As long as your questions are already here at SB Nation, which is a very long time ago, twice a year we exchange “5 Questions” with Dave Halprin of Blogging the Boys. Well, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys play on Monday night. So here we go again.
so: What did Cooper Rush do against the Bengals that helped Dallas win? Is this sustainable?
Dave: Cooper Rush has done the things he really hopes QB will back up when he has to move into the starting role. Number one is he never flipped the ball. Everyone knows that shifts are the killer and the quickest way to get out of hand to get a backup QB. Rush got some very close calls on some passes during the match but was lucky to avoid disaster. Secondly, he was calm and composed, especially in the final inning to win the match. He never looked over his head and was able to hear him when needed. Finally, he made some quality throws when needed. He was able to put the ball on the coin and allow his receivers to easily catch the ball.
Is it sustainable? Maybe not in the long run or it would be reckless to start a job somewhere. But for a few more weeks? He didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to beat the Bengal, it wasn’t like he had a superhero, so maybe he could repeat it a few more times.
so: Along the same lines, did Jerry Jones miss out on getting close to hitting Dak Prescott? What is the latest in terms of expectations for his return?
Dave: Sure, Jerry Jones was the most upbeat in predicting a timeline for Dak Prescott’s return, but he’s not alone in predicting Prescott’s return ahead of the initial 6-8 week schedule. The reason for this is that when they did the actual surgery, the damage was less, and in a place where he can heal faster than the initial diagnosis. Essentially, the fracture did not extend from the thumb to the wrist joint, shaving a few weeks or more of healing time. For now, I would say the Eagles game in mid-October could be a comeback date. There was speculation that he might even have a Rams game the week before that, but no one knows for sure at the moment.
so: There are those who think Tony Pollard is actually better than Ezekiel Elliott’s return at this point. If you had to ride with one of these guys, what would you take. why?
Dave: The interesting thing about the Elliott-Pollard debate is that they’re two completely different full-backs. Elliott is really a force that comes back with some wiggle. He almost never finishes running backwards and will turn a two-yard gain into five yards just by driving the pile. It’s also one of the best running back pass I’ve ever seen. It can really capture and eliminate lightning attacks. Bullard is a touchdown that waits to happen when he touches the ball. Get it somewhere and you really have something. It can also act as a receiver and not misplace it. But it is a responsibility when it comes to protecting the midfielder in blitzing situations.
So it’s hard to choose because they both bring very different elements to the team. But, if I was forced, I would accept Pollard because in the NFL you need big plays on offense to win consistently, and Zeke isn’t giving that anymore. Pollard does that, so I plot my crime around his skills.
so: Old standby. If you could take one giant player and put it in the Cowboys lineup, who would it be? why?
Dave: If Brett Maher hadn’t had a strong start to the season, I’d say Graham Gano. The cowboy kicking issues were a real one, but Maher did a great job in the first two weeks. I’ve always loved Leonard Williams’ game, and the Cowboys’ defensive tackles haven’t been able to become a real force in the middle, so let’s put Williams out there and really encourage the defense. (I know he’s infected, but that’s just in general.)
so: Giants are preferred here. It’s been a while since that happened against Dallas. Will the Cooper Rush magic last? Do the Giants unexpectedly get 3-0? Who wins and why?
Dave: This is really a toss-up game. Confidence is a huge factor in the NFL, and the Giants sure have plenty of that after their 2-0 start. They also have the advantage of a home field. You could easily pick this game up either way, but I’d be Homer and take the Cowboys for one reason – Micah Parsons (and defense). Parsons is simply untenable at times and the Cowboys defense plays well as a unit. They are prone to running at times (those defensive tackles again), and Barkley could certainly exploit that, but they would put a lot of pressure on Dainel Jones. Just enough to make a difference in a very close match.
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