Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season is finally upon us, and the Lineups team has you covered with tons of great content across the website and our YouTube channel. In this article, you can find a breakdown of the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants, a divisional matchup where the road Cowboys are favored by 3.5 points.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. New York Giants Prediction
Brian Daboll far exceeded expectations in his first year as the Giants’ head coach, leading his team to a 9-7-1 record and their first playoff berth since 2016. New York went 13-4 ATS across the season despite having the third-youngest team in the NFL by snap-weighted age per Football Outsiders.
While I still believe Daniel Jones left a lot of yards on the field last year and isn’t a true franchise quarterback, Daboll helped him look like a competent passer for the first time in his career. The analytical differences in Daboll’s coaching were stark compared to the 2021 Giants.
I believe the Cowboys have a better roster top to bottom, but Daboll is a significantly better coach than Mike McCarthy. New York also has plenty of opportunity to improve with a healthier defense and an upgraded offensive line.
McCarthy hasn’t done a great job of getting his team ready for Week 1 throughout his Dallas tenure as he’s 0-3 straight up and 1-2 ATS in opening games as the Cowboys’ head coach. That includes an ugly 19-3 home loss to the Buccaneers in Week 1 last season.
Home divisional underdogs are 25-13 ATS in Week 1 and are currently on a 7-0 win streak going back to 2018. That extends to 15-2 since 2012. While those are small sample sizes, it’s still a trend I’m keeping in my back pocket as I’m handicapping these opening games.
The Cowboys got the better of the Giants twice last season, winning by 7 and 8 points respectively, but they’re only favored by 3.5 points in this opening game. I believe that’s for good reason, and I’m taking the G-men to cover that short home spread.
I also lean towards the under 46.5 points in this game for reasons I’ll break down below, but I believe the Giants +3.5 is the strongest play on the board for this game.
Dallas Cowboys Vs. New York Giants Betting Odds
The Cowboys are currently favored by 3 or 3.5 points on the road against the Giants depending on which sportsbook you are using. The over/under for the game currently sits at 46.5 points. These numbers likely won’t be moving much leading up to kickoff as these lines have been available for months. You can find the Giants as high as a +150 underdog here if you’d like to play the Moneyline instead.
Cowboys vs Giants Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Cowboys vs Giants below.
CeeDee Lamb vs Adoree’ Jackson
The Giants overhauled their cornerback room over the offseason, bringing in two new starters in rookies Deonte Banks and Tre Hawkins III. Banks was a first rounder, so he was expected to start this season, but Hawkins has been one of the team’s biggest surprises of training camp and won a starting job as a sixth-round pick.
With those two rookies on the outside, Adoree’ Jackson will be primarily a slot corner for the first time in his career. Surprisingly, Jackson has only spent 14% of his career snaps in the slot, despite being pegged by many as a slot only in the pre draft process back in 2017. He should be a natural fit for the position with his fluidity and consistent tackling.
This won’t be an easy matchup for Jackson, though, as he’ll be facing CeeDee Lamb, one of the best slot receivers in the NFL. Lamb is coming off a career-best season with over 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns while playing 62.5% of his snaps in the slot. He totaled 14 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown across two games against the Giants.
We know defensive coordinator Wink Martindale will send a ton of exotic blitzes at Dak Prescott in this game as the Giants blitzed at a 39.7% rate last year, the highest in the NFL. Jackson’s ability to hold up in coverage against Lamb and not allow Prescott easy completions over the middle will be crucial for the Giants’ defense in this game.
Andrew Thomas and Evan Neal vs Cowboys’ pass rush
The Cowboys are coming off an excellent defensive season across the board, and their pass rush was their biggest strength as they led the NFL with a 25.6% pressure rate. Micah Parsons has quickly emerged as one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and he tied for the league lead with a whopping 90 pressures last season per PFF.
Daniel Jones was pressured on over 50% of his dropbacks in two games against the Cowboys last season.Jones held up pretty well under pressure last year, ranking top five in completion percentage and passer rating out of 40 qualified quarterbacks per PFF. However, keeping the pocket clean will still be paramount for the Giants in this game.
After a slow start to his career, Andrew Thomas has emerged as a cornerstone left tackle for New York and he ended last season ranked second in PFF pass-blocking grade among qualified left tackles. He allowed just 21 total pressures on over 600 pass-blocking snaps last season.
The Giants will need a similar second-year jump from right tackle Evan Neal after the first rounder struggled last season. He allowed three sacks in the one game he played against the Cowboys last season, getting torched by Parsons. Neal has been reportedly working on his craft all summer, and this will be a great litmus test to see how much he’s improved.