News & Analysis

NFL Week 14 Preview: Cowboys at Giants

By PFF Analysis Team
Dec 7, 2017

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Oct 8, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant (88) celebrates a second quarter touchdown with guard Zack Martin (70) against the Green Bay Packers at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants in Week 14 of the 2017 NFL season. PFF previews the top player matchups of the game.

PFFELO Ranking: 13

Coverage by: Aaron Jones

Matchup: Dallas Cowboys offense vs. New York Giants defense

  • G Zack Martin vs. Dl Dalvin Tomlinson – The second-highest graded guard in the league (89.3 overall grade) matches up against promising rookie Dalvin Tomlinson. In a season where poor offensive line play has marred the Cowboys, Martin has continued to perform at an elite level. He’s allowed only 10 pressures on 393 pass-block snaps, giving him a pass-blocking efficiency (measures pressure allowed on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks allowed) of 98.0, tied for second-best among 75 qualifying guards. Tomlinson is quickly becoming one of the better run-stuffing interior defenders in the league, currently ranking 16th among 126 qualifying interior defenders with a run-defense grade of 86.3. His 19 run stops are the most among rookie interior defenders.
  • C Travis Frederick vs. Dl Damon Harrison – Travis Frederick is currently tied with Alex Mack for the second-highest grade among all centers (88.8 overall grade) and has yet to allow a sack on 417 pass-block snaps. Frederick will have one of his toughest matchups this season, however, as Damon Harrison currently ranks third among 117 qualifying interior defenders with an overall grade of 91.5. His run-defense grade of 95.3 is the highest among all interior defenders, primarily due to his league-best 29 run stops. Both Martin’s and Frederick’s matchups will be key to helping the Cowboys establish the run.

Travis Frederick, center, Dallas Cowboys

PFFELO Ranking: 31

Coverage by: Aaron Jones

Matchup: New York Giants offense vs. Dallas Cowboys defense

  • TE Evan Engram vs. LB Jaylon Smith – The second-most targeted tight end in the league (87 targets) draws a matchup against a fellow “rookie.” Engram had arguably his best game of the year, making one-handed catches that would even impress Odell Beckham Jr. He finished with a game grade of 89.9, the third-highest among tight ends last week. After essentially redshirting his first season in the league, Smith has shown some flashes of why the Cowboys drafted him. While he has struggled this season (overall grade of 59.4, ranked 50th among 86 qualifying linebackers), his strongest asset has been his coverage skills, where he currently ranks 17th among 79 qualifying linebackers with a coverage grade of 78.5.

Evan Engram, tight end, New York Giants

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