5 Reasons Why The Dallas Cowboys Will Lose In Week 1
New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Could there really be a better way to open up Sunday Night Football than with a New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys matchup? After all, this is one of the best matchups in all of sports and will be featuring two teams who are surely going to be fighting for a playoff spot during the 2013 season. Each team will be looking to get a leg up on their bitter rivals with a Week 1 win, ensuring both an ultra-important division victory and a little bit of bragging rights on the other for later on in the season.
The Cowboys will be led by head coach Jason Garrett, who is coming into a 2013 season that could be a make-or-break year for his coaching tenure in Dallas. Garrett will be leaning heavily on Tony Romo to guide the Cowboys in the right direction by putting some points on the board early and taking pressure off a defense that will be led by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. The new coordinator will be focused on getting the Cowboys to put pressure on Giants quarterback Eli Manning throughout the game on Sunday, and in the process hopefully getting him to make some dumb decisions with the football.
Meanwhile, the Giants will be led by veteran head coach Tom Coughlin, who comes into the 2013 season with much better job stability than his counterpart. Coughlin will be looking to Manning to once again lead the way on the offensive side of the ball, where he will have weapons Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and David Wilson to throw to. On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants will be hoping that Jason Pierre-Paul will be present to lead the way on Sunday as they look to make Romo's life miserable.
With both teams looking to be pretty even on paper in terms of offensive and defensive talent, it appears likely we will be witnessing a game that is close deep into the fourth quarter. To the angst of Cowboys fans, we have identified a list of five reasons that their beloved team will finish on the wrong side of this tight matchup and put them in a list.
5. The Giants Will Exploit The Cowboys Overreliance On Dez Bryant
Dez Bryant is the Cowboys only real vertical threat, and because of this, will be targeted more than any wide receiver on both teams during the game Sunday night. The Giants will surely counter this strategy by paying extra attention to Bryant from start to finish, with the intention of taking his presence out of the game. Doing so would force Romo to turn to other receivers to pick up yards, a worrying idea considering that he really doesn't have any great options on the outside of Bryant.
4. The Cowboys Stadium Curse Is Becoming Mental
Since the Cowboys opened their new stadium in 2009, they have been utterly dominated at home by the Giants. During the opening game of the stadium, the Cowboys lost to the Giants 33-31, with Manning putting on an epic fourth-quarter drive to steal the game for New York. The three games between the two teams in Dallas since then have all ended in a Giants win, a worrying sign for Cowboys fans. It is worrying because these types of trends tend to become a mental block for teams to overcome, and we all know that the Cowboys have not had the toughest group mentally in recent seasons. If the Cowboys do have any trepidation about overcoming this awful record at home, they will be in for a miserable night.
3. The Cowboys Defense Will Struggle With Change From 3-4 To 4-3
After switching to the 4-3 formation this offseason, the Cowboys will need to get to opposing teams' quarterbacks with regularity in order to have success. But with Anthony Spencer -- the teams leading tackler in 2012 -- currently being deemed a question mark for the 2013 season, it appears as if the defensive pressure will be significantly weakened on Sunday. If the pass rush cannot account for Spencer either not playing or not being 100 percent, we will be seeing Manning tearing apart the Cowboys secondary, something he is great at given time in the pocket.
2. Jason Garrett Will Be Outcoached By Tom Coughlin
Jason Garrett is not an awful coach by any means, but when it comes down to it, he is not in the same stratosphere as Coughlin. The long-time Giants' coach is much more experienced than Garrett, and is also better at making the crucial decisions that make or break a game, something he has proven throughout the Giants two runs to the Super Bowl. Expect Coughlin to outcoach Garrett from start to finish.
1. Tony Romo Will Be A Turnover Machine
In the past Romo has shown that he becomes turnover happy during big games, oftentimes costing the Cowboys wins in the process. One example of this turnover happiness that the Giants will be looking to replicate is the one-touchdown and four-interception performance Romo put on during the two teams last meeting in Dallas, a 29-24 Giants win. Expect a lot of pressure to be put on Romo by the Giants defensive line throughout the game, and for him to make a couple of dumb decisions that will cost the Cowboys.