The Dallas Cowboys (9-6) have the NFC East and a playoff berth wrapped up. The New York Giants (5-10) will finish last in the division, regardless of Sunday’s outcome. What can we expect from the Cowboys’ regular-season finale? Our experts make their predictions:
Giants have nothing at stake and no Odell Beckham Jr., and yet they may have more incentive than the Cowboys, who have far more important business at hand next week, probably against Seattle. Always hard to know what you will get in these games, but the Giants without Beckham scored 27 at Indy last Sunday and that’s 27 more than Dallas managed there a week earlier. This isn’t a game for the Cowboys to worry about. Giants 20, Cowboys 10.
Is there anything better than two proud divisional opponents getting after each other in Week 17 with nothing at stake? Well, yes. Lots of things. But if you don’t have a movie to watch or some last-minute
shopping to do for that New Year’s Eve party, you may want to catch this game to see if Ezekiel Elliott secures his second NFL rushing title, Amari Cooper reaches 1,000 yards receiving and what the Dallas defense does in its last game before the playoffs. Giants 17, Cowboys 10.
The Cowboys have talked a good game all week, saying they will play their starters and play to win in Week 17 in a game that means nothing as far as their playoff positioning is concerned. But the Cowboys know nothing is on the line Sunday, and that will eventually take shape in their performance and who remains on the field in the second half. You may want to find a better way to spend your Sunday afternoon than watching this snoozer. Giants 17, Cowboys 13.
Perhaps the Cowboys’ offense can work out a few issues and throw in a couple of ruses with the return of receiver Tavon Austin. Perhaps. But this is Week 17. Limited work for most of the starters in the first half in New Jersey isn’t going to fix everything ahead of the playoffs. Still, it may be the only portion of Sunday’s game worth watching. The rest should be The Cooper Rush Show. Giants 17, Cowboys 14.
Regardless of what has been said this week, I have a hard time believing the Cowboys will play their starters more than a half. I see the offense getting some work early in hopes of putting together a few nice drives, and then that will be it for Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith, Amari Cooper, etc. We will then finish the day off by watching Eli Manning battle Cooper Rush. Giants 20, Cowboys 13.
Eli Manning’s future in New York could well depend on how the Giants play against the Cowboys, which is probably not anything you care about. But mark my words, when Eli is gone, you’ll miss him. You’ll miss the someone-stole-my-lunch look. So let’s enjoy this while it lasts. Here’s betting Eli will still be on the field Sunday when Zeke Elliott is safe on the bench, resting up for the playoffs. And lest we forget, if this really is Eli’s last game as a Giant, he owns two Lombardi Trophies, both of them wins over Tom Brady. Cowboys 24, Giants 20.
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