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The Dallas Cowboys will look to avoid a second straight NFL betting defeat at home against a divisional rival when they take on the New York Giants on MNF.
Matchup: New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Date: Monday, October 25th, 8:30 ET
Location: Dallas Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX
Game Line: Dallas -3
Giants Notes: The G-Men have some major injury woes right now that are really potentially going to take them out of their comfort zone. QB Eli Manning has to deal with a knock to WR Hakeem Nicks. It is unknown whether Nicks, the team's top receiver, is going to be playing or not on Monday night, as he sat out most of this week's practices with a hamstring injury. The bigger problems come on the defensive side of the ball, where both DE Justin Tuck and DE Mathias Kiwanuka have been on the sidelines. Kiwanuka is certainly out for the foreseeable future after suffering a herniated disc, while Tuck, though listed as probable, has also sat out of practices with an injured ankle. This has really opened up the door for DE Osi Umenyiora to wake up once again. Umenyiora, who was once a Pro Bowl defensive end when lined up opposite the great DE Michael Strahan, had lost his ways in recent seasons. However, being inserted into the starting lineup once again has really made all the difference in the world for the big man. He has seven sacks and six forced fumbles in his last three games! After a dismal 1-2 start to the season in which the team only played once even remotely decent game (against a terrible Carolina Panthers squad, at that), things have changed for Big Blue quite a bit. They have rolled off three straight wins, including a dominating 34-10 performance at Reliant Stadium against the Houston Texans two weeks ago. The Giants didn't cover the 10 point NFL spreads last weekend against the Detroit Lions, but the outright victory has them at 4-2 and sitting tied atop the NFC East standings through six weeks.
Cowboys Notes: HC Wade Phillips must be seeing yellow flags in his sleep. His Cowboys are still averaging getting penalized over 11 times per game this season, including last week when they racked up nearly a football field's worth of flags in a loss to the Minnesota Vikings. The 'L' really put Dallas' back against the wall again, as this week, the team is now 1-4 and is 2.5 games out of first place of the division and just as far back for either of the Wild Card berths that the conference has to offer. Is this a do or die? A win would move Big D back within 1.5 of the Giants with the tiebreaker, but a loss would be catastrophic. The offense has been doing its job at least in terms of scoring, as the team has dropped at least 21 points in four straight games after being held to just seven against the Washington Redskins in Week 1. The defense has failed and failed miserably since the bye week though, allowing 34 to the Tennessee Titans and 24 to the Vikes last week. This is a rare state for Dallas as well, as it is just 0-2 SU and ATS this year at home and really can't afford to drop to 0-3. It's hard to argue with the core numbers for these guys, though. The offense ranks No.3 in the league at 400.0 yards per game, QB Tony Romo is on pace for almost 5,000 yards this year through the air, and the 'D' has held foes to just 281.4 yards per game, good enough for No. 4 in the NFL.
The Final Word: We've been living and dying with the Cowboys this year, and if they're going down, we're going down with them. Their core numbers are just shockingly good for a team that has been this bad. Once someone gets into the heads of these guys that they are really that good of a squad and they stop committing these dumb penalties, they're going to be a force to be reckoned with. Maybe the bright lights of MNF will be what the Cowboys need to get back in the saddle this week.
Free Pro Football Picks: Dallas -3
Prediction: Dallas 24 – New York 16