By Lawrence Edwards
Every season there is always a handful of teams that seem to have some serious concerns heading into the regular season. Some of them turn out to be legitimate and the team crumbles and some turn out to be false alarms. Whatever the case may be fans don’t like to have concerns about their favorite teams during the preseason. I’m sure there are plenty more but two teams really stood out to me and they both happen to be in the same division:
New York Giants – Offensive line
It’s no surprise the Giants offensive line has been “offensive” the last few years. The right side especially has been atrocious with the combo of John Jerry and Marshall Newhouse. The idea was that the offensive line would get better once it had time to gel together. This is the second season this unit has been together and so far in the preseason, gelling is the last thing they have been doing. Granted the Giants have had to play the preseason without starting left guard Justin Pugh and his presence is definitely missed. The Giants have been a pass first and pass heavy team the last two season due to the poor play on the offensive line making it hard for RB’s to find running lanes. At this point it is cause for concern that the Giants still can’t run the ball to take some of the pressure off of Eli. On the bright side, I don’t believe it cause for panic. Ben McAdoo and the Giants offense have been down right awful on offense in the preseason since his arrival but still go on to be a top 10 offense in the league. The Giants line is a real concern for the run game but they should still score points with Eli and OBJ and now the addition of Shepard and the return of Cruz.
Dallas Cowboys – QB and defense
Tony Romo is out yet again with a back injury and the Cowboys are left looking to their backup QB to try and lead them to success. Dak Prescott has had a pretty impressive preseason to say the least. Rookie RB Ezekiel Elliot didn’t disappoint in his NFL debut last week. Some Dallas faithfuls have been overly optimistic due to Dak’s preseason success but I would say there is a real cause for concern over there in the house that Jerry built. Yes they still have that offensive line and Dez Bryant but the Cowboys were already bad on defense and was relying on Romo to score enough points to try and mask that problem. The burden is now on Dak and Zeke to keep the Cowboys afloat and try to get them back to the post season. The fact that two rookies are playing such a huge part in turning around the fortunes of Dallas is cause for serious concern. Dak has been impressive but we have to see how he handles stunts, blitzes and exotics looks defensive coordinators will throw at him.
Both Dallas and New York finished with losing records last season and are looking to change all that around this season. The Giants have failed to address the offensive line and it could seriously come back and bite them if they aren’t careful. Eli may have never missed a game, but if the Giants want to keep it that way they better figure something out quick or Manning could get hurt. Dallas addressed one of their biggest needs at backup QB and they will have the chance to see if it will pay off. Their one true concern is the defense and the lack of a pass rush. If Dak and Zeke can’t put up a lot of points the Dallas could be in for a long season.