The 1-4 Dallas Cowboys are at home on Monday Night Football and playing for their coaches’ job, their own jobs and to keep their playoff hopes alive when they meet the 4-2 New York Giants Monday at 8:30 p.m. ET as favorites.
Yes the 1-4 Cowboys, losers of their last two and winless at home are favored against the Giants who have won three in a row. According to the experts and Dallas players, the Cowboys have outplayed just about every team this season but the won-loss record certainly does not back that claim up.
It is no secret that coach Wade Phillips is in grave danger of losing his job and his team, if he has not done so already. Dallas was almost a lock in most people’s minds to reach the playoffs but a loss on Monday at home to the Giants would surely end any postseason speculation.
The Giants may not be the ideal opponent for a Dallas team trying to salvage its season and keep hopes of playing on its home field in the Super Bowl this season. New York swept their NFC East rivals last season, defeating Dallas twice but only by a combined nine points.
The win column does not show that Dallas is executing on the field but other statistical categories do. The Cowboys have the third-best offense in the league and fourth-best defense which makes their 1-4 start all that more puzzling. Penalties have crippled Dallas, they have the second-most penalties in the league. Turnovers have hurt as well with Romo throwing seven interceptions and the Dallas defense only forcing one turnover in their four losses.
The Giants defense may be the most critical unit in this game. They are the second-best defense in the league and second-best pass defense.
The Giants are hurting but it looks like most players will play through the pain in Monday’s crucial game including Justin Tuck (ankle), Osi Umenyiora (knee), Keith Bulluck (toe) and Hakeem Nicks (hamstring). Dallas tackle Sam Young is expected to make his first start of the season after sitting out with a sprained right MCL. Tony Romo was seen with a taped up left hand (non-throwing) after the loss to Minnesota last week but he is reportedly okay and ready to go.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Betting Odds and Line Moves
Despite the interesting point spread there has been very little line movement as the action appears to be pretty split. The Cowboys opened as 3-point favorites and have stayed that way almost universally throughout sportsbooks. The total of 44.5 has also remained the same. NFL odds are courtesy of Sportsbook.com.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Trends
Giants are 11-4 ATS in their last 15 games as a road underdog
Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five Monday games
Giants are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings
Over is 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings
Monday Night Football Predications and Picks: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
It is tough to imagine the Cowboys losing another game and that was the thought process of many people in predicting Dallas to win last week as a road-favorite at Minnesota. The books remain behind Dallas making them favorites or near favorites in all of their games this season. Part of that may have to do with the impressive numbers but part of that may also have to do with the “America’s Team” moniker and all the betting action that comes with it. It is really tough to imagine this Dallas team starting 1-5 but it is even tougher to imagine them beating a well-balanced veteran New York team. Take the Giants and the points.