Instant Analysis: Cowboys’ defense assaults Giants, Rush clutch in 23-16 win - KD Drummond, The Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys defense has proven they can take over games.
Key Stat: 13
After five more on the game, that’s the total number of sacks the Cowboys have through three games, leading the NFL. Lawrence got his first three, Armstrong got No. 3 and No. 4 and Wilson checked in with one.
The Cowboys led the league in forced turnovers in 2021, and now they are leading the league in sacks. Dan Quinn might not just get a head coaching job next year, he might be able to run for president in 2024.
Game Ball: Tank Lawrence
5 tackles, 2 sacks with 5 total pressures, 2 TFL.
That was Lawrence’s first half. After being blanked in the first two games of the year with zero pressures recorded, Lawrence absolutely feasted on rookie RT Evan Neal. On the opening drive of the third quarter came sack No. 3.
Cardiac Cooper Does It Again As Cowboys Beat Giants: Top 10 Whitty Observations - Richie Whitt, CowboysSI.com
The Cowboys have especially owned the Giants in the recent history of this rivalry.
6. NO WORRIES - No Prescott. No Tyron Smith. No Dalton Schultz. No Michael Gallup. No James Washington. No ... problem. With a little boost from a key 28-yard punt return from KaVontae Turpin that provided late breathing room, the Cowboys’ offense somehow produced 23 precious points. Dallas is now 10-1 in its last 11 against the Giants.
5. DIGGIN’ OUT OF A HOLE - Last season after three games Diggs already had three interceptions on his way to a league-leading 11 (most by an NFL player since 1981). This year after most of three games he had zero, until clinching the win with a pick of Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones with 1:09 remaining.
Sneak peek at Dak Prescott’s hand looks incredible as Cowboys’ optimism grows - Adam Weinrib, The Landry Hat
The Cowboys have the Commanders and Rams on the schedule before considering a Dak Prescott return.
The Cowboys’ QB1 got his stitches removed earlier on Monday, leaving his return entirely dependent on how quickly his digital mobility increases as he begins to work on grip and football activity.
Per Prescott, that next step will come very soon. He’s not even planning to rule himself out for Week 4, a home tilt against a scuffling Washington Commanders team that definitely isn’t good enough to justify a rushed return.
In case you wanted a sneak peek at Prescott’s new thumb, he accidentally flashed it prior to Monday’s game, then sheepishly blocked the video feed once he realized Dallas camera hawks were in the vicinity of ESPN’s cameras.
Dak Prescott’s hand no longer has any stitches in it. That got taken care of today.— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) September 26, 2022
He was showing off his bare hand with Lisa Salters. Then he realized all the Dallas cameras were rolling at that moment, and playfully turned away from the cameras. pic.twitter.com/YMCqbktTBK
For a season that felt lost after week one, the Cowboys have new life and a two-game win streak!
The biggest play of the half may have been the one that failed when CeeDee Lamb dropped a wide open pass inside the red zone. He looked like he was trying to body catch it, and it just bounced through his hands. He was seen on the sidelines obviously upset with himself for the missed opportunity.
Further hindering Dallas was a return of the penalties, with five in the first half alone. They would continue to bedevil them as they gifted New York with a first down coming out of half when they almost forced a punt. Jones started using his legs to good effect, with back to back runs of 13 and 15 yards. The drive would stall, but a second Graham Gano field goal would knot things up at six with just two ticks over nine minutes left in the third quarter.
One player who was consistently making plays for the Cowboys was DeMarcus Lawrence, who had two sacks in the first half and added a third right after the intermission. But he would go down with an injury on a play when Donovan Wilson got in on the action with an eleven-yard sack of his own. He walked off without help after having his ankle examined and would later return.
Micah Parsons seemed to be a bit slowed after dealing with illness all week, but he was still close to Jones on many plays and affecting the throws even though he didn’t record a sack. Jones was under pressure the entire game, but he kept getting yards with his legs by evading the run. It made up for Saquon Barkley largely being held in check. And Jones did make some key throws at times to keep New York moving, while Rush had some trouble connecting with his receivers. Then Barkley finally broke one with a 36-yard touchdown run to put the Giants up for the first time with 5:31 left in the third quarter. That one run almost equalled his entire output for his previous eleven carries.
It was a big drive for New York, and Dallas needed an answer. The offense responded with an efficient 75-yard drive featuring a 17-yard catch by Lamb and Payton Hendershot’s first NFL catch for 30 yards. Noah Brown chipped in a couple of catches and Ezekiel Elliott would punch things in from the one to tie things with under half a minute left in the third.
The Cowboys did all of these things to get the win on Monday night.
RB Ezekiel Elliott finally finds the end zone and “eats.”
Through two games this season, these are RB Ezekiel Elliott’s stats: 25 attempts for 105 rushing yards, two catches for -7 yards, and zero touchdowns. Compare those stats to last season, Elliott had: 27 attempts for 104 yards, four receptions for 32 yards, and one touchdown.
Now you all are thinking, “So, you’re telling me that Elliott is the same running back through two games last year? Nice.”
Well, yes, sort of, but hear me out.
While we could debate forever about whether Elliott has fallen off or is still good this and that, this game serves as a perfect game for him OR RB Tony Pollard to instill some confidence and get the run game going.
In this Week Five matchup last season with the Giants, Elliott and Pollard combined for 35 carries for 185 yards and one touchdown, as the Cowboys routed them 44-20. With a game script working towards incorporating either running back, the team can control the ball for a heavy amount of time and never let the Giants offense get in a rhythm.
Plus, successfully running the ball would have Rush less stressed to make plays. Although the subheading says for Elliott to eat, and I mentioned both running backs, I expect Pollard to be utilized more in receiving.
I’m looking for Elliott to get featured more to get his mojo back, but also for him to get in the endzone again, as he hasn’t scored since last season’s Week 15 matchup.
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