Giants vs. Cowboys: Week 1 staff picks and predictions

The New York Giants (0-0) will take on the Dallas Cowboys (0-0) this Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in their first game of the 2023 regular season.

Opening the week, the Giants were 3.5-point home underdogs but that spread has drawn closer. As of this writing, New York is +3.

How does the Giants Wire staff see this Week 1 battle shaking out? Here’s a look at our picks and score predictions:

Dan Benton: Giants 26, Cowboys 24

The injury to tight end Darren Waller has me feeling less confident about this game than I appeared during the Giants Wire Podcast or in the Cowboys Wire Behind Enemy Lines segment. If he misses the game or is limited, the Giants will likely have to throw out their entire gameplan or adjust it with Daniel Bellinger as the fit. That’s not ideal. But we’re too late in the week to change it up now — Giants win.

John Fennelly: Giants 26, Cowboys 20

The tide in this series needs to change and this could be the beginning. The Giants did more this offseason to improve than Dallas did and it will show come Sunday night.

The biggest changes begin on the sidelines where head coach Mike McCarthy will be calling the plays for the Cowboys and is determined to run the ball. The only issue is, he doesn’t have Ezekiel Elliott any longer. He’ll be trying to do that with Tony Pollard, who was the team’s change-up back the past few years. Combine that with the fact that the Giants have made several moves to enhance their paltry run defense and McCarthy’s plan could go awry.

The Giants have also beefed up their passing attack and will be taking some deeper shots down the field.

In addition, they got more athletic in their defensive back seven and won’t be exposed by Dak Prescott like they have been the past few years.

Tyler Henry: Cowboys 26, Giants 24

The Giants come into their matchup against the Cowboys trying to stay undefeated in season openers under head coach Brian Daboll. The game will be no easy task as the Cowboys have one of the best rosters in the league.

Unfortunately, I think the Giants will go through some growing pains in the opener. Even with the offensive line improved I still think they will struggle blocking the Cowboys’ pass rush. Additionally, Wink Martindale may not be worried about starting two rookie corners but the Cowboys’ weapons present a big challenge for a youthful Tre Hawkins and Deonte Banks.

It will be very close throughout the game but I think the Giants come up short in the end.

Kevin Hickey: Giants 23, Cowboys 21

I’d feel much better about this pick if Darren Waller is healthy enough to play, but we’ll see what happens on that front. The additions to the wide receiver room should help Daniel Jones, specifically Parris Campbell, who should be targeted often in the middle of the field. The Cowboys defense is legit so there will be some ugly moments, but the legend that is Graham Gano puts the Giants ahead with a field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Jeevan Kirkland: Cowboys 27, Giants 17

Despite the Giants making a lot of progress in the offseason, Dallas still likely has New York’s number. Beating Dak Prescott has been a problem for Big Blue throughout his whole career and in the last five years the Giants are 1-9 against the Cowboys. Their offensive weapons and defensive firepower will likely prove to be too much for the Giants to handle this early in the season.

Serena Burks: Giants 27, Cowboys 24

The Giants added a lot of weapons this offseason, and we’ll finally get to see what they’re capable of as a unit. First game of the season, at home against a division rival they despise.

Story originally appeared on Giants Wire