the spread in their last six games against the NFL East. The underdog has covered in five of the last six meetings of these two.
The total in this one is at 46.5 and despite it being the NFC East and despite it being the opener I have it going over as the NFL has simply become an offensive league and look for the officiating to once again promote high scoring.