Dallas Cowboys (9-4) at GIANTS (4-9)
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Spread: Cowboys -10 1/2
The Giants season has already been a mess of disappointing losses, a mountain of injuries and underachieving players. They’ve been in a downward spiral for most of the last month.
This game could be the ugliest one yet.
It’s bad enough that they’ll be without their starting quarterback, Daniel Jones, for the third straight game but they have other personnel questions with a bunch of players having spent much of the week on the Reserve/COVID-19 List after testing positive for the virus. Plus, Saquon Barkley is dealing with an ankle injury that limited his practice time, and this team can’t figure out its offense no matter who is on the field.
So yeah, it’s a pretty bad time for them to get a full-stocked Cowboys team with the No. 2 offense in the league. And even home-field advantage won’t help, since everyone is bracing for a half-filled Meadowlands populated by far too many Cowboys fans. Considering how the Giants defense was carved up in Los Angeles by the Chargers last week, and with the possibility that defensive end Leonard Williams will miss this game, the chances aren’t even good that the Giants will keep this one close.
Now, the Cowboys aren’t exactly streaking. They’re only 3-3 in their last six and nearly blew a big lead at Washington last week. But they’re loaded on offense with quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.
The Giants? They’ve got an offense that would’ve had four straight games with less than 14 points if it wasn’t for their garbage time performance – two touchdowns in the final 4 ½ minutes – last week.
And there’s no sign of them getting things back on track. The firing of Jason Garrett and the decision to let Freddie Kitchens call the plays hasn’t had much of an effect. And quarterback Mike Glennon has been so inadequate at quarterback that it’s possible Jake Fromm might get a few plays over the next few games. Barkley is a shell of himself. Receiver Kenny Golladay has done nothing. And their best receiver from the last time they played Dallas, Kadarius Toney, is still hurt.
So what’s there to look forward to? There’s always the chance of a Christmas miracle, even if it is hard to see how the Giants are supposed to pull it off. The reality is, this could be one of the ugliest, most depressing games and scenes at MetLife Stadium in recent years, given the opponent and their incoming fans.
The Giants just better hope this is rock bottom, because right now it looks like before it all gets better, it’s going to get a little worse.
Pick: Take the Cowboys -10 1/2
Prediction: Cowboys 34, Giants 10
My record straight up: 8-5
My record against the spread: 6-6-1