GIANTS at COWBOYS, at AT&T Stadium
WHEN: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: Channel 4
PLAYER TO WATCH – Giants TE Evan Engram
With the possibility of Odell Beckham Jr. sitting out, Eli Manning could turn to his rookie tight end to be the playmaker the Giants’ offense needs.
The 6-foot-3, 240-pound first-round pick with 4.42 40-speed could present a mismatch for Cowboys linebackers and safeties and provide the big yardage completion plays Beckham often makes.
Engram impressed throughout training camp and preseason with six catches for 75 yards.
If Engram continues that kind of production into the regular season, it will help the Giants absorb the blow of possibly losing Beckham for the opener.
Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle) is questionable and LB Keenan Robinson (concussion) is out.
If Beckham can’t go, the Giants lose a crucial piece of an offense that enters the season with some question marks around it. Some of the new offseason additions will need to make an immediate impact. Robinson’s absence may require B.J. Goodson to play almost every snap at middle linebacker. While the second-year player out of Clemson has impressed, it will be asking an awful lot out of him.
Cowboys: MLB Anthony Hitchens (ankle) is ruled out while CB Jourdan Lewis (hamstring) is questionable.
Hitchens is expected to miss eight weeks with a fractured knee, so the Cowboys will turn to 11-year veteran Justin Durant to fill the middle linebacker duties. Lewis, a rookie drafted in the third round, is not likely to play but is behind Anthony Brown on the depth chart.
Giants CB Janoris Jenkins vs. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant
Jenkins held Bryant to just two catches for 18 yards in two games last season.
Bryant said back in April he’d “embarrass” Jenkins next time they meet and said that it was Big Blue’s Cover 5 scheme that slowed him down, not the Giants corner.
Regardless of how the Giants are covering Bryant, if the Cowboys cannot get him involved in the passing game it will be difficult for Dallas to halt its losing streak against the Giants.