Cowboys vs. Giants: Defense dominates in Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys defense played a near flawless game to help the team win their home opener on Sunday night against a divisional foe.
After a week fraught with criticism following their regular season opening game loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Dallas Cowboys offense was able to bounce back on Sunday night against their NFC East foes, the New York Giants.
The Cowboys were able to generate 10 points in the first quarter, most of which came off a 64-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dak Prescott to wide receiver Tavon Austin in their opening drive.
Dallas took that 10-0 lead into halftime and extended it to 13 points in the third quarter before the Giants were able to get on the board. Despite some late-game mistakes, the Cowboys secured the victory, 20-13.
The real story of this matchup was the Cowboys’ defense. The “D” in Big D was able to sack Giants quarterback Eli Manning six times and didn’t allow a single score until the 4:34 mark in the third quarter. In fact, New York only had three points on the board with less than two minutes left in the game.
Prescott completed 16 of his 25 passes for 160 yards and the aformentioned touchdown to Austin. More importantly, the third-year quarterback was able to execute the run-pass option, or ROP, to perfection. Prescott rushed for 45 yards on seven carries.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott carried the ball 17 times for 78 rushing yards and a score. Zeke outperformed the second overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, Giants running back Saquon Barkley. New York’s first-rounder rushed for just 28 yards on 11 carries. But Barkley did catch a whopping 14 passes for 80 yards.
Wide receiver Deonte Thompson led the Cowboys with four receptions for 33 yards. Austin had more receiving yardage (79) but only had two catches total.
Defensively, linebacker Jaylon Smith posted a game-high 10 combined tackles. Rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch posted seven solo tackles in only his second game as a professional. And second-year cornerback Chidobe Awuzie recorded eight solo tackles as well.
Cowboys defenders who recorded a sack against Manning and the Giants Sunday night included safety Kavon Frazier, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive tackle Antwaun Woods, linebacker Damien Wilson, defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, and defensive end Taco Charlton.
The 1-1 Dallas Cowboys will next travel to the great northwest to face the 0-1 Seattle Seahawks. That game will take place Sunday afternoon, September 23rd, with a kickoff slated just after 3:25 p.m. CDT.