The Dallas Cowboys won a wild opening game at Texas Stadium over the New York Giants, 45-35. The scoreboard had trouble keeping up with the action on the field as both teams decided that defense was optional, and they both opted out. In the end, Tony Romo was able to out-duel Eli Manning and the Cowboys walked away with a victory, but with some questions about their defense. But there is no question about the Cowboys offense as it rolled up 45 points and 478 yards on the Giants equally inept defense. Romo had an outstanding night completing 15 of 24 for 345 yards with 4 TD’s and 1 INT. The Cowboys were able to move the ball off and on using the run, gaining 142 yards with a healthy 4.7 yards per carry. The offense really took off though in the second half when the Cowboys were able to use play-action and throw over the top to Terrell Owens and the other wideouts. Owens had two TD’s on three catches and 87 yards. Jason Witten was the most consistent receiver catching 6 passes for 116 yards and a TD.
As good as the offense was, the defense was the opposite. From the first drive when Eli Manning hit Plaxcico Burress on a long bomb to open the scoring the Cowboys’ secondary was no match for the Giants receivers. Burress turned Texas Stadium into his personal playpen and was an equal opportunity abuser, torching Anthony Henry, Jacques Reeves and Roy Williams. The Cowboys pass rush couldn’t help as it struggled to apply consistent pressure, but did make a few plays in the second half to slow the Giants down. Until Terence Newman recovers Dallas will be participating in shoot-outs. Fortunately, with Tony Romo getting good protection from the line, the Cowboys have plenty of weapons to compete.
On special teams Tyson Thompson had a few nice returns in the kicking game, but also fumbled one giving the Giants a field goal. Rookie kicker Nick Folk had no problems with his field goals or extra-points but the kickoff coverage unit wasn’t very effective.
The Cowboys can be happy with the play of their offense and that they got an opening day victory, at home, inside the division. But they will be searching for answers on defense this week.