The last time this happened was in 1992, and the host team will surely be hoping for a repeat of that performance, which ended in a 30-3 victory for the Cowboys. Dallas is coming off a blowout victory over the Minnesota Vikings, an excellent bounce-back performance after its embarrassing loss to the Green Bay Packers the week before. New York, meanwhile, is coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions in a game where the Giants lost more than just on the scoreboard, with important contributors like Adoree' Jackson and Wan'Dale Robinson now out for extended periods due to injury.
Dallas won the first matchup between these two teams earlier this season and thus enters the game with a lead in the standings despite having identical 7-3 records. The Cowboys won that game despite the absence of Dak Prescott, with the Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence-led defense dominating for much of the evening. With the Giants now the team troubled by injuries on offense, the Cowboys are seemingly well-positioned for an encore.
So, will Dallas keep the good times rolling, or will the Giants get back on track? We'll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here's how you can watch the game on Thanksgiving Day.
How to watch
Date: Thursday, Nov. 24 | Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Location: AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)
TV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Follow: CBS Sports App
Odds: Cowboys -9.5, O/U 45.5 (courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook)
When the Giants have the ball
The Giants are not in good shape right now, injury-wise. Sterling Shepard was lost for the season during the first game between these two teams; Robinson was lost for the season during last week's game; right tackle Evan Neal may or may not be ready to come back from the injury that has kept him out of the past three games; and tight end Daniel Bellinger, center Jon Feliciano, guard Shane Lemieux, and left tackle Andrew Thomas all missed practice on Tuesday due to either injury or illness.
New York will likely be trotting out a wide receiver trio of Darius Slayton, Isaiah Hodgins, and Richie James against a Dallas secondary that has played at a very high level for most of the season. Trevon Diggs has only shadowed A.J. Brown and Justin Jefferson so far this season, but may shadow Slayton in this contest simply because there's nobody else who presents a real threat, so why not make sure Slayton can't get matched up against one of the weaker corners, just in case?
The Giants don't particularly want to throw the ball all that often anyway, as they are one of the run-heaviest teams in the NFL. And you probably want to attack Dallas on the ground rather than through the air -- even if the run defense is not necessarily as bad as its reputation. (The Cowboys rank 10th in run defense DVOA at Football Outsiders.)
The issue is the Giants are dealing with a bunch of injuries up front, and the heavy early-season workload seems to be getting to Saquon Barkley, who has been much less efficient in recent weeks than he was earlier in the year. He's coming off by far his worst game of the season, a 15-carry, 22-yard effort against an awful Lions defense that ranks 31st in rushing yards allowed and 30th in yards per attempt. Barkley broke at least 4.5 yards per carry in five of the Giants' first seven games, but hasn't done it since. Over the Giants' last three contests, he has just 227 yards on 70 totes (3.2 per carry), and has added just six receptions for 30 yards on 11 targets. In those first seven games, he had averaged nearly that many receiving yards per game (25.7).
The Cowboys are dealing with some minor injury issues to their best players along the defensive front (Parsons is banged up and Demarcus Lawrence has an illness), but they seem likely to at least have all of their guys, and they rotate enough that it shouldn't be much of a problem. That group dominated the first matchup between these two teams, and with New York's offensive line in worse shape now than it was then, it seems like an even bigger mismatch this time around. Unless the Giants can spontaneously rediscover their rushing efficiency (something that might have to be done through Daniel Jones, rather than Barkley), they seem unlikely to find much in the way of offensive success here.
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When the Cowboys have the ball
The Dallas offense is rolling in recent weeks, averaging 35.3 points per game since Dak Prescott's return from his fractured thumb. They've hung at least 40 points on two of their four opponents, and have exceeded 420 total yards in each of their last three games.
During the four-game span, Prescott ranks fifth in the NFL in EPA per dropback, according to TruMedia. He's competed 89 of 123 passes (72.4%) for 998 yards (8.1 per attempt), eight touchdowns and three interceptions, and he's taken only five sacks on 132 dropbacks. He's spreading the ball around to all of his pass catchers, and he's been off-target with only 6.5% of his throws, according to TruMedia. Were it not for a trio of miscommunications with CeeDee Lamb on option routes against the Bears and Packers, we might be talking about how he's played perfect football since his return.
Prescott has been impeccably protected since his return by an offensive line playing at an extremely high level (25% pressure rate). That group has also helped clear the way for Tony Pollard to absolutely explode over the past three games (464 total yards and six touchdowns on 61 touches, with 6.4 yards per carry and 13.8 yards per reception averages), a development so predictable that many observers have been predicting it for three-plus years. Pollard is easily the Cowboys' best back at the moment, and the team would do well to lean into him out-snapping and out-touching Ezekiel Elliott, even as the latter gets healthier down the stretch of the season. Elliott should still have a role the rest of the way, though, especially in short-yardage and goal-line situations, where his size, strength, and decisiveness make him very effective.
Pollard's ability to break big gains, though, is much-needed within the context of an offense that doesn't have a ton of speed outside of him and Lamb, give or take the occasional gadget play for return man KaVontae Turpin. Lamb went off for eight receptions for 87 yards and a ridiculous one-handed touchdown grab the last time these two teams played, and he should have an easier time getting himself open this time around thanks to the absence of No. 1 corner Jackson. New York may also be without Fabian Moreau, potentially opening things up even more and allowing for Michael Gallup and Noah Brown to make plays on the outside. New York has also struggled to contain passes to tight ends all season (30th in DVOA), which means Dalton Schultz should be able to eat in the underneath zones.
In other words, even a healthy Giants team was likely going to have trouble stopping this version of the Dallas offense. In its current state, the New York defense seems likely to be a bit overwhelmed by it.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, Giants 13