From the eye test, it was easy to make the assumption that the Cowboys owned the New York Football Giants on Sunday night, but the numbers reveal just how total that domination was.
Lopsided all the way: It was a 16-point victory for the Cowboys, which is technically just two possessions. In reality though, the Cowboys came out on the favorable side of pretty much every statistical category. They gained more first downs (22-13), dominated the rushing yards (129-35), had more passing yards (263-198), committed fewer penalties (5-6) and fewer turnovers (0-1), ran more plays (71-53) and held the ball longer (34:14-25:46). Regardless of how you slice it, the Cowboys were on top.
In the end, the stat most worth remembering might be Dak Prescott getting win number 1 against the only team to give him fits in his first year, but that does not mean that the other numbers are not important. They are; they reveal just how much better Dallas was against the team expected to be their biggest competitor in the division.
The general consensus around the league is that Dallas is a team built around its offense. Few would argue that point. Spags makes a pretty solid case for why that might not be entirely true.
This is the first time since the 2013 season that the Cowboys have held a team to no more than three points, and that was 57 games ago against the Philadelphia Eagles in a 17-3 victory. And you would have to go back to the 2009 season to find the last time the Cowboys gave up fewer than three points, shutting out Washington, 17-0.
They might not be a unit destined to be remembered like the famous defenses of the Landry era, but these guys are pretty darned good.
When you have the league’s top offensive line and its rushing leader from the previous season you most likely will attempt at least one running play when you have a first and goal at the three yard line, right?
The Dallas offense elected to got to Dez Bryant through the air instead. Three times they tried; three times they fell short.
“Don’t really think that much about what people’s reactions are outside of our building. Obviously we had a plan there and ultimately it didn’t work out. So you evaluate that situation like you would any other. You want to come away with a touchdown in that situation. In that particular case it didn’t work out. We’ll try to get better from it.” Jason Garrett
Fans might claim that seeing Lawrence sack Eli Manning twice on opening night as the moment that we knew D-Law was healthy and ready to play, but it was a casual incident that let his agent know that the defensive end was finally back to form.
“The waiter dropped a canister of water on the floor, he bent over to pick it up for the waiter and it was a weird angle and I looked at him and said, ‘Oh, you’re good.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, I told you,’ and I’m like, ‘No, you’re really good.’” - David Cantor
Something most of us take for granted had been a challenge for the play who was facing serious back issues. Seeing him move without pain was all the reassurance that DeMarcus’ agent needed to know his client was in top form.
Any doubts about how Jaylon would respond should be forever put on hold. He played 36 of the 53 defensive snaps on Sunday and finished hot on Sean Lee’s heel for the most tackles.
The game plan called for a rotation between Smith and veteran linebacker Justin Durant. Smith was to be the primary middle linebacker in the base defense and in certain nickel situations. Durant was going to come in on third-down packages.
But the Giants ran only 19 plays in the first half. The Cowboys found themselves in schemes that favored Smith more than the coaching staff had envisioned.
Once the game was done, Smith had been on the field for 36 of the 53 defensive snaps. Durant was on the field twice.
"That's just the way it played out,'' head coach Jason Garrett said.
There's more to it than that. Smith stayed on the field because he played at such a high level. He finished with seven tackles, second only to Lee, and forced a fumble.
Yeah, Jaylon’s back.
For all the praise being directed the way of the defense, they managed to achieve beyond expectations without one of their captains. Orlando Scandrick was lost to the team early on in the game due to a broken left hand.
The veteran corner anticipates missing one game but the Cowboys head coach remained non-committal in his prognosis for Scandricks return, choosing instead to hope for ‘soon’.
Orlando Scandrick was scheduled for surgery Monday afternoon to a repair a fracture in his left hand, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, with no clear timetable for the veteran cornerback’s recovery yet.
“Hopefully it’s successful and we can get him back sooner rather than later,” Garrett said. “It’ll be a day-by-day situation once that surgery is complete.”
Leave it to Jason Witten to become the all time leading receiver in Cowboys history and instead turn it into a moment to honor the team’s proud history.
“Guys like [Drew Pearson] that played skilled positions and had a lot of success, a lot of yards, both of those 88s, this 88 here in Dez [Bryant], just so many great players along the way. I’m so thankful to them.” - Jason Witten
No wonder that even among Cowboys haters, nobody has a bad thing to say about Witten, He is pure class and a Hall of Fame guy on and off the field.
The case of Roger Goddell vs Ezekiel Elliott moved into its next phase as the league has formally asked the judge in the case to stay the injunction he granted last week. While it is not likely to be granted, this is the next step in what looks to be a drawn out battle.
This one needs no introduction; set back and enjoy.