The Giants need to pressure Dak Prescott to beat the Cowboys in Week 1

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) in action during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ pass rush is aiming to be an improved unit in 2023. Last season, the Giants totaled 41.0 sacks- a respectable number that is expected to grow significantly this season. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will need his unit to show its improvement in the pass-rushing department in Week 1 if they want to beat the Dallas Cowboys.

The Giants need to pressure Dak Prescott into committing turnovers

Applying pressure to Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is a primary key to victory for the Giants in Week 1. Prescott, despite a disappointing 2022 season, is a signal-caller capable of putting up points in high volume, having tossed a career-high 37 touchdown passes in 2021. But Prescott is also capable of committing turnovers in high volume, especially when under pressure.

According to Pro Football Focus, Prescott was pressured on 31.4% of his dropbacks last season. Six of his league-high 15 interceptions (40%) were thrown on passes under pressure. His overall PFF grade was a lowly 51.5 on passes under pressure. In Week 1, the Giants will want to keep Prescott under pressure and force him to make some errant throws.

Getting after Prescott is no easy task

In 2022, the Cowboys surrendered 27 sacks, the fourth-lowest total in the NFL. Applying pressure to Prescott is no easy task, but it is necessary to beat Dallas. While he may have been pressured on 31.4% of his dropbacks last season, Prescott has a knack for escaping pressure.

Inversely, the Giants’ defense totaled 41 sacks in 2022, ranking 13th in the NFL. Big Blue is expecting its pass-rushers to take a big step forward this season and they will need to see an uptick in productivity as early as Week 1 if they want to get the season off to a proper start.

In two contests with Dallas, the Giants recorded 0 sacks, and ultimately lost both matchups. It has been over two years since the Giants have beaten the Cowboys. If they want to put an end to the losing streak, Big Blue’s pass rush needs to get home on Sunday night.

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