The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants 23-16 at MetLife Stadium, securing their first win in the NFC East, taking their overall record to 2-1. Throughout the game the defensive front had a good performance as they managed to sack Giants QB Daniel Jones five times and with a total of 12 QB hits.
DeMarcus Lawrence was the stand out in the trenches as he recorded six tackles, three of which resulted in sacks. Giants rookie offensive lineman Evan Neal struggled throughout the game as Lawrence showed his skillset and experience in the pass rush.
DeMarcus Lawrence with his third sack of the game pic.twitter.com/g4f2cTIhL2— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 27, 2022
The defensive front managed to keep RB Saquon Barkley to 45 yards before Barkley managed to break away for a 36-yard carry leading to a touchdown.
Micah Parsons may have not recorded any sacks in this game, however he was still able to cause disruption to the Giants offensive line as he managed to get six total pressures and two QB hits. Dorance Armstrong recorded another sack, moving his sack count to three so far this season.
Sam Williams was penalized for a late hit on Jones at the sideline, going forward Williams will need to keep his composure as unnecessary penalties like this can hurt the Cowboys.
One interesting statistic is the whole defensive line unit managed to get their names on the stat sheet for tackles. As much as coach Aden Durde will be happy seeing that statistic, he will not be as happy that Jones escaped the pocket on multiple occasions when the Giants offensive line collapsed, allowing Jones to rush upfield for a total of 79 yards throughout the game.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn will be pleased with the overall production of the defense as the Cowboys defense is on a three-game streak of keeping the score line under 20 points.
Cowboys fans finally got to see offensive lineman Jason Peters in action, the nine-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro played 14 snaps and made an instant impact on the first play, helping Tony Pollard to a 46-yard rushing carry. In pass protection, Peters gave up zero pressures in eight snaps.
Matt Farniok and rookie Tyler Smith did get flagged for penalties during the game which killed the momentum of moving the ball early on in the game, but Smith managed to put that behind him and gave another impressive performance. He only gave up one QB pressure in 31 pass protection snaps and showed his athleticism & determination to clear the path for RB Ezekiel Elliot onr a 27-yard run.
Cowboys rookie LT Tyler Smith’s combination of athleticism and play style will make him a long-term problem for defenses when he’s blocking in space. A long reel of plays like this to come over course of NFL career. pic.twitter.com/eCtzuc2eiU— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 27, 2022
Terrance Steele had one of his best games for the Cowboys to date, as he gave up zero pressures and prevented Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari from beating him on the edge.
Veteran Zack Martin continues to stand out on the offensive line this season as he is currently ranked as the third best guard in pass protection blocking by Pro Football Focus and also ranked as the 17th best guard overall.
Overall, coach Joe Philbin can be take a lot of positives from this game with the development of the offensive line, as they give up zero sacks for the second game in a row and made crucial blocks allowing Elliot and Pollard to run the ball, but Philbin will need to keep addressing the penalties to keep them at a minimum.