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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott sets the tone early as Dallas beats Giants 20-13

The Monday morning Cowboys links.

NFL: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

5 thoughts from Cowboys’ win over Giants: Angry Dak may be the best Dak - Jon Machota, SportsDay

Machota gives his weekly five thoughts following the Cowboys all important win on Sunday evening. Angry Dak was alive and well.

1. Angry Dak Prescott may be the best Dak Prescott. The Cowboys quarterback said “challenge accepted” when asked about Giants safety Landon Collins’ comments earlier in the game week. Prescott was more fired up than usual early on. His deep ball to Tavon Austin on the third offensive play of the game was one of the best throws of his NFL career. That was big for many reasons, but mainly because it gave the QB some early confidence. After a couple of first-quarter runs, Prescott showed a little more emotion than usual. It’s clear he couldn’t wait to get on the field and put his Week 1 performance behind him. His accuracy was much better in the home opener. And that’s going to have to continue if the Cowboys want to keep eight men out of the box, keying on the running game.

Oh, and Kris Richard is already making his presence felt.

3. It’s nice to see that blitzing is back. Kris Richard’s fingerprints are all over this defense. From the press coverage being played by the corners to the way he sends pass rushers. It’s not quite what Richard had in Seattle, but the gap is closing. This is certainly one of the NFL’s top 10 defensive units and might be a top-five unit if it can stay healthy. The pass rush was outstanding all night. Eli Manning never looked comfortable in the pocket as he was sacked six times in the first three and a half quarters. More importantly, the Cowboys kept offensive superstars Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley in check most of the night.

Dak Prescott adds much-needed element to ignite Cowboys’ offense - Stefan Stevenson, The Star-Telergam

Will this element continue within the Cowboys offense?

Perhaps watching Cam Newton use his mobility in Week 1 was an inspiration.

No matter the reason, Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott ran the ball six times for a career-high 46 yards to effectively keep the New York Giants’ defense honest Sunday night at AT&T Stadium. It’s Prescott’s most rushing yards in an NFL game.

It was a big factor in the Cowboys’ 20-13 win.

Prescott first burned the Giants with his arm. On the third play from scrimmage, he hit Tavon Austin for a 64-yard scoring pass. It’s the longest touchdown pass of Prescott’s three-year career. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 160 yards. But it was his running, along with Ezekiel Elliott’s 78 yards on 17 carries that helped the offense most exploit the Giants’ defense.

Giants @ Cowboys: It was hardly perfect, but the 20-13 Dallas win was still great to see - Tom Ryle, BTB

Tom gives his recap of the Cowboys win. While there is room for improvement, it was refreshing to see the team come out victorious.

After the way the season started for the Dallas Cowboys, there were people who were convinced the season was over. But after an imperfect but satisfying 20-13 win over the New York Giants, the Cowboys are 1-1, and now tied for first in the NFC East, and, as they say, in control of their own destiny.

OK, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. And there are certainly still some areas of concern for Dallas. But there were also some extremely positive signs, which were few and far between in the first game. There are things to build on, and most importantly, they avoided that dreaded 0-2 start.

With all the discontent and criticism after the loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Cowboys needed to do something to restore the flagging confidence of their fans (and the media, as well). The opening possession did just that, as the team opened with a nine yard pass to Allen Hurns, a two yard run by Ezekiel Elliott to move the sticks. And then something we desperately needed to see, a 64 yard bomb, delivered perfectly to a streaking Tavon Austin who took it into the end zone and gave the Cowboys a 7-0 lead with only 1:34 used off the clock. And that would be nearly all the Cowboys would need as a stifling defense gave up some yards, but seldom in significant chunks, and never a true big play to match that Austin touchdown.

JJT’s Instant Analysis: Giants at Cowboys - Jean-Jacques Taylor, NBC DFW

JJT gives his take, writing highly of the man behind center.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Dak Prescott showed how he can be a winning quarterback for the Cowboys with his performance Sunday against the Giants. He wasn’t spectacular by any means but he was good enough and his decision-making was superb. He passed for only 160 yards, but he connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin that let the Giants know Dallas would attack deep. He also ran the zone read to perfection, gaining a career-high 46 yards on six carries and helping the Cowboys control the game. He also protected the ball and did not have a turnover.

Prescott, Dallas D lead Cowboys to 20-13 win over Giants - Schulyer Dixon, The Kansas City Star

Dixon writes his thoughts on the game, crediting Prescott and the swarming defense.

After saying “challenge accepted” during the week to Giants safety Landon Collins’ suggestion that New York had a better chance by forcing Prescott to throw, the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year hit Austin in stride behind cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The speedy receiver cut back to his right before trotting across the goal line at an angle.

Brett Maher had the first two field goals of his NFL career, including a 29-yarder after Damien Wilson forced a fumble on a sack of Manning and Taco Charlton recovered.

The Cowboys shared the wealth on the sacks, with six different players recording a sack apiece: the linebacker Wilson, safety Kavon Frazier and defensive linemen Charlton, DeMarcus Lawrence, Antwaun Woods and Tyrone Crawford.

Challenged by Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson, other talking heads, Dak Prescott responds early against Giants - Brad Townsend, SportsDay

Townsend writes on how Dak’s performance on Sunday was a big step in the right direction for the young quarterback.

No, it was not a dominant overall performance, but for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the start of Sunday night’s game against the Giants was an overdue step forward.

Perhaps the pregame words of Tony Dungy, Jimmy Johnson and other national TV analysts were ringing in third-year quarterback Prescott’s ears when, on the game’s third play from scrimmage, he connected with Tavon Austin for a 64-yard touchdown pass.

Though Prescott only finished with 160 passing yards, with more than one-third of them coming on the early touchdown bomb to Austin, the Cowboys’ balance of running and passing was effective enough. And on a night when the Giants couldn’t sustain any drives against the defense that sacked Eli Manning time and again, Dallas didn’t need Prescott to air it out.

Dez Bryant on Twitter: Cowboys’ play-calling ‘light years’ better in win over Giants - Joey Hayden, SportsDay

There was one person in particular that seemed to be impressed on Sunday.

A week ago, Dez Bryant said he was done tweeting about the Dallas Cowboys.

About that...


Let’s take a look at some of the game’s highlights!

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