Football is as synonymous with Thanksgiving as turkey is at this point as the NFL has immersed itself in the holiday with three games per year throughout the day. The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys are mainstays before a primetime game. While these matchups are underwhelming in some years, this year’s slate possesses some good games. The annual Cowboys game has a little extra spice this year as it will be an NFC East rivalry with the New York Giants traveling to face off against them.
Dallas went into MetLife Stadium in Week 3 and defeated New York on Monday Night Football, so they will be looking for the sweep Thursday afternoon.
The Cowboys are entering the game with a ton of momentum as they smashed the Minnesota Vikings 40-3 on Sunday. The Giants are on the opposite end of the spectrum as they lost to the Detroit Lions 31-18 and suffered a ton of injuries in the process.
What can we expect to see from these long-time rivals on Thanksgiving? Here are five bold predictions for the Giants at Cowboys that afternoon.
5. Another Big Day For Kickers
Special teams are sometimes an overlooked part of an NFL game, but for the Giants and Cowboys, they are very important. Both teams have excellent kickers with the Giants deploying Graham Gano and the Cowboys having Brett Maher.
In the first matchup this season, both kickers had big days. Gano went 3-for-4 on attempts, with his only miss being a block by Dorance Armstrong from 47 yards away. Maher was also 3-for-4, with his miss coming from 59 yards out. The two combined to go 3-for-3 on extra points.
On Thursday, we will see a lot of them on the field again. Gano will look to bounce back after the swirling winds of MetLife Stadium led to him missing his first two extra points of the season. Maher nailed three kicks of 50+ yards against the Vikings, so he is coming into the game on a hot streak that will continue.
The duo will combine to make at least another six field goals and all of their extra points in the game.
4. Dak Prescott Has Big Day
The Dallas Cowboys offense has sputtered at times this season as Dak Prescott has been working his way back into rhythm. He injured his thumb in the first game of the season, which kept him sidelined for five games.
Last week against the Vikings, he had his best performance of the season, going 22-of-25 for 276 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to running back Tony Pollard. Things are set up nicely for him once again this week as the Giants’ secondary is decimated by injuries.
Starting cornerback Adoree’ Jackson injured his knee returning a punt against the Lions and will be sidelined for a few weeks, joining starting safety Xavier McKinney on the sidelines as he recovers from a broken hand. Fabian Moreau injured his ribs in the game as well and Jason Pinnock was hospitalized with a jaw injury.
Down potential three starters and a backup, Prescott should find plenty of room to throw the ball. He will have his first 300+ yardage game of the season as New York doesn’t have the horses to keep up in passing defense.
3. Kenny Golladay Steps Up For Giants
During the 2021 offseason, the Giants made a splash by signing wide receiver Kenny Golladay. To say that the move hasn’t worked out would be an understatement as Golladay has battled injuries and ineffectiveness. It’s never a good thing when left tackle Andrew Thomas has more touchdown receptions than Golladay since he joined the team.
This season has been especially difficult as Golladay seemed to find himself in the new coaching staff’s doghouse and when given a chance to produce, he flopped. But, with injuries hitting the position once again, someone will need to step up. Darius Slayton has turned into Daniel Jones’ No. 1 option, but it will be Golladay with the big game on Thanksgiving.
He will catch his first touchdown pass as a Giant and show why he was given the contract that he was. With Wan’Dale Robinson tearing his ACL, there are a ton of targets available and some of that should funnel to Golladay. In a game the Giants are expected to trail in, Jones will be throwing a lot once again.
2. Two 100+ Yard Rushers
In the first matchup of the season, both defenses struggled to stop the run. The teams combined for 343 yards on 55 carries as four different players had at least 73 yards rushing in the game. Tony Pollard led the way with 105 yards, followed by 81 from Saquon Barkley, 79 from Jones and 73 from Ezekiel Elliott.
In the matchup this week, expect there to be plenty of success on the ground once again. New York is 25th in rushing yards allowed and Dallas is right behind them in 26th. It is not because of volume, either, as the Giants are 31st giving up 5.3 yards per carry and Dallas is 27th, surrendering 4.7 yards per carry.
Barkley was bottled up by the Lions this past week, so you can be sure that the Giants will look to establish him early on. Pollard has been the more explosive option for the Cowboys compared to Elliott, yet they remain in a dead heat for rushing attempts.
On Thanksgiving, it will be Barkley and Pollard that surpass the 100-yard mark on the ground as neither defense has much of an answer in the trenches slowing down the run.
1. Cowboys Win Decisively
Thursday Night Football is a tough turnaround for NFL teams as it gives them only three full days to recover from their previous game. That is bad news for a Giants team that had six different players, including three starters, leave the game on Sunday.
Already hurting in the talent department and down multiple starters from the beginning of the season, the Giants could be digging deep into their practice squad to fill the lineup against the Cowboys. That will spell doom for them, as Dallas is coming into the game riding high.
New York had a wonderful start to the season, but attrition has begun setting in. Brian Daboll will certainly have his players ready to go, as he does every week, but they won’t be able to keep up with a Cowboys team that is very healthy compared to themselves.
Dallas will come away with the victory, forcing the Giants to throw the ball and take full advantage of the shortcomings in Daniel Jones’ game. They will win by double-digits, sweeping the season series from the Giants.