During his first year in the NFL, there wasn't much that slowed down Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

The Mississippi State product made professional football look easy in 2016, leading Dallas to a 13-3 record and its second NFC East title in three years. But the one team he and the Cowboys couldn't solve is the one that's the biggest threat to their hopes of retaining their NFC East crown: the New York Giants.

In 2016, the Dallas Cowboys went 13-1 against the rest of the league, but 0-2 against Big Blue, failing to get their offense going in either contest with New York.

Making matters worse is that both defeats came because the Giants neutralized the Cowboys' biggest weapon, their powerful offense. In 16 games last year, Dallas scored at least 20 points on 12 occasions. In two meetings with the Giants, the Cowboys scored 26 points total. When the Dallas offense isn't producing, the Cowboys aren't going to have much success.

How do the Dallas Cowboys fix this?

Clearly, the Cowboys aren't going to win playing the Giants' game. Even though they think they've fixed their defense, they're not on New York's level when it comes to keeping opponents from scoring. To get a victory on Sunday, they've got to use their strengths to overpower the Giants.

Fortunately for Dallas, Ezekiel Elliott will play for them on Sunday night.

Elliott's potentially looking at a six-game suspension if an injunction doesn't hold up, but he'll be eligible against the Giants and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett needs to use him. In the two losses to the Giants last year, the Dallas Cowboys got away from the run in the fourth quarter and tried to let Prescott lift them to victory.

That strategy didn't work because the Giants are outstanding at pressuring the quarterback and blanketing opposing receivers. Prescott learned that the hard way in the teams' second meeting, as he was sacked three times and threw two interceptions in New Jersey, his only multi-interception game of the season. With tackle Doug Free announcing his retirement in the offseason, it's going to be even harder for the Cowboys to protect Prescott this time.

Dak must be efficient

Dallas isn't going to win if Dak Prescott only completes 46 percent of his passes again, so it's imperative that Elliott starts strong and finishes strong. The Giants love to take away their opponents' biggest strength, but when they can't do that, beating an opponent becomes much more manageable. If Elliott is running well, Prescott will have time to throw, and the Dallas Cowboys should finally solve their rivals and get a leg up in the race for the NFC East title. If the Giants can slow down either one, however, it's likely going to be a fourth straight evening of frustrations for Big D.