Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) against the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
- The Dallas Cowboys are 1.5-point road favorites over the New York Giants in Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ
- John Perrotto Betting Record: 10-6-2 (3.4 units won)
- The winner of this game would win the NFC East if the Washington Football Team loses to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night
It will be the win-and-wait game when the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants at 1 pm ET Sunday at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The winner will have a chance to win the NFC East title. However, that team will not know its fate until the Washington Football Team and the Eagles complete their game Sunday night in Philadelphia.
If Washington wins, it will be the division champion. If Washington loses then the Cowboys-Giants winner will gain the division’s lone playoff berth. They’ll also have a home game in next weekend’s Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs.
The Cowboys are favored to win on the road.
Cowboys vs Giants Odds
|Dallas Cowboys||-126||-1.5 (-112)||Over 44.5 (-110)|
|New York Giants||+108||+1.5 (-108)||Under 44.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Jan. 2 from FanDuel
Somebody Has to Win It
Whichever team wins the division will become the first to reach the postseason with a losing record since the Carolina Panthers were 7-8-1 in 2014.
The Cowboys are 6-9 following a three-game winning streak, tying them for first place with Washington.
The Giants (5-10) are in third place after losing three games in a row. Yet they will take the division crown if they win and Washington loses.
NFC East is up for grabs in Week 17:
∙ Washington: Win and they’re in the playoffs
∙ Cowboys/Giants: Winner of this game gets in if Washington loses to the Eagles pic.twitter.com/h3a4PR8vna
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 28, 2020
The tiebreaker for a three-way logjam atop the division is head-to-head records. The Giants would be 3-1 while Washington would be 2-2 and the Cowboys 1-3.
Against the spread, the Giants are 8-7 and the Cowboys are 5-10.
Cowboys Coming On
The Cowboys have come on strong in the final three weeks of the season after looking dead in the water – even in such a weak division – when they were 3-9.
Last week, the Cowboys had 513 total yards in beating the Eagles 37-17 at home as three-point underdogs. Andy Dalton threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
The Cowboys have only had two games this year where their quarterback has finished the game with a QB Rating above 120.
Both were from Andy Dalton…within the last three games. The veteran quarterback is coming on strong with good accuracy and some very nice reads. pic.twitter.com/GI7c6OAeRv
— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) December 29, 2020
Overall, the Cowboys are 4-4 since Dalton replaced Dak Prescott, who sustained a season-ending ankle injury in a 37-34 victory over the Giants in Week 5 in Texas.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott is also finishing what had been shaping up as the worst of his five NFL seasons on a good note. He had 105 yards on 19 carries last week after missing the previous game with a strained calf.
Elliott has 937 rushing yards despite going over 100 in just two games. He is 63 yards from 1,000, a milestone he reached in each of his first four seasons except 2017 when he was suspended six games for domestic violence.
He is ready for January weather.
The Cowboys also had three takeaways against Eagles rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts, two interceptions and a fumble. Dallas has 10 takeaways in the last three games after having just 11 over the first 12 games of the season.
Giants quarterback Daniel Jones’ mobility was clearly compromised in last week’s 27-13 loss to the Ravens in Baltimore as 10-point underdogs. He was sacked six times.
Jones has been sacked 12 times in his last two games and managed a total of three yards rushing. He was averaging 7.3 yards a carry before sustaining a hamstring injury.
Justin Madubuike has quietly played very well lately for Baltimore.
The 3rd round pick breaks through here and rips down Daniel Jones for his 1st career NFL sack!pic.twitter.com/DTWg6giBQp
— Boom or Bust: The Draft Show (@BoomOrBustDraft) December 27, 2020
Much of the offensive load in this game could be carried by running back Wayne Gallman, who took over as the starter after Saquon Barkley suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2.
Gallman has had his moments, gaining 617 yards and six touchdowns on the ground in 136 carries.
The Cowboys will be without linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (ankle) and cornerback Rashard Robinson (knee). Giants running back Elijhaa Penny (illness) has also been ruled out.
It is expected to be 39 degrees at kickoff with slight winds from the northeast and an 80% chance of light rain.
Dallas has beaten the Giants seven straight times, including the win back in Week 5. Cowboys rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb had eight catches for 124 yards in that game while the Giants’ Darius Slayton had eight receptions for 129 yards.
Look for the trend to continue in this game as the Cowboys are playing better than they have all season and the Giants are not.
Pick: Cowboys -1.5 (-110), 1 unit
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.