The Dallas Cowboys lost to their arch-rival the New York Giants on Sunday, 19-20. While the Cowboys have a lot of positives to be happy about, the wide receiving group should be ashamed of their effort and execution.
What a game! Despite the defeat on Sunday this was a classic Dallas Cowboys versus New York Giants game that came down to literally the last play of the game. Would you expect any less with these two longtime NFC East rivals? This time the beloved Cowboys were unable to come out with the victory, losing their regular season opener 20-19.
There is many things you can point at in this defeat, but the blame falls solely on the shoulders of the veteran receiving corp and their inability to capitalize and help our their rookie quarterback.
We will get into the receivers letting down their team in a moment, but for the time being let’s focus on the positives. The Cowboys started a rookie running back and quarterback for the first time in multiple decades.
Not only did Prescott hold his own, at times he looked flat out brilliant. The Cowboys can hang their hat on Dak, and his potential going forward. Zeke Elliott had a tough night, but when the offensive line lined up and gave him a hole, he capitalized by scoring an 8 yard touchdown to give his team the lead.
Prescott doesn’t look impressive on the stat sheet, but those that watched the full game know a different story. The rookie had two touchdowns dropped by his veteran wide receivers, and looked savvy going through his reads.
The young signal caller was able to elude pressure multiple times, and throw the ball away when necessary. The most impressive stat of all, he didn’t turn the ball over and he wasn’t sacked once. The stat sheet will read a quarterback rating of 69.4, but the game will tell a completely different story.
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The Giants were lucky to get away from AT&T stadium with a win on this September afternoon. The seasoned-veteran, Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning was able to beat his rookie counterpart Prescott by one point.
Congratulations, Eli. The Giants spent big money – to the tune of almost a quarter of a billion dollars – on their defense in hopes of winning a division and giving their quarterback one more chance to win a championship. Yet, all that money spent and they only escaped Dallas with a one point victory. These are things that make fans of the Cowboys go crazy, and Giants fans should surely be alarmed.
Another positive was this no-name defense was able to not only sack the quarterback twice, but they won the turnover battle. Yes, this defense got one more turnover than the Giants did. Unbelievable. Many fans would have taken that stat line before the game and liked the Cowboys chances of victory. The defense played well enough to win, simply put.
Odell Beckham was held to a modest stat line after one long catch over Orlando Scandrick, who is coming back from a serious injury mind you. The thing that really killed the Cowboys defensively is giving up over 100 yards on the ground to the tune of 4.7 yards a carry. That wont help their rookie quarterback and they flat out have to play better.
With that being said, the defense made just enough plays to win. This game is going to fall solely on the wide receivers inability to haul in catches that hit them in the hands, and this supposed “vaunted’ offensive line not being able to get the running game going.
The Cowboys will legitimately be able to point the finger at their offense on this one. Number one, the team only average 3.4 yards per carry on 30 attempts, and rarely opened holes for Ezekiel Elliott, and savvy veteran Alfred Morris had to fight for every one of his 35 yards. For a team that boasts three all-pro caliber offensive linemen, and a fourth overall pick at running back, this is completely unacceptable.
Number two, the veteran wide receivers were garbage. There is no other way to put it. Dez Bryant gets paid like a top 3 pass catcher, and he had 1 grab for 8 yards. Don’t even start with me about the overturned touchdown in the end zone, this time it was a clear bobble. For a guy that makes almost a million dollars a game, I expect more out of you.
Cole Beasley, while at times a bright spot, also committed the games second biggest mistake by dropping an easy touchdown over the middle early in the first half. The Cowboys were dominating at that point in the game, and he dropped a sure touchdown that he gets paid too much to drop.
Finally, there is Terrance Williams. Oh, Terrance. It has to be tough to be you sometimes. The veteran wide receiver was rather non-existent most of the game, grabbing only two passes prior to the final play of the game. Then, with the game in the balance he grabs a dump off from Prescott, and heads up field.
Rather than doing the smart thing and giving his kicker – Dan Bailey who rarely misses – an opportunity, Williams stayed in bounds to fight for yards as the clock expires. The wrath of Cowboys Nation will be swift and fierce, so brace yourself Terrance. I can’t take up for you after that one.
This was a wild, roller coaster start to the season. There was plenty to feel bad about, but there was also many bright spots and the team can learn a lot from this first game.
Prescott and company will gain valuable experience from this game, and they are going to need it as they head into division rival Washington next week. The Redskins won the division last year, and the Cowboys are going to need a much better effort from their veterans next week if they have hopes of walking out of D.C. with a victory.