The first Key to the game is to have a healthy dose of DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones. The Cowboys will need to show that they can play big boy football to have a better chance at winning the ball game. Felix Jones had over 100 yards in the week 14 lost last year. There might be something from that game that will help us out tonight. If we can get our running game off to a good start, it will open up spots in the zone of the defense and give us more man on man opportunities in the passing game. Running the ball effectively will set the tone for the game, force New York to put more players in the box and slow down the pass rush. And if we do get a lead, running the ball slows down the clock.
The second key to the game is pressure and protection. We gave up 9 sacks in the two games we played against the Giants but only got to Eli twice. Tony Romo did a decent job of throwing the football and only had one interception. Our offensive line needs to be the stronger unit. Allow Tony Romo to stand tall in the pocket and pick apart the already depleted secondary of the Giants. Pressure also creates interception opportunities for our Defensive backs and Sean Lee. If the pressure is there, maybe we can see an outing like we did in Week 7 of 2010 when we had three interceptions. The turnover ratio (Takeaways to giveaways) is always important. From 2007 we have allowed 25 sacks to New York and thrown 7 interceptions. We have sacked the Giants 17 times and picked off Eli Manning 9 times.
The third key is getting off the field. The Cowboys and the Giants finished 11th and 12th in third down efficiency last year. Which ever team is able to extend their drives and keep the chains moving will be in a better chance to win the game. Try to keep Eli Manning on the sideline as much as you can. With Jason Witten being active for the game, this task just got a little easier for the Cowboys offense. The Defense will have to stay focused and do their job.
The final and fourth key is being able to win the fourth quarter. Out of the last ten time we have faced the Giants, we have only won the fourth quarter four times with a record of 3-7 overall. We have to do a better job of finishing games. If we finish strong, we will beat the New York Football Giants.