ARLINGTON — Daniel Jones has by no means performed a soccer sport on Thanksgiving.
“Watched a whole lot of Thanksgiving video games,” Jones stated Tuesday. “However first time taking part in. I’m excited.”
This will probably be Brian Daboll’s sixth sport on the hearty vacation in yr one of many NFL’s John Madden Thanksgiving Celebration to honor the late legend.
“You bear in mind if you’re a child, sitting down and watching tv and the video games and Madden and turducken and all these issues,” the Giants’ head coach stated Tuesday.
Has Daboll ever eaten turducken?
“I’ve not,” he stated with a smirk. “Would possibly seem like I did, however I didn’t.”
That’s about the place the Giants’ heat and fuzzy emotions for Thursday afternoon’s NFC East conflict finish, nonetheless. They need to scale a mountain of adversity in the event that they hope to shock the nation and reassert themselves in the Odell Beckham Jr. sweepstakes.
For whereas the Giants (7-3) and Cowboys (7-3) have the identical file, Daboll’s crew is decimated by accidents on the offensive line, within the secondary and at huge receiver. They need to play with out three of their 5 beginning O-linemen and three of their 4 starters within the secondary.
And the Giants are limping out of a brutal home loss to the Detroit Lions, whereas the Cowboys are using excessive off a highway blowout of the Minnesota Vikings.
“I feel it’s an awesome alternative for us to indicate who we’re, present what we are able to do, our toughness,” Jones stated.
The Cowboys have received 10 of their final 11 conferences with the Giants and 15 of the final 20 courting again to Oct. 2012. They have been 9.5-point favorites in a number of sportsbooks on Wednesday morning, and the road would possibly climb into double digits by gametime.
Jones stated the Giants aren’t involved with being steep underdogs.
“That’s not one thing we’re centered on as a crew,” he stated. “We’re assured in our capability to win video games, to compete and discover a technique to make the play down the stretch to win the sport. That’s what we’re centered on.”
It’s finest the Giants don’t concern themselves with this sequence’ statistics and out of doors noise, although, as a result of virtually none of it tilts of their favor.
The Giants misplaced their first assembly with the Boys, 23-16, on Monday Night time Soccer in Week 3 at MetLife Stadium. Jones was sacked 5 occasions. Dallas backup QB Cooper Rush threw for 215 passing yards, a landing and no turnovers. Tony Pollard rushed for 105 yards.
Now Dak Prescott is again underneath heart on Thanksgiving, and that’s dangerous information for Massive Blue.
Prescott has a 9-2 file towards the Giants in 11 profession conferences. He’s 240 for 377 passing (63.66%) for two,886 yards, 21 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in these video games.
He has extra TD passes towards the Giants than every other crew in his profession. He has rushed 36 occasions for 131 yards towards his division rival, as properly.
Prescott additionally has a solution to the Giants protection’s finest weapon: the blitz.
Wink Martindale’s Giants protection blitzes on an NFL-high 42.5% of opposing QB dropbacks, per ESPN Stats & Data. However Prescott’s 67.5% completion share towards the blitz ranks sixth within the league.
The Giants’ cross rush was mainly non-existent in Sunday’s loss to the Lions, as properly. No. 5 general choose Kayvon Thibodeaux hasn’t made an affect just lately.
The Cowboys are 72-47-2 all time within the sequence — although the Giants received their solely playoff assembly in 2007.
And Daboll’s response as to whether he thinks his banged-up crew can reply on this quick week didn’t precisely encourage confidence.
“I’ve appreciated every thing concerning the guys since I obtained right here,” the coach stated. “They work arduous, they’re humble guys, they do every thing we ask them to do. They go on the market, they play as arduous as they’ll play. Once more, we don’t at all times just like the outcomes, however these guys are placing every thing they’ve obtained into it.”
Actually, as Beckham chooses between the Cowboys, Giants and other suitors for his free company signing, all of this data would appear to make the choice for him.
Really, the Giants’ finest likelihood of profitable this sport is to run the ball typically with Jones and Saquon Barkley, and to hope that the Cowboys strut in as overconfident frontrunners — which they’re identified to do.
Unusually, Barkley was not accessible to talk to the New York media on Tuesday, the Giants’ solely day of open locker room this week — in comparison with three for the Cowboys. So there have been no Thanksgiving ideas from the Giants’ face of the franchise and finest participant getting into what guarantees to be their most considered sport in a very long time.
The Giants are 7-5-3 all-time on Thanksgiving. Their 16 video games on the vacation are the sixth most within the NFL. They’ve by no means hosted. They misplaced their final Thanksgiving sport, 20-10, at Washington in 2017.
They misplaced their solely Thanksgiving sport towards the Cowboys, 30-3, in 1992. Madden and Pat Summerall have been within the Texas Stadium sales space for that CBS broadcast. FOX will carry this yr’s sport.
The Giants have been common Thanksgiving sport individuals within the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties. However after a 7-7 tie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in entrance of 17,400 followers at Ebbetts Discipline on Nov. 24, 1938, they didn’t play on Thanksgiving once more till 1982.
Ed Danowski’s 12-yard TD cross to Dale Burnett within the fourth quarter of that sport, 84 years in the past to the day on Thursday, is the Giants’ most up-to-date Thanksgiving Day offensive landing.
They’re 1-3 on Thanksgiving within the Tremendous Bowl period. Their solely touchdowns in these 4 video games have been on a pair of interception returns. They’ve misplaced their final three Turkey Day video games in 1992, 2009 and 2017.
Their final Thanksgiving win was in 1982 at Detroit, 13-6, when Corridor of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor picked off a Gary Danielson cross within the fourth quarter and returned it 97 yards for the one landing.
The Cowboys have hosted their annual Thanksgiving Day sport for 54 of the final 56 years, together with each season from 1978 on. They’re 31-22-1 within the vacation basic.
Nevertheless, they’ve misplaced three straight Thanksgiving Day video games to Buffalo (2019), Washington (2020) and Las Vegas (2021). They’re 2-6 of their final eight on Turkey Day. And so they haven’t overwhelmed a Thanksgiving opponent that wasn’t Washington for the reason that Oakland Raiders in 2013.
Dallas volunteered in 1966 to host a Thanksgiving sport and performed its first in entrance of a file crowd of 80,259 on the Cotton Bowl, a 26-14 win over the Cleveland Browns.
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The NFL allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to host the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977, however Dallas has hosted it yearly since. Washington (10) has been their most frequent opponent, adopted by the Miami Dolphins (5).
The yr’s Giants impressed pleasure early within the season, clearly, and it’s refreshing they’re related and within the playoff hunt this deep into the season.
The NFC East’s mixed file of 29-11 quantities to a .707 profitable share, the very best for any division by way of 11 weeks for the reason that 1970 NFL merger. Every crew is above .500 for the primary time since 2008. And the Giants have full management of their very own future.
They’re now the lowest-scoring crew within the division (205 factors), surpassed by Washington. They’re creeping in the direction of the worst scoring protection, too, their 204 factors allowed second-worst to the Commanders’ 223.
And so they’re injured on the worst time, with 4 straight NFC East video games right here towards the Cowboys, Commanders, Eagles and Commanders — a run that seemingly will determine the Giants’ destiny.
“You set your self able presently of yr,” Daboll stated. “Each sport issues. Because it will get nearer to the top, you bought to deal with it the identical as you deal with each different sport.”
This isn’t simply every other sport, although. If the Giants aren’t cautious, they may lose a sport, Beckham and any confidence in a surefire playoff berth multi function shot, in entrance of the entire nation.