Dez Bryant has turned into a monster. With almost 1,400 yards last year, the Dallas Cowboys finally got the big playmaker they expected when they took him in the first round. For any team trying to slow the Cowboys offense, Bryant is of the utmost importance.
For the New York Giants, the main person responsible will probably be Prince Amukamara. Amukamara emerged last year as the Giants’ best cornerback, and he will need another huge game to slow the force that is Bryant.
Luckily, he will not be alone. Antrel Rolle and Ryan Mundy will give help on deep throws, and their ability to get over the top is key. Bryant will get some catches, but the Giants will try to make them of the 8-10 yard variety, not the deadly deep balls.
The other help Amukamara will get is from the defensive line. The defensive line had a poor year last season, which further exposed a weak Giants’ secondary. Expect the line to be better this year. Their first big test will be the Cowboys, who have a relatively strong offensive line and the weapons to punish defenses that do not get to the quarterback.
Corey Webster may also get some chances to guard Bryant, but after a terrible year last season, many fans hope it will be Amukamara’s job.
Regardless of who covers Bryant, it will be something to watch. The Giants’ corners need to slow him down without too much help, as Jason Witten will also be a tough cover. The Giants have a young linebacking corps and two safeties who do not like matching up with big tight ends on the outside.
Both groups will need some help from the deep safeties when Witten stretches the field. If Mundy and Rolle have to over help on Bryant, it could fuel a monster game for Witten like an 18-catch one from last year.
Both Bryant and Witten are great players, but if the Giants can force the Cowboys to throw short and run the ball, they will be in good position to win. If Bryant keeps beating them deep, stretches the defense and powers the Cowboys’ offense, it could be a long day for Big Blue.