New York Jets: Containing The Cowboys Key Pieces Is Essential

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys’ defense is young and talented. To go along with that, so much of the preparation and headlines regarding this game have been centered around Sam Darnold and the New York Jets offense. Reportedly Adam Gase hadn’t been using the regular playbook in order to not over expose it without the franchise guy at the helm. Now Darnold is back and the Jets offense is going to be expected to come out and perform a hell of a lot better than they have to this point.

The Jets can win this game on offense by scoring points but the Jets can easily control the momentum in this game with their defense. Their defense will not only get a lift from Sam being back on offense but they also get Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland back. Jenkins and Copeland are both two of the best edge rushers on this squad and their additions will help immediately. The biggest key to this game is going to be controlling the 4 key pieces of the Cowboy offense.

Amari Cooper:

Despite being injured Amari Cooper has been great for the Cowboys this year. He’s been a true number one wide receiver for this squad. The Jets are going to have to find someone capable of covering him in this ballgame. The best case would be a swapping of Hairston, Johnson and Roberts throughout the game. Allowing them to rotate may be able to contain Cooper. The added benefit of his injury will assist the corners to keep up with him.

Michael Gallup:

The big bodied receiver is a huge part of the Dallas offense. He’s a mismatch and hard to cover. Brian Poole has been the Jets most reliable corner this season and I think this should be his matchup all day. Gallup has been able to torch just about every defense since Thanksgiving last year. He’s got it all figured out now and he’s a dangerous weapon. If the Jets can keep him in control that’s huge.

Ezekiel Elliot:

The Jets run defense has been solid and their front 7, despite injuries has been pretty good. This matchup is evidently a rough one but with two of their starting offensive linemen questionable and a solid defense this matchup could be a lot more in favor of the Jets than expected. The key is gonna have to be if Tyron Smith and La’el Collins play. If they don’t then this could be a big thing for the Jets.

Dak Prescott:

Dak is a glorified game manager. However, he’s also a bonafide leader. He’s by far not one of the most talented QBs in the game. His leadership skills and above average skill set make him a good QB. Pressure rattles Prescott and the Jets will be able to apply that this time around. Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland are excellent edge rushers and will hopefully apply pressure and rattle Dak or else it could be a long day.

If the Jets offense is even remotely good and the defense can contain Dallas than this is a game the Jets could fare better in than expected. If the key pieces are electric than it could be a long day. Gregg Williams better be ready because if he and his defense aren’t prepared it’ll be a terrible loss.P

New York Giants: Ezekiel Elliot Could Miss Giants-Cowboys With Holdout

The New York Giants once again face the Cowboys in week one of the NFL regular season in a game that most fans will either be looking forward to or dreading depending on their confidence level when it comes to the Giants’ chances against one of their old time rivals.

There’s been a number of frustrating losses to Dallas in the last couple of years and the team will look to change the trend that continued in week one of the 2018 season when the Cowboys managed to pull out a win by a touchdown after controlling much of the game. This year, though, the Giants might have a boost in the form of a key player being missing from the Cowboys lineup.

Ezekiel Elliot has been one of the top running backs since entering the league and has been one of the main competitors for Saquon Barkley in terms of rushing yards and touchdowns, but Elliot is right now stuck in a contract holdout that saw him miss the first week of the preseason. If this continues, missing the first week of the regular season isn’t out of the question at all, and with the Cowboys lacking a main replacement, it might just give the Giants the edge in their week one meeting.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claims to not be bothered at all by the holdout.

“Not at all. You know it is a marathon. It’s a long season, it’s a long career and so you don’t let a week or a month, you don’t let any of that, bother you and it goes on all the time,” Jones said during the first week of the preseason.

But saying that it’s a long season implies that the holdout might very well last into the season., rather than just the preseason games that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

“I know for a fact before Jerry Jones leaves time and go to eternity, he wants to drink the sweet nectar of a championship again. And, that nectar he will not partake in without Ezekiel Elliott,” former Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin said to TMZ. But that doesn’t mean a deal will be reached soon.

The Giants will have their own challenges going into week one including a four game suspension for Golden Tate. It won’t decide the game on its own, but the Cowboys losing their top running back to a contract holdout for this game might just shift things in the Giants’ favor – something the team could desperately use now.

New York Giants: Why It Is No Debate That Saquon Barkley Is The Best Running Back In The League

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is the best running back in the NFL. The New York Giants drafted the best running back in the league only one year ago with the 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Barkley won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018. He was an electric, versatile runner and receiver as a rookie. Saquon proved in only one season that he is the best running back in the NFL. Some may disagree, but let’s take a look at what makes Saquon Barkley the best running back in the league:

Saquon’s Superior Receiving Ability

In his rookie season, Saquon broke records as a receiver out of the backfield. Saquon totaled 91 receptions out of the backfield in 2018. This beat Reggie Bush’s previously set rookie running back receptions record of 88 receptions.

Barkley also added an insane 721 receiving yards and a solid 4 receiving touchdowns. According to Pro Football Focus, Saquon Barkley posted 1.54 yards per route run which ranked 10th among all running backs in the NFL in 2018.

This aspect of Saquon’s game is so far ahead of his competition for the league’s top running back spot. Barkley’s value as a receiver is what separates him from the rest of the pack.

In 2018, Saquon had more receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns than Ezekiel Elliot and Todd Gurley had in 2018 and more than Le’Veon Bell had in 2017. This was all achieved by Saquon Barkley in his rookie season.

Saquon Barkley will only get better. Entering his second season, the New York Giants have rebuilt their offensive line. The improved offensive line will lead to even more production out of Saquon Barkley. In addition, the absence of Odell Beckham Jr. could propel Saquon Barkley to finish 2019 with over 1,000 yards on the ground and through the air.

No One Can Tackle Saquon

According to Pro Football Focus, Saquon Barkley created a total of 71 missed tackles forced. This lead the NFL in 2018. Barkley also recorded 31 missed tackles forced as a receiver. This set a record for the most by a rookie running back in the PFF era.

Another impressive stat: 872 of Saquon’s 1,307 rushing yards came after contact. The rookie was practically impossible to take down. Saquon Barkley also lead the NFL in scrimmage yards in 2018. His 2,028 yards from scrimmage also lead all running backs, rookie or not.

Saquon Is A Threat To Score On Every Play

After breaking off a 78-yard touchdown run against the Washington Redskins, Barkley joined NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss as the only two rookies in NFL history to rack up five touchdowns of 50 yards or more during their NFL debut season.

Barkley had nine plays of 40-plus yards last year, five more than any other running back in 2018. He had 15 total touchdowns (rushing and receiving combined). The rookie’s longest play of the season was his 78-yard touchdown run against the Washington Redskins.

Saquon Barkley is the most valuable running back in the NFL. His god-gifted abilities as a runner and as a receiver will propel him into continuous domination for the foreseeable future with the Giants. 2018’s Offensive Rookie of the Year is going to smash even more records in 2019. Giants fans, get ready to see this young man reign supreme over the NFL’s running backs for at least a decade.

New York Giants: Should Rod Smith Or Wayne Gallman Be The Runner Behind Barkley?

New York Giants, Wayne Gallman, Rod Smith

The New York Giants have arguably the best running back in the league with Saquon Barkley. Saquon won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2018 behind a league-leading 2,028 total yards from scrimmage.

Saquon Barkley is a generational talent, but the Giants have a solid all-around backfield. Wayne Gallman has provided quality play as the number two back over the last two seasons. Despite this, the Giants added another running back into the mix in 2019.

The Giants signed former Dallas Cowboys running back Rod Smith earlier this offseason. Rod Smith was signed to be a solid depth piece behind Saquon Barkley, along with Wayne Gallman. Both players have been backup running backs their entire career and will have to compete to solidify themselves as the number two running back on Big Blue’s roster in 2019.

What Wayne Gallman Brings To The Table:

Wayne Gallman was drafted by the Giants in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was a solid running back in college at Clemson and looked to be a steal for New York in the middle of the draft.

Gallman has not found himself receiving extended playing time with the Giants thus far. Gallman was the 2nd running back on the roster in his rookie season. The Giants opted for veteran Orleans Darkwa as their starting running back in 2017. He went on to rush for 751 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Despite his limited playing time, Gallman flashed his potential in 2017. He ran the ball 111 times, gaining 476 yards on the ground with 4.3 yards per carry. Gallman also provided quality snaps as a receiver in 2017. He caught 34 passes on 48 targets for 193 yards, 5.7 yards per reception, and 1 touchdown.

Saquon Barkley can do it all, but the Giants need to be careful not to run him to the ground this early in his career. Gallman did not receive much playing time in 2018 due to Barkley’s incredible production.

In 2018, Wayne Gallman was limited to only 51 carries. He never found a major groove in 2018 as he did in 2017, averaging only 3.5 yards per carry. Gallman did, however, score his first rushing touchdown of his carer in 2018.

Wayne still added quality snaps as a receiver out of the backfield, though he lost reps there, too. His yards per reception improved to 6.4 yards, but he only caught 14 passes on 22 targets and did not score a receiving touchdown.

Wayne Gallman has been a solid backup running back for the Giants over the last two seasons. However, New York has added another running back to the mix.

Wayne Gallman has brought a nice balance of running and receiving abilities to the Giants’ backup running back position over the past two seasons. However, he will have to beat out Rod Smith for the second string position.

What Rod Smith Brings To The Table:

Rod Smith has been in the NFL for 4 years. He has only started in 2 games but has played as a second string running back in 31 games over the last two seasons.

The Dallas Cowboys had Rod Smith back up their exuberant, young running back, Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot has been one of the best running backs in the league since being drafted in 2016. “Zeke” was a First-Team All-Pro in his 2016 rookie campaign and lead the NFL in rushing yards in 2018.

Rod Smith had the opportunity to backup Elliot for the last two seasons. He is certainly used to playing behind an extra-talented running back, so backing up Saquon Barkley should be no problem for Rod Smith.

Smith struggled in 2018,  averaging just 2.9 yards-per-carry. However, he had a solid 2017 season averaging 4.2 yards-per-carry on 55 rushing attempts, totaling 232 yards and 4 touchdowns. Similar to Gallman, Smith has also demonstrated the ability to be a receiver out of the backfield.

In 2017, Rod Smith caught 19 passes on 23 targets. He racked up 202 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. This touchdown was an impressive 81-yarder scored against no other than the New York Giants.

Rod Smith was not as effective in 2018, which might be why the Cowboys decided to move on from him. He was not given many opportunities in 2018 with a decrease in carries and receptions. However, in a better offensive system with Pat Shurmur and the Giants, Rod Smith could see some quality playing time and impress as he did in 2017.

Barkley will continue to be an all-world talent for the New York Giants in 2019 and beyond, but it is imperative for the Giants to get the backup running backs in the mix in order to keep Barkley from wearing down.

New York Giants: Previewing Week 17 Matchup Vs. Dallas

Coming off of a late game collapse in Indianapolis last week, the 5-10 New York Giants will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday for the week 17 season finale. The Cowboys are, of course, a division rival in the NFC East. This means that this is the Giants’ second matchup with Dallas this season.

In week two, the Giants traveled to Dallas to play the Cowboys in a primetime Sunday night matchup. The Giants lost this game 13-20. This was when the Giants offense was at an extreme low point. The final score was only a seven point difference, but this was because of a garbage-time touchdown by the Giants. The Cowboys owned them this game, but the Giants will have a chance to get revenge in week 17.

Taking A Look At The Cowboys

The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot by winning the NFC East. They are sitting at 9-6 and will be looking to reach double digit wins after coming up a game short last season. Dallas is being lead by third year running back Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot leads the league in rushing yards this season.

The Cowboys offense has added a new weapon since the Giants last played them. They received wide receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. Since joining the Cowboys in week nine, Cooper has totaled 694 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Elliot and Cooper are two key players that the Giants defense will need to stop in order to win.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys have had a rookie emerge as the leader of their defense. The first-year linebacker out of Boise State University, Leighton Vander Esch, has totalled 131 tackles this season, third in the NFL. On top of that, Vander Esch has added two interceptions and seven passes defended. Edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence is also having a good season. He has an impressive 9.5 sacks and 61 tackles this season. The Giants’ offensive line will need to give Lawrence a lot of attention in order to keep quarterback Eli Manning upright.

Injury Report

For the fourth time this season, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out. His season is over after just twelve games and he will not play in the season finale. The Giants have also ruled out defensive end Mario Edwards, middle linebacker Alec Ogletree, tight end Rhett Ellison, and wide receiver Russell Shepard.

The Cowboys will be without two defensive linemen this week. Defensive tackle David Irving and defensive end Tyrone Crawford will not play on Sunday. On top of that, the Cowboys have four players questionable. Left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, linebacker Sean Lee, and cornerback Anthony Brown are all questionable.

The Giants’ Game Plan

The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot and have no room for improvement for a higher seed. With this in mind, it is likely that many of the Cowboys’ starters will see minimal to no playing time. The Giants will lean heavily on running back Saquon Barkley this week with multiple defensive linemen and linebackers either out or questionable for Dallas. Eli Manning had a good day passing the ball last Sunday against the Colts, and Giants fans should expect more of the same from the veteran quarterback against a mediocre Dallas defense.

The Giants will look to improve to 6-10 against the Cowboys, but many fans will argue that they shouldn’t. The Giants currently hold the 8th pick in the draft. With a win this week, the Giants could fall all the way back to the 12th pick in the draft. With a loss, the Giants could stay where they are, or potentially move all the way up to the 4th pick. For the Giants’ future, a loss would be ideal. However, head coach Pat Shurmur has already spoken out against tanking, so expect the Giants to give this one their all.

Why Giants’ Saquon Barkley Has More Potential Than Ezekiel Elliot

New York Giants, Saquon Barkley

At first glance, New York Giants prized first-round pick Saquon Barkley, looks like a small freight train on his way to run for a glorious touchdown. Barkley astounds viewers with his massive calves and colossal upper body.

Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot presents himself in a similar way – lean, built, and ready to carry his team on his massive shoulders. Despite the physical similarities, the two players are vastly different. One is a proven NFL star and the other an incoming rookie with some of the most impressive measurable the league has ever seen. Running a 40-yard dash in 4.30 seconds at 234-pounds is pure insanity, and GM Dave Gettleman for the Giants realized that early on in the draft process.

After watching Barkley make several jump-cuts to avoid tacklers and take the ball to the house from his own half, Gettleman immediately knew who the Giants were selecting, and he didn’t waiver from his initial thoughts by the media or his counterparts.

The primary difference between Barkley and Elliot:

Taking a look at both backs you can see a world of talent, but the primary difference for Barkley is his extraordinary personality and leadership abilities. He has humor, respect, humbleness, and the ability to lead his teammates into battle.  Elliot on the other hand lacks this characteristic – the various legal issues attest to that.

What Elliot has is proof of success, as he makes a significant difference on his team. When the running back was suspended last season, the Cowboys and Dak Prescott faltered as a result.  In two seasons, Elliot has racked up 22 total rushing touchdowns and three receiving. He also missed 1,000 rushing yards by only 17 yards in only 10 games last season.

While Elliot has proven his ability on the field, Barkley has the capability to equal his stats if not more. With a veteran quarterback, a star receiver, starlet tight end, and rejuvenated offensive line, Barkley will have all of the tools to keep the offense unpredictable and forward thinking.

The most lethal aspect of both running backs:

The most  lethal ability of both backs is their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield in addition to running the ball. Barkley has only dropped one pass since beginning rookie camp with the Giants – an impressive bout considering the amount of action he gets.

Zeke on the other hand has over 620 yards receiving in 25 games, averaging out at about 25 yards receiving per-game. We can even make the assumption that Barkley is more of a threat in the passing game and will enjoy better stats in that aspect of the game.

Overall, both backs have tremendous talent and are still young professionals. Barkley likely has more potential, but Elliot has already proven his worth in the NFL. We will soon see how the Giants’ back will take on a starting role on a team trying to bounce back from a 3-13 season.