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Thursday, October 25, 2012
Next Level: Cowboys-Giants by the numbers

By ESPNDallas.com

ESPN Stats & Information has gone Next Level on Sunday's game between the Cowboys and the New York Giants at JerryWorld. Here's what our favorite number crunchers have unearthed heading into this key NFC East tilt.

Cowboys added pass rush got to Eli in Week 1: The Cowboys sent five or more rushers after Eli Manning on 10 of his 35 dropbacks (28.6 percent) in Week 1 after doing so nearly 38 percent of the time last season. Manning went 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) on such throws in Week 1 but has since completed 62.9 percent of his passes against five or more rushers.

Cowboys pass more in red zone, score less: The Cowboys have increased how often they’ve passed inside the red zone over the past three seasons, and it has helped led to fewer touchdowns. The Cowboys have scored a touchdown on 42.1 percent of their red zone drives this season, sixth-worst in the NFL.

Romo struggling deep since Week 1: Tony Romo went 2-of-2 with a touchdown on throws more than 20 yards downfield in Week 1 against the
Giants. Since then, however, Romo has gone 3-of-17 (17.7 percent) with a touchdown and an interception on such throws. Last season, Romo had the second-best completion percentage more than 20 yards downfield (53.2 percent), going 4-of-7 (2 TD) against the Giants.

Giants need to contain Romo: Six of Tony Romo's nine touchdowns against the Giants the last two seasons have come on throws made outside of the pocket, including two of his three in Week 1 this season. Since the start of last season, no other quarterback has more than four total touchdown passes against the Giants.

Manning hits deep late in games: Eli Manning has thrown nine fourth-quarter touchdowns on passes more than 20 yards downfield over the last two seasons, five more than the next highest quarterback. Only seven quarterbacks, including Manning, have at least nine touchdowns on such passes over the entire game during that time.

Giants front four returning to form: The Giants have recorded five sacks when sending four or fewer rushers the last two games, a rate of once every 12.6 dropbacks. In the Giants’ first five games, the defense recorded three sacks when sending four or fewer, a rate of once every 39.3 dropbacks.