The Dallas Cowboys logged their second consecutive win of our Madden season, racing out to a 14-0 lead over the Giants before hanging on to win 17-10. This game had plenty of highs and lows for each team but in Dallas’ case, the defense was the key.
3. The offense works best when it plays with a smashmouth style
While Dak Prescott has been solid for the most part in our Madden sims, he has been a bit reckless at times with the ball. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the simulations have adjusted to this by putting the ball in Ezekiel Elliott’s hands early and often.
On Dallas’s first two drives, Elliott repeatedly gashed the Giants defense, punching in a pair of scores to set the tone early. For the day, he went over 100 yards, averaging five yards per carry after contact. When New York did adjust to try and bottle him up, Prescott was there and ready to pick them apart through the air.
2. Madden still doesn’t respect Dak Prescott
One troubling trend in our Madden simulations has been the carelessness of Prescott with the football. Between taking terrible sacks, fumbling, and throwing multiple interceptions in condensed games (eight minute quarters), he’s made just about every blunder imaginable.
That trend continued in this game as he first coughed up the ball on the Giants 35 with a chance to seize a 21-0 stranglehold in the first half. Making matters worse, he then turned it over again in the third quarter two plays after his defense forced Giants QB Daniel Jones to fumble as New York was charging toward a potential tying score.
Whoever scouts the quarterback for Madden, they need to seriously check their work on Dak’s rating.
1. The Cowboy defense is legit
Part of Dallas snatching that 14-0 lead was the defense forcing New York into back-to-back three-and-outs on their opening possessions. On the Giants first snap of the game, Jones found his receiver for nine and a half yards. Then on second down, Sterling Shepard was tackled for a six-yard loss on a reverse attempt by Randy Gregory, setting up a deep ball misfire from Jones and a quick punt.
New York’s first score came just before the half thanks to a 4th-and-3 conversion on a carry by Saquon Barkley in lieu of a 48-yard field goal attempt. They then capped off the drive with a checkdown to Evan Engram in the flat on third-and-goal to make it 14-7 at the break.
While New York came out with momentum to begin the second half, the defense would again flex its muscles, blowing up a scrambling Jones and forcing a turnover just outside the Dallas redzone. On New York’s next drive, they rose once more, logging back-to-back stops on 2nd-and-short—a Jourdan Lewis sack—and then a tackle for loss of Barkley by Gregory and Parsons. The Giants settled for the field goal and Dallas held on to a 14-10 lead that easily could have been a deficit were it not for its defense.
Finally, on New York’s final drive, a heave by Jones from his own 44-yard line ended in the waiting arms of free safety Malik Hooker in the endzone to secure the Cowboy win.
Hard to do much better than that if you’re the Cowboy defense.
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