With the NFL regular season coming to an end, the Cowboys (9-6) have clinched the NFC East and will face the Giants (5-10) in a game that will not effect, but could potentially foreshadow their unpredictable playoff berth.
This late in the season neither of these two teams have much at stake. Dallas will reportedly play all starters in a game that is essentially meaningless and has no impact on the Cowboy’s postseason. That being said, Ezekiel Elliot is on his way to becoming the league’s leading rusher (1424 yards) for the second time in his career and it’s not even a close race. Elliot is currently ahead of Todd Gurley by 183 yards and ahead Saquoan Barkley by 236 yards.
Of course it would be ideal for Elliot to end the season with an even more comfortable cushion between the competition but it certainly isn’t worth risking an injury, especially to a weapon that is as vital as Elliot is to his teams success.
Wide receiver Tavon Austin has been cleared to play after suffering a groin injury in Week 6. Thee Cowboys could still place Austin on the non-injury inactive list, but if he gets by it he could be a contribution to the team for the next few weeks.
Dallas has ruled out
- Tyrone Crawford (neck)
- David Irving (ankle)
Listed as questionable players include
- Anthony Brown (back)
- Zack Martin (knee)
- Tyron Smith (neck)
On the other hand, the Giants are eliminated from playoff contention and are stepping into Week 17 with nothing to lose besides a divisional rivalry. New York’s injury list includes
- Odell Beckham
- Rhett Ellison
- Alec Ogletree
- Russell Shepherd
- Mario Williams
The Cowboys should take advantage of this game to regain momentum as they go into the post season but it will take strategy to win this game while protecting starters and key players in preparation for playoffs.