Last Sunday night, the Cowboys won over the rival New York Giants. I think this is the most important thing we should take out of the game. We won. No one can take that away from us. However, if we look a bit more closely at the Cowboys, we know that we still have some ways to go. We got a bit lucky with our win last night, and if we want to continue to win, we must recognize the mistakes and fix them.
I’ll begin with the defense. The defense played well for most of the game. Their first three drives on the field they had one fumble recovery and got two interceptions from Eli Manning. The defense would add one more interception and recover two more fumbles from the Giants. The Cowboys won the turnover game, which was a crucial goal for them going into the season. However, I am still a bit concerned. Eli Manning still threw for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns. If it were not for his 3 interceptions, the Giants would have come out on top.
In the fourth quarter, it looked like Eli would work his fourth quarter magic to pull out the win for the Giants. Eli looked commanding as he led his team to two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. At one point it was 30-24 for the Cowboys, and Eli was once again driving down the field for a potentially game winning touchdown. Thankfully, Brandon Carr would intercept a pass from Manning and run it in for a touchdown. Carr managed to seal the win, but the defense needs to work on their 4th quarter defense. They need to make it more difficult for other quarterbacks to pass on them. Especially during the fourth quarter. If you want to win, you need to be able to keep a lead, and to do that you have to have good pass defense.
Now let’s look at the offense. Usually our offense plays better than our defense, but that was not the case tonight. There were times where they could not move the ball and were forced to punt. Dez Bryant was a bit disappointed, and showed some frustration last night. We need to keep in mind that Bryant was doubled teamed all night, and it is natural to struggle in that kind of situation. I’m not too worried about Bryant though, because Miles Austin stepped up with 10 receptions and 79 yards and Witten also played well with 8 receptions, 70 yards, and 2 touchdowns. If Bryant can free up his teammates, than the Cowboy offense can still be effective.
The offensive line looked a lot better than last year, but it still needs to improve. They let Romo have more time, but they still struggle in creating a clean pocket for him. One thing I noticed was that Romo held the ball for a bit longer than usual. He seems content with his pass protection, and wants to wait all day for his receivers to get open. I don’t think Romo should be comfortable yet. The line has improved, but they are still a liability, Romo still needs to be cautious of the pass rushers.
It is always great to start the year off with a win; however it was a very sloppy win last Sunday. The reason we won was because the Giants made more mistakes than us. Next week, we are facing off a Chiefs team that came off of an impressive win. They won’t make as many mistakes as the Giants, so the Cowboys definitely need to step it up for next week.