SET UP RUNNING
It’s not difficult. The Giants boast the fourth-best passing offense in the NFL (157.2 yards per game). And their offensive line and receiving corps have been decimated by injuries. The Cowboys’ Achilles heel is their run defense, which is seventh-worst in the NFL (136.1 yards per game). That includes 240 for the Bears in Week 8 and 207 for the Packers in Week 10. The Giants’ only chance on Thanksgiving Day is to use Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley as running backs to control the tempo of the game.
START FAST, PROTECT THE BALL
The Cowboys are the only NFL team that has not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter so far this season. Opponents’ 18 points in the first quarter this season are the fewest in the league. The Giants have been known to get off to slow starts offensively, scoring just 36 points in the first quarter this season. They also lost to the Detroit Lions by three losses. And the Cowboys have a plus-7 turnover differential on the season compared to the Giants’ plus-1. Early scoring and ball defense is a must. The Highway of the Giants is very small to a fault.
The only way to protect damaged secondary Vinco Martindale is to pressure Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. That means they need a dramatic improvement from Sunday’s loss to the Lions, when they pressured Detroit QB Jared Goff on just three of his 26 downs. It’s time for rookie Kyvon Thibodeau to make his presence felt on the big stage when the Giants need him the most. He hasn’t made an impact lately.