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Cowboys Plan to Exploit Depleted Giants Secondary

Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are looking past the Giants revitalized defensive front and going straight for the secondary, at least according to the Dallas News:

The Giants, who finished 28th in the NFL in pass defense last season with an average yield of 254 yards per game, return the starting secondary intact from a year ago minus their best defensive back: free safety Stevie Brown.
Brown led the Giants with eight interceptions last season but suffered torn knee ligaments in the third preseason game last month. He will be on injured reserve when New York opens the season Sunday night against the Cowboys.

On the subject of Dez Bryant the hits continue:

“…this is a different Bryant than the Dez the Giants saw last season. He caught 10 TD passes over his final eight games and slapped a 224-yard game on the Saints. Webster has been New York’s shutdown corner and probably will draw Bryant in the opener.”

Before everyone panics, let’s dissect this a bit.

First of all, the Giants are not the 2012 New Orleans Saints. Glad I got that out of the way.

Second, our secondary. Antrel Rolle will be ready to play at FS once again, his natural position where he shines. We’ve heard nothing of how good second year CB Prince Amukamara has looked, nor did they take the time to mention S Ryan Mundy the former Steeler… a guy who can make an immediate impact in bringing that physical style of DB play back to the Giants secondary. Mundy has looked good when in the game, and he’s a good tackler who made a really nice stop last game to force a punt in the last preseason game in limited snaps. That’s something that Stevie Brown was hardly ever in position to do. The Giants defense could hardly get off the field last year because some of their guys were out of position. Corey Webster played injured all year, and took the brunt of the criticism for breakdowns across the defense last year, often from young players filling in. This re-made defense has all the makings of a top 5 group under Perry Fewell circa 2010.

Third, our LBs look a whole lot different this year. It’s not the secondary, but it does affect the entire middle of the field. Jacquain Williams will likely be all over Jason Witten, a guy who has been flying around the field all summer. JW will be our best and most dangerous LB. Keith Rivers is healthy for the first time – possibly ever – and is hungry to make a statement. I like his speed and physicality, the Cowboys aren’t going to know what the Giants have in Rivers. And former Cowboy MLB Dan Conner will be holding down the middle of the base defense. Beyond that I expect a ton of nickel packages with Aaron Ross back, and I think it will be more effective this season because the front 4 is going to shut down the run.

Lastly, not only are the Giants going to stop the run better than they have in years – Tony Romo has to be standing up long enough and be mobile enough to make a throw to ANY receiver. The Giants have brought in former Eagle DT Cullen Jenkins and DT Mike Patterson to collapse the pocket and revitalize that central push the Giants haven’t had since the playoff run of 2011… these guys still hate the Cowboys and can’t wait to get in Tony Romo’s face. Also don’t leave out 350 lb DT Shaun Rodgers who was out last year with an injury for the Giants, who is an absolute load and has looked very good this summer. Combine the central push of the D-Line with Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka, possibly JPP, and the rest of the DE cast and we’ve got all the makings of a flummoxed Tony Romo, and by extension, a stifled Cowboys offense.

His safety net is going to be Jason Witten and 3 step drops – and I expect our line up in his face all night. It’s pretty hard to get deep over the top that way. Witten is a great player for the Cowboys and he seems to really catch the football against the Giants… but I submit that if Witten has a good game Sunday night that’s because Bryant didn’t.

I think there’s more than enough reason to believe the Giants defense can not only hang with the Cowboys offensive weaponry, but shut it down all together.


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