Coming off of a season that ended with ten total wins, including one in the postseason against the Minnesota Vikings, excitement in East Rutherford is as high as it's been since at least 2017, and likely since they were coming off of a victory in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
To say this was an eventful offseason for Big Blue would be an extreme understatement. With massive deals to franchise cornerstones Daniel Jones, Dexter Lawrence, and Andrew Thomas, much of the core is locked up for the foreseeable future. After a hard-fought dispute, They were able to bring back Saquon Barkley on a 1-year deal, essentially telling him to "prove it" after his resurgence season in 2022.
They also managed to bring in superstar tight end Darren Waller in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, getting Daniel Jones an elite-level receiving threat that he has yet to have in his pro career. These moves, along with a fantastic draft that saw them bring in Deonte Banks, John Michael-Schmitz, Tre Hawkins, and others, have helped to bolster a roster that had many holes last season and now sees themselves in the upper echelon of NFL rosters.
And now, week one has finally arrived. Sunday Night Football, Giants vs. Cowboys. In my opinion, this game is the epitome of SNF, thinking back to the matchups of my childhood between Eli and Romo. What better way to kick off the NFL season than a matchup between 2 teams that genuinely have a chance to go deep in the playoffs this year?
This game is going to showcase two quarterbacks who are going to be trying to prove themselves on the national scale. Jones will be trying to prove that he wasn't a one-hit-wonder and that he's worth the massive deal he was awarded by Joe Schoen this offseason. Prescott will try to prove that he's not the turnover machine that he was last season and that he's a true franchise QB who can lead a team on a deep run.
However, I believe this game will be won in the trenches. Last year, Dallas was simply able to run all over the Giants. This offseason, Schoen made a point of bolstering the run defense, adding star linebacker Bobby Okereke, gadget stud Isaiah Simmons, and depth lineman Raheem Nunez-Roches and A'Shawn Robinson, all four of whom will instantly bolster this run defense.
On the offensive side, the Giants should see a significant increase in both pass and run protection. They will have more continuity in the interior spots with John Michael-Shmitz, Ben Bredeson, and Mark Glowinski and should see an increase in production from Evan Neal at the right tackle spot. There is no need even to mention Andrew Thomas at left tackle; that's how damn good he is.
Overall, I think the Giants' new roster puts them over the top of Dallas. This isn't to say that Dallas is not a good squad; they certainly are, but the Giants are truly building something special, headlined by one of the best coaches in the league, Brian Daboll. Jones and Waller looked like an unstoppable duo in their lone preseason game together, and I think that will continue tomorrow night. We will see an attack similar to how it was in the wildcard game, with Saquon as more of a supplement to the passing game than the primary threat. This, combined with developments from young players on both sides of the ball, specifically Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari (who I believe will terrorize Dak all night), the Giants will just be too much to handle for Dallas.
Score prediction: 24-14 Giants.