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Grading the Cowboys second divisional win of 2021, this time against the Giants

It wasn’t pretty early on but the Cowboys were able to fix their issues at halftime.

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were able to continue their winning ways against another divisional opponent in the New York Giants. It wasn’t pretty in the early part of this game and even after the Giants lost running back Saquon Barkey (ankle), quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion), and Kenny Golladay (knee), they were still able to hang around for some of the game. You heard announcers Troy Aikman and Joe Buck continue to say over and over that the Cowboys are playing a sloppy game in the first half. Thankfully they made their usual halftime adjustments and were able to put the game away. With that said, let’s take a look at the overall performance of the team in this week's grades.

Overall: B-

Early turnovers, poor center-to-quarterback snaps, and mental mistakes marred this Cowboys victory. As much as we would like to celebrate this win, the team as a whole didn’t play their best game against an opponent that had players dropping like flies throughout the entire game. The Cowboys were able to make plays when they needed them, but if they were going up against a better team they might not have been so lucky. They will need to go back and watch this game and work on cleaning up the sloppy play in preparation for the New England Patriots this week.

Coaching: B

This was another game where the Cowboys coaching staff called a good game. The offense was once again balanced and Kellen Moore was able to figure out quickly that the Cowboys running game running behind guard Zack Martin and tackle Terence Steele was pretty much unstoppable. Dan Quinn was able to mix up his looks and keep the Giants running game under wraps. He wasn’t able to figure out how to slow down Giants receiver Kadarius Toney, who was the Giants main weapon on Sunday, and the Cowboys never broke through for any sacks on the day.

Quarterback: B

Dak Prescott had another efficient game behind center as he was able to put up 302 yards and three touchdowns on the Giants. He did have one interception that was batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage before being caught. Prescott also mishandled a snap in the redzone that resulted in a turnover. He finished strong, but the early part of of his game was erratic. The other Cowboys quarterback in this game, Cedrick Wilson, wishes he could have his pass back as he had Noah Brown wide open but underthrew him leading to him being tackled at midfield instead of a long touchdown.

Our own Mark Schofield broke down Dak Prescott’s game in further detail in the latest installment of Dak Watch on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel. Make sure to subscribe to our channel (which you can do right here) so you don’t miss any of our videos!

Running Backs: A

The Cowboys running game continues to power this offense early in the season as they were able to rack up 201 total yards and a touchdown this week. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard’s different styles continue to keep the defense off-balance, Elliott’s quickness and power are slowing down these defenders then Pollard gets to come in fresh and use his speed to pick up chunks of yards. Elliott also added a receiving touchdown, this was a complete game from the Cowboys running backs once again outside of Pollard’s fumble which the Cowboys recovered.

Wide Receivers: B+

After not having much of an impact in the game against the Carolina Panthers, CeeDee Lamb came out and was the best receiver on the field for the Cowboys this week with 84 yards receiving and a touchdown. Amari Cooper got in on the action with a touchdown of his own, but the Cowboys need these receivers to continue this on a week-to-week basis so they don’t start to rely too heavily on their running game as they have in years past. Once Michael Gallup returns he will open the field up more for Lamb and Cooper.

Tight Ends: B

It was another strong showing from the Cowboys Dalton Schultz whose quickly turning into Prescott’s new Jason Witten. Schultz added 79 yards receiving this week and should have found the endzone but dropped the ball, ticking down the grade here just a bit. His fellow tight end Blake Jarwin was held without a catch this week, further eroding the grade. It’s looking more and more like this is Schultz’s position going forward barring an injury of some sort. The tight ends continue to play a major role in the running game with their blocking, a sometimes overlooked aspect of what they do.

Offensive Line: B-

Bad shotgun snaps were happening far too often in the game. It looked like it was happening on every Cowboys possession this week where the snap was either too low or too high for Prescott. The Cowboys are still not the best pass blocking team, giving up two sacks in the game and letting Prescott get hit a handful of times. Luckily Kellen Moore is adept at scheming around this. But no one can deny how well the line run blocks as the Cowboys run game is one of the most dominant in the league.

Defensive Line: B+

The Cowboys failed to register a sack but they were able to get quarterbacks Daniel Jones and Mike Glennon off their spot and disrupt plays in that way. Randy Gregory was living in the Giants backfield and had the most pressures across the league for Week 5, and helped cause one of the interceptions. They were also able to hold the Giants running game to 73 yards on the night. This group will be getting reinforcements during the season as Neville Gallimore and DeMarcus Lawrence return. This line didn’t get the glory stat of sacks in the game, but they were very disruptive in every other way.

Linebackers: B

The Cowboys leading tackler this week wound up being linebacker Micah Parsons, who also had three QB hits. Leighton Vander Esch was also active in the game and helped secure the run defense. Keanu Neal did a good job as well and Jabril Cox finally got some action and made one big play. They still have some issue in coverage as the Giants passing attack was able to keep them in the game, but overall it was a solid effort from the group.

Secondary: B-

Outside of another Trevon Diggs interception and Anthony Brown’s pick-six, this secondary had no answers for Kadarius Toney who caught 10 passes for 189 yards in the game. Who knows how many more yards he would have had if he didn’t throw a punch at safety Damontae Kazee. This wasn’t the best showing from this group but they have time to right the ship and turn their secondary into the no-fly zone again. In run support Jayron Kearse is still turning in quality work and Malik Hooker had his best statistical showing.