Lynn’s Week 1 Predictions and Pre-Thoughts


In exactly 24 hours, the Dallas Cowboys will take the field against the New York Giants to kick off Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season. This game will be played on Sunday Night Football and broadcast by NBC. Much has been anticipated by this game, as our reigning NFC East Champs will take on the New York Giants in the season opener for the 4th time in the Tony Romo era, in which the Cowboys are 2-1.

Both teams have a firepower on offense. The Cowboys have 4 time Pro Bowl QB and 2014 MVP candidate Tony Romo, All-Pro WR Dez Bryant, and are returning arguably the best offensive line in pro football. The Giants, however, are returning the 2x Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and the most explosive rookie in the NFL in 2014, Odell Beckham Jr. Unfortunately, New York will be without WR Victor Cruz, who is coming off a torn patellar tendon in 2014.

Defensively, this could be a mismatch, however. The Cowboys are projected to have a much improved pass rush. With DeMarcus Lawrence coming off of his rookie campaign with a post-season that included 2 sacks, Former Nebraska standout and projected 1st Round pick Randy Gregory, and the newly locked up DT Tyrone Crawford, the Giants could be up for a tough task. The Cowboys also bring back veterans Jeremy Mincey, Brandon Carr, and Barry Church. Anthony Hitches and the 2015 1st Round pick Byron Jones should contribute as well. Defensively, the Giants will be without star DE Jason Pierre-Paul and LB Jon Beason. With a secondary headed by rookie Safety Landon Collins and CB Prince Amukamara, they have a certain amount of youth. The Giants do, however, have former Cowboy George Selvie and solid veterans Cullen Jenkins and Robert Ayers on their defensive line.

Prediction Time:

Whether one team has a strict advantage or not, both the Cowboys and Giants typically play each other very physical and their contests are usually tightly matched. In recent years, these games have featured these scores

2014

Week 7

New York Giants 21

Dallas Cowboys 31

Week 12

Dallas Cowboys 31

New York Giants 28

2013 

Week 1

New York Giants 31

Dallas Cowboys 36

Week 12

Dallas Cowboys 24

New York Giants 21

2012

Week 1

Dallas Cowboys 24

New York Giants 17

Week 8

New York Giants 29

Dallas Cowboys 24

Therefore, it is fair to say that this game should be tightly contested, with a possibility of an offensive shoot-out.

Furthermore, I believe that the Cowboys will use a heavy dose of their running game with contributions of Joseph Randle (15 CAR 60 YDs), Darren McFadden (20 CAR 105 YDs 1TD). I don’t believe newly acquired Christine Michael will receive much action due to having to learn the offense still. I believe Tony Romo will have an opportunity to show off his 2014-like efficiency with a 70% completion percentage, 250 YDs and 3 TDs. Much of Romo’s yards will come in the form of checking down to Jason Witten and Cole Beasley. The duo of Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams will make a few contributions but not nearly as much as Witten and Beasley. As for the Giants, I don’t believe they have the defense that can keep up with the Cowboys for 4 quarters. They might get a few stops and some form of turnover, but that will be seldom. On the positive side for the Giants, Odell Beckham Jr. will have a stellar performance has Eli Manning’s number 1 target. Beckham, I believe, will have around 10+ catches, over 100 yards, and a pair of TD’s.

Final Score Prediction:

New York Giants 20 Dallas Cowboys 31