Which NFC East team does the Giants’ talent best match up with heading into the 2017 season?
I think you have to go with the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas’ offense is predicated on the running game, and the Giants have an excellent front on defense. Snacks Harrison, Olivier Vernon, and Jason Pierre-Paul, spare the first half of their second game against the Cowboys, contained Ezekiel Elliott. The Giants also have excellent cover corners in Janoris Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to try and match up with Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley.
Defensively, the Cowboys will have three new players in the secondary with Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, and Barry Church all leaving in free agency. Many of their new contributors could be rookies with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Xavier Woods being added in the draft. The Giants explosive wide receiver corps should have the advantage there.
Up front, Dallas drafted Taco Charlton in the first round, but they still don’t have the type of dynamic outside pass rushers that can normally disrupt the Giants offensive line and Eli Manning’s timing. The Giants beat Dallas both times they played last year, handing the Cowboys two of the three losses. They did that because the matchup is good. Styles make fights and it is no different in a football game.
The Giants did not sweep the Dallas Cowboys (13-3) last season by accident – it was because their strengths were the perfect fit for the Cowboys’ weaknesses, so the debate ends there. And the edge should be even more true this season. Dallas may have as many as six new starters on defense while the Giants expect to have a more explosive and balanced offense. On the flip side, Dallas has retooled its offensive line a bit in front of sophomore quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott while the Giants return the bulk of their stout defense, which suffocates the run and pressure the quarterback.