Next-Level Preview: Giants at Cowboys

October, 27, 2012
10/27/12
12:28
AM ET
The Giants will head to Arlington, Texas, for their second meeting of the season with the Dallas Cowboys. In Week 1, the Cowboys defeated the Giants and are now looking to sweep the season series for the first time since 2007. However, since the new Cowboys Stadium opened in 2009, Dallas is 0-3 at home against Big Blue.

The Giants are coming off a thrilling 27-23 win over the Redskins on Sunday. The Cowboys, meanwhile, beat the Panthers 19-14 on the strength of four Dan Bailey field goals and a 26-yard Miles Austin touchdown reception.

Here are four areas to watch for Sunday:

Eli Manning has been impressive at the new Cowboys Stadium, leading the Giants to a perfect 3-0 record. Manning has a Total QBR of 87.6 in those three games, easily his highest on the road against any NFC East opponent since the start of the 2009 season. Over the last four seasons, all other opposing quarterbacks have a combined Total QBR of 52.2 at Cowboys Stadium.

Manning has been especially good in the fourth quarter, amassing a Total QBR of 88.7 and leading the Giants to two comeback wins in Dallas since the new stadium opened.

• The Cowboys' defense has excelled when sending five or more pass rushers this year, allowing the second-lowest completion percentage and QBR in the league. They will have their hands full with Manning, as he has been very successful when facing added pressure.

Victor Cruz dropped three passes on opening night at the Meadowlands, the most in a single game of his career. Since then, Cruz has only one drop and has the second-most receiving yards (569) and targets (66) in the league.

Cruz has worked out of the slot for 72.4 percent of his targets this season, catching a league-high five touchdowns, including last week’s game winner against Washington. Only Wes Welker has more yards, receptions, targets and receiving first downs out of the slot.


• Since he entered the league in 2009, Hakeem Nicks has dominated the Cowboys. Nicks leads the NFL in receiving yards (504) and receptions (33), and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns (4) against Dallas over that span. Nicks also leads the league in red zone targets (7) and has the fourth-most yards after the catch (145) against the Cowboys. Nicks had four receptions for 38 yards in their first matchup and should improve those numbers this week.

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