After suffering narrow losses last year in both their contests against the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys started off this season beating them.
This time last year many fans were left wondering what could have been if the Dallas Cowboys had just made a few extra plays. The team scored exactly the same amount of points it did in that game. However, instead of a one-point loss, the reining NFC East champions are walking away victorious in a lopsided 19-3 blowout.
Although the Cowboys won convincingly on the scoreboard, it was the same story as last season’s opener: multiple trips into Giants territory that ended in mostly field goals or punts.
Part of that could be that Dak Prescott looked awfully nervous in the first few series. The Giants forced him to tuck the ball and run twice on the first drive and many of his throws were either inaccurate or had no spin.
Now, I’m not going to knock the guy for being shaky. He was going up against the defense that gave his offense fits in 2016. If all my nerves were firing a million miles an hour, I can’t imagine how Dak felt.
All that aside, Dak got more confident as the game went on and even better, he didn’t turn the ball over. With help from a strong run game from teammate Ezekiel Elliott, Dak made some nice high percentage completions before eventually firing a red zone missile to future Hall of Famer Jason Witten for a touchdown to put the ‘Boys up 13-0.
It was the only touchdown scored by either team and all the Cowboys needed this time around as the scrappy young defense didn’t allow the Giants to get any momentum.
Between departing starters, suspensions, and preseason injuries to the rookies, there were many questions if this defense could hold their own.
Granted, two-time All-Pro receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t suit up due to an ankle injury, but the defense still shut down every other weapon on the New York offense.
Eli Manning was uncomfortable all game as he was sacked three times and picked off once by second year defensive back Anthony Brown. Newly acquired receiver Brandon Marshall didn’t even record a catch until the final drive of the game when it was all but over.
What really helped that was the Cowboys shutting down the run game as New York could only muster 35 total rushing yards. Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee were flying all over the field, but the defense as a whole tackled exceptionally well and never gave up the big play.
If the defense can perform consistently like this week paired with the offense’s ‘grind it out’ style, America’s Team will for sure put the rest of the league on notice.
Yes the offense struggled a bit, but not many teams have the defensive personnel similar to the Giants. With that said, Dak is a die-hard student of preparation, and you could bet on anything he will build off this game.
Dak Prescott is a natural winner, and for now he’s silenced the sophomore slump chatter. And he did it in style by beating a division foe that a year ago had the Dallas Cowboys’ number.