Don’t let the 19-3 score fool you... the Dallas Cowboys dominated this contest from start to finish. Despite boasting one of the league’s most dominant offenses, the Cowboys got this ‘W’ by leaning on their defense.
On the Giants first drive, pressure was actually coming from the Cowboys’ defensive line. Eli Manning was sacked on third-down by none other than DeMarcus Lawrence:
Here's DeMarcus Lawrence's sack: pic.twitter.com/W1FxKq39bM— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 11, 2017
Lawrence played like a man who was possessed to put the pain on the opposing quarterback, his first quarter stats:
DeMarcus Lawrence dominated in the first quarter pic.twitter.com/WjTObMQivM— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 11, 2017
You knew it would be tough sledding against the New York Giants’ defense as well but check out this hook-up between Dak Prescott and Brice Butler.
After the Cowboys did their best impression of the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX, Dan Bailey put it through for the 3-0 lead.
If your name is Dan Bailey you will never miss a field goal— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 11, 2017
If your name is Not Dan Bailey you will probably miss some
These are rules
The next drive for the Giants...
Spoiler alert, Giants go three and out again— Tom Bellows Inc. (@FinalBossofThis) September 11, 2017
Giants go three and out; leaving plenty of time for the Cowboys— Troy Hughes™ (@TommySledge) September 11, 2017
Is that what you meant to do on your Cheesecake Factory playsheet, McAdoo? pic.twitter.com/Se4CEaUVIS
The ensuing Cowboys drive was a mixed bag but the highlight of it all was on 2nd and 27, when the G.O.A.T. made Cowboys’ history on an 11-yard catch.
Jason Witten passes Michael Irvin for the most receiving yards in Cowboys history pic.twitter.com/6mCaERp1t9— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 11, 2017
Brandon Marshall has 0 catches. 0. Age catches up to everyone. Well, everyone except Jason Witten.— John Williams ✭ (@john9williams) September 11, 2017
New York would catch Prescott on a five-yard sack but who was there to bail them out again? Mr. Dan Bailey, of course! Cowboys up 6-0.
For the Giants, they finally got their first first-down but Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith decided that one was enough. The two linebackers were all over that field.
Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith... that’s a scary sight— Bobby Light. (@marcoxtwoxtimes) September 11, 2017
Lmaooo remember when they said Sean lee and Jaylon smith couldn't guard Engram— Mo (@MoneyMitch_44) September 11, 2017
Rare picture of Jaylon Smith and Sean Lee next to each other pic.twitter.com/7kZnXuudP3— Pablo Gonzalez (@TheRemedy_88) September 11, 2017
Terrance Williams left in the beginning of the game after rolling his ankle but he got right back in there:
This was some performance by Terrance Williams. pic.twitter.com/qYFpZpqdO6— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 11, 2017
Terrance Williams has been tonight pic.twitter.com/CpFhytdxN6— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 11, 2017
He had a pretty solid night but on this drive, the Giants defense put the clamps down. Rest easy, the Cowboys would eventually break their will.
Again, the Cowboys’ defense feasted on the porous offensive line play by the Giants. Check out Tank Lawrence on this one:
DeMarcus Lawrence was phenomenal. Look at this play. pic.twitter.com/szjYVjHrLC— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 11, 2017
The G-Men were forced to punt and Ezekiel Elliott helped set the Cowboys offense up with a couple of really nice runs. On second and seven from the New York 12, Dak Prescott showed Jason Witten some play-action love:
Jason Witten killing the Giants? Nothing new pic.twitter.com/e2xy1lMH1o— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) September 11, 2017
Jason Witten's 64th career touchdown.— Cowboys Football (@CowboysFootball) September 11, 2017
.@Giants I have filed a patent for "The Jason Witten's Giants" lemme know when you want the paperwork for your official name change— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 11, 2017
The Giants would pick up right where they left off with another three-and-out after Manning fails to connect with Brandon Marshall:
Another 3 and out for the Giants. On the bright side, Eli Manning threw it in the relative vicinity of Brandon Marshall on 3rd down.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) September 11, 2017
Eli Manning & Brandon Marshall both showed signs of being washed in '16 and continued to look that way on SNF. Eli is gun-shy behind NYG OL.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 11, 2017
Comedy/Drama 2017:— Earl Necklace (@EarlTSB) September 11, 2017
“Forgetting Brandon Marshall”
Starring: Brandon Marshall, Eli Manning, Ben McAdoo
Brandon Marshall before and after playing with Eli Manning pic.twitter.com/IudqghkYC2— Kevin (@kevin_malley) September 11, 2017
Ouch... tough crowd. Moving on, the Cowboys were able to get into field goal range before the half, thanks to a Dak Prescott 17-yard scramble...
Very impressive run by Dak right here https://t.co/SmLzF4gEmd— DawgsOnTop (@DawgBites_HT) September 11, 2017
Of course, Dan “The Man” Bailey put through another, how annoyed do you think the Giants’ Twitter gang was?
Dallas goes up 16-0 on Dan Bailey's 42-yard field goal. #NYGvsDAL— New York Giants (@Giants) September 11, 2017
After the half, the Giants came out pretty red-hot looking to avenge their first-half failures. However, every time the defense got called upon, they answered. Tyrone Crawford probably laughed when Evan Engram tried to block him:
Engram caught a ball. Later they tried to have him block Tyrone Crawford. That went rather poorly for him. I enjoyed it. #CowboyNation— Ben Holloway (@bwh_720) September 11, 2017
Just when Eli Manning was looking for the end zone, Charles Tapper comes screaming through and forced them to kick a field goal.
The Cowboys slowed it way down and began to run the ball a bit more. They did manage to have a few highlight plays like this one to Dez Bryant:
The Giants started driving again thanks to a roughing the passer call for Maliek Collins. However, General Lee was waiting:
Sean Lee is incredible. I don't know what else to say. pic.twitter.com/wW4bk1kB0a— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) September 11, 2017
Two Manning incompletions later and the Giants are punting again. On the Cowboys next drive, it was the “catch heard around the world”, even better than Mr. Odell Beckham Jr.’s “fingertip grab”!
This Cole Beasley catch is insane! pic.twitter.com/sPg42iIwTR— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) September 11, 2017
Dak Prescott asked after the game if he saw that Cole Beasley highlight catch?— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 11, 2017
Dak: "I saw it in person, yeah. I threw it."
Odell Beckham shakes his head up and down after seeing Cole Beasley catch on replay. Think he appreciated it.— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) September 11, 2017
Two plays later, the Giants defense leaves Elliott open on a 30-yard wheel route. Zeke had a pretty good game:
Ezekiel Elliott racks up 104 yards on 24 carries, adds 36 receiving yards in 19-3 win vs. Giants https://t.co/NFpEHpfHZU— Austin Boyer (@ATTA_BOYER) September 11, 2017
The Cowboys had trouble converting and punted it back to the Giants. That’s perfectly fine because Eli is going to Eli at some point. Hopefully Ben McAdoo knows who plays in the secondary now:
By the way, Ben McAdoo; his name is Anthony Brown. From Purdue.— Ray Santiago (@RaySanti) September 11, 2017
Say. His. Name.
When you realize the Anthony Brown isnt Odell pic.twitter.com/DfvfgHnyNh— ✭Pickle Mick✭ (@Unbotherable) September 11, 2017
Anthony Brown had a really good performance in this game and he looks like he’s picking up from where he left off last season.
CB Anthony Brown made a statement. pic.twitter.com/TNLAd24c3x— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 11, 2017
This effectively ended the game but just in case the Cowboys fed Ezekiel Elliott to wipe out the majority of the clock. Relish in this victory, CowboysNation. It was hard fought, complimentary football at it’s best. The Cowboys may have a young defense but they played very well in their debut.