The New York Giants are set for Week 1 of the regular season, with their first match against rival Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night. With the Giants up against a tough Cowboys defensive line that features Demarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons, the Giants’ chances of winning this game will be impacted by the play of one particular offensive lineman: Evan Neal, the seventh overall pick by the Giants last season out of Alabama.
Evan Neal struggled immensely as a rookie
Neal’s rookie season was not ideal, as he allowed seven sacks and was handed a poor PFF grade of just 44.1. However, it typically takes some time for offensive linemen to adjust to the NFL, and Neal still has time to grow.
With many questions still left unanswered about New York’s offensive line, Big Blue is hoping that Neal will take a huge leap in his second season to give quarterback Daniel Jones a comfortable pocket.
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Will a limited preseason hold Neal back?
Giants fans were not able to get a large sample size of preseason action from Neal this year, as a concussion left him out of the team’s first game and he only played half of the second game. Therefore, it is to be seen if Neal will improve his play in the regular season.
The Giants need a better version of Neal against the Cowboys
Neal will be looking for revenge on Sunday, as his last matchup against Dallas was a disaster, allowing three sacks and five pressures. However, Neal posed a bit of confidence about his play towards the end of last season ahead of Sunday’s regular-season opener.
“Right out the jump it’s a divisional opponent, so that’s always good,” Neal said via GiantsWire. “I’m excited to get another shot at those guys. I feel like I showed how far I came in a bunch of other games [late] last year — not just DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons.”
It will be interesting to see if Neal starts off his second NFL season on a high note, as a strong performance could be a confidence boost for the tackle.
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