Giants vs. Cowboys: 3 things to watch – Metro US

Giants vs. Cowboys: 3 things to watch

Odell Beckham Jr. Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. will get the first chance to replace Victor Cruz in the slot.
Credit: Getty Images

The Giants left Philadelphia Sunday night black and blue as they were shut out and humiliated, 27-0.

They’ve vowed a better effort this Sunday, but it doesn’t get any easier against the league’s hottest and arguably best team, the Cowboys.

It’ll be interesting to see how Big Blue bounces back, as the Cowboys (5-1) will undoubtedly look forward to further burying their NFC East rivals. A loss would put them three games out of first place.

Metro takes a look at what storylines to watch in Sunday’s tilt (4:25 p.m., Fox).

1. Comeback trail

Big Blue took a thumping in an embarrassing fashion last week, so it’s only fair to wonder how the team’s collective psyche is — especially if the Cowboys get off to a fast start. Head coach Tom Coughlin thought aloud the same prospect earlier this week.

“The humility should be and is deserved. I’m interested in seeing our ability to continue to rise and to improve as a football team … that’s my concern. But I would like to think that because of the significance of this Cowboys team and their big win last week [in Seattle] that our guys are going to be attentive and have hopefully gotten over last week by now.”

2. Simply offensive

Whether the Giants’ offensive line can match the excellence of the Cowboys’ line might be the biggest question mark. The Giants are coming off a performance in which they allowed eight sacks, while the Cowboys are coming off a performance in which they manhandled the league’s best defense. Coughlin said it’ll be a cumulative effort, as last week’s low-point wasn’t an indictment on any one player. The coach feels as if his linemen will regain their poise and deliver.

“The pass protection breakdowns were something that we haven’t seen in a long while, but that’s just more of a credit to what they [the Eagles] did,” Coughlin said. “I’m hoping they’ll bounce back to what they were during our winning streak.”

3. Here’s your chance, rookie

Now that Victor Cruz is out for the season, it’ll be intriguing to see who fills that void. Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. will slide into the starting spot alongside fellow former LSU teammate Rueben Randle. Beckham said he’s up to the challenge, adding he’s playing with a heavy heart because of the way he’s gotten the promotion.

“It’s just tough because the guy that it happened to is a guy that’s looked after me since day one, since I got here. Now us as receivers have to step up, really make him proud and try to fill his role,” said Beckham. “But I definitely think I’m ready for [a larger role]. I definitely feel more comfortable with where I’m at now as far as the playbook and getting my body underneath me. But like I said, it’s tough to fill that role that he played. … We’ve got to try to move forward and keep progressing.”

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.