Giants vs. Cowboys: 6 keys to victory in Week 12

If we could erase the New York Giants’ Week 11 performance, it would be a blessing. Hosting a team near the bottom of the conference, the Giants just could not put together a win.

Regardless, the Giants now travel to face the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. It’s a short week after a tough loss, and the Giants have adjustments to make if they want to win.

Here are six keys to victory for the Giants in Week 12.

Find a way to neutralize Dallas' front 7

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The Cowboys’ front seven are dominant, leading the league in sacks this season with 42. The closest team to them (Patriots) has 36 sacks. They know how to pressure and get through the line, which means the Giants’ offensive line has to be prepared. They haven’t been a strong point for the Giants this season, but if they don’t get a hold of the Cowboys pressure early, we may see Tyrod Taylor replace a beat up Daniel Jones.

Rush the ball

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The Giants are 7-0 when they rush the ball 30 times or more. Games with 29 or fewer rushes? They’re 0-3. Rushing the ball is imperative. It doesn’t have to be Saquon Barkley, it can be Daniel Jones or anyone else. Just rush the ball and control the clock.

Take shots down the field

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Last week, Jones was largely successful on passes of 20+ yards. The Cowboys have the strongest pass defense in the league, so they’ll be ready for these passes. Which means the Giants’ receivers must be on point and catch the balls Jones throws their way.

Organically pressure Dak

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Pressuring the quarterback, even with the blitz, has been a struggle for the Giants recently. They managed to pressure Jared Goff twice last week but on 80 pressures this season, they’ve recorded just 19 sacks. They have to find a way to get to Dak Prescott this week and force him to make bad decisions.

Limit big plays by Pollard

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Tony Pollard is the Cowboys’ biggest threat right now. He’s averaging almost 6.0 yards per carry and over 11.0 yards per reception. The Giants’ linebackers have struggled mightily recently, and that can’t happen if they want to contain Pollard. At the same time, they can’t forget about Ezekiel Elliott, who still poses a threat. They must improve at the second level to contain big plays.

Reserve DBs must step up

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The Giants’ secondary is banged up. Adoree’ Jackson is out 4-6 weeks. Xavier McKinney is out. Aaron Robinson is out. Dane Belton is questionable. The DBs who are on the field this week have to step up and make plays, because if they don’t, the Cowboys will run roughshod over the Giants and make for a very long day.

Prescott is a very capable quarterback, so if the linebackers can contain the ground game, the DBs need to be on point to contain the passing game. The defense plays a major role in whether the Giants win or lose on Thursday.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire