The Dallas Cowboys went to New York for a divisional contest with the Giants, and got blasted by a defense that just wouldn’t break. The Giants finally made Dak Prescott look like a fourth-round rookie, something he had avoided all year. There had been stretches of games that opposing defenses had slowed down the Cowboys offense, but none did it so completely and effectively as the Giants. Prescott threw two interceptions, which were partially not his fault, but on many other plays he threw wildly. He also showed no feel for the pocket, taking multiple sacks when he didn’t have to, failing to use his legs as a weapon, and generally looking confused about what to do.
He didn’t receive much help from his receivers, they were unable to shake the Giants corners and safeties for much of the game. The Cowboys couldn’t adjust after halftime as they have so many times this season. Their defense gave them every opportunity to win the game, creating three turnovers and holding the New York offense in check except for one huge play to Odell Beckham, Jr. Besides that failing, the Cowboys defense was superb.
Dallas wasn’t that bad in running the ball, although they could never get into a nice rhythm doing it. In the end Ezekiel Elliott ran the ball 24 times for 107 yards, which is not that bad of a night, but it came with a lot of chunk runs mixed in with too many two- or three-yard gains. But that should have been enough to keep the Giants defense honest, it should have been enough to allow Dak Prescott to exploit the pass defense.
Prescott has been extraordinary for Dallas this year. It’s hard to overly criticize him when he has done so much right on the season. But this game was bad. He played very poorly and for the first time, he looked rattled, he looked like he lost that famous poise everyone has talked about. It is just one game. The Cowboys, and the Cowboys fanbase, shouldn’t over-react. Dak should be given enough leash to work out his issues, along with the rest of the offense. Every quarterback has games like this one, the fact that it has taken so long for Dak to have his in his rookie season is remarkable.
There is still work to be done. The Cowboys still need to wrap up the NFC East. They still need to grab the number one seed in the NFC. All of those goals are still out there, still attainable. Time to go back to work and prepare for the next game.
This week, they got smacked around by a defense that was spoiling for a fight. The good news is that the Dallas defense was also in a fighting mood and looks to be getting better as the season rolls on. It’s up to the offense to back in the groove. Dak Prescott has earned the right to be the quarterback of this team, now he needs to show why and start a new winning streak next week.