ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys are about to go 2 for 2 this season on hosting a New York team a week after the visitor lost its starting quarterback to a long-term injury.
Tommy DeVito is set to be the first rookie free agent to start at QB for the Giants (2-7) in the common draft era, not counting a strike-replacement game in 1987. He's replacing the injured Daniel Jones, who wasn't much help in the first meeting, a 40-0 Dallas victory in the opener.
The Week 10 rematch Sunday has the Cowboys (5-3) looking for their 12th consecutive victory at AT&T Stadium, which would be their longest home winning streak since an 18-game run at now-demolished Texas Stadium from 1979-81.
Jones tore the ACL in his right knee in last week's 30-6 loss at Las Vegas.
A day after the Cowboys shut out the Giants in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut for the New York Jets, who had to go back to previous starter Zach Wilson in a 30-10 loss at the Cowboys in Week 2.
DeVito is getting his first career start because backup Tyrod Taylor (ribs) is on injured reserve. Jones had already missed time with a neck injury before his knee buckled against the Raiders.
“I think it’s a shock to everybody.” said DeVito, who was undrafted out of Illinois after transferring from Syracuse. “Not to have one quarterback but two quarterbacks go down, I mean it’s tough.”
Dallas scored early touchdowns on defense and special teams in the rout of the Giants. The Cowboys sacked Jones seven times and hit him 12 others, so they'll be trying to rattle a rookie the same way.
And they'll be trying to avoid complacency as a 16 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel SportsBook.
“I think the biggest thing is just really keeping your eye on the ball,” Dallas coach Mike McCarthy said. “Our emphasis is on the details and the little things. And the fact of the matter is we’re playing at home and that’s been very important for us, and we just need to take care of business.”
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott and top receiver CeeDee Lamb are on the best roll of their four seasons together.
Prescott is coming off consecutive 300-yard games — his first two of the season — and Lamb has reset his career high in yards receiving each of the past two weeks. The 2020 first-round pick had 191 yards in last week's 28-23 loss to NFC East-leading and division rival Philadelphia.
“Be consistent. I can’t preach that enough, and just continue on what we’ve built up," Lamb said. “We set a great foundation these past couple of weeks and just stay going forward staying true to ourselves and continuing to talk through our reps that we miss at practice and Sundays, let it rip.”
The Giants' offensive line has been a mess all season with injuries playing a major role. New York is set to use a ninth starting combination in 10 games with right tackle Evan Neal ruled out with another ankle injury. He returned last week after missing the previous two games with an injury to his other ankle.
This week, the starters probably will be Andrew Thomas at left tackle, Justin Pugh at left guard, John Michael Schmitz at center, Ben Bredeson at right guard and Tyre Phillips at right tackle. They will try to contain a defense that had seven sacks and 12 quarterback hits against the Giants in the opener.
The Cowboys essentially took a day off from practice Wednesday, in part because of the physically and emotionally draining loss to the Eagles when trying to make it a race in the NFC East.
It's also because the annual short week for the Thanksgiving game is two weeks away, then Dallas plays another Thursday game the week after that.
McCarthy is preparing for his fourth Thanksgiving game with the Cowboys, and learning how he likes the schedule.
“I think the easiest explanation is just trust in the numbers, the research, listening to last year, listening to the training staff, listening to the strength staff,” McCarthy said. “We’re going to make sure we’re ready to go, make sure we’re ready to get the preparation we need to win the game Sunday. But you definitely have to chart out the long game in a 17-game season.”
RUN SAQUON RUN
With DeVito starting at quarterback, the simplest way for the Giants to help him would be to run the ball.
Saquon Barkley had 12 carries for 51 yards in the 40-0 loss to start the season. The score got out of hand early in that one and New York had to abandon the running game.
If the Giants have proved anything this season, they can run the ball. Barkley had a career-high 36 carries for 128 yards against the Jets, one of best defenses in the league.
Despite missing three games with a sprained right ankle, Barkley has gained 502 yards rushing and had a 4.0 yard average. Another 1,000-yard season is attainable.
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