Starting 1-0 is one thing. Starting the season with a 40-point shoutout win is a statement.
When Mike McCarthy took over the playcalling duties this spring, he made a handful of eyebrow raising comments about the role he wanted his offense to play. Knowing the type of defense he had under the stewardship of Dan Quinn, he wanted his offense to focus on the ground game and allow the defense to lead the franchise to their sixth Lombardi trophy.
Week 1 performances can often be misleading, but as far as initial statements go, Dallas spoke very loudly in support of McCarthy’s stance. Dallas’ defense was neurotic, sacking Giants QB Daniel Jones seven times, while picking him off twice including a return touchdown. Dallas’ offense didn’t muster a passing touchdown but scored three times on the ground. Led by an opening drive blocked field goal return to begin the onslaught, the Cowboys went into New York and totally decimated the Giants to the tune of 40-0.
Led by Micah Parsons, who had a sack and whose pressures led to sacks and turnovers for other defenders, and Trevon Diggs, who tipped an eventual interception and forced a fumble the defense pitched their first shutout since 2017.
Dallas got 122 yards on the ground, including 70 and two scores from new RB1 Tony Pollard. CeeDee Lamb checked in with 77 receiving yards to pace the receivers as Dak Prescott had a quiet and safe 13-completion game. There wasn’t much work for him to do as the relentless Dallas defense harassed the Giants offense all night.
The 40-point shutout was the biggest opening week shutout in the NFL since 1999.
There are a lot of people who deserve their flowers after week one. Dan Quinn is at the top of the list.
The last time the Cowboys had won the first game of the year was in 2019, a 35-17 home win over the Giants.
It was the first road win in a season opener since a 24-17 win in 2012 over the Giants fueled by three Tony Romo touchdown passes.
Sunday’s win was the first time that Mike McCarthy started a season in Dallas with a win. The Cowboys are now 40-23-1 (.633) all-time in season openers.
Dallas is now 74-47-2 overall against New York. They have won the last five meetings and 12 of last 13. In games played at New York, the Cowboys are 34-26-1, winning the last three and six of the last seven.
The victory moved Dallas to 11-1 overall against the Giants when the teams have met to open the season. Their first opening week meeting was in 1965.
It is also the third time Dallas has shut out the Giants. The Cowboys blanked the Giants 27-0 in 1996 and again in 1995, 35-0.
The Giants have only shut out Dallas once, a 15-0 win in 1994.
A quick summary of how it all went down.
Who would have guessed the Cowboys’ first score of the season would come from a player who has been with the team less than two weeks. But when Juanyeh Thomas broke through the line to block a 45-yard field goal attempt, there was Noah Igbinoghene to scoop up the bouncing ball and race 58 yards down the right sideline untouched for the touchdown. The young cornerback had just been acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 29.
Unfortunately, rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey pushed his extra point try to the left, no good, but Dallas still had the early lead.
Aubrey would find his form shortly thereafter, though, when the Cowboys traveled 72 yards in nine plays on their first offensive possession of the game. The big blow came with a long pass to CeeDee Lamb that picked up 49 yards with Dallas eventually reaching the New York 2-yard line. Unable to punch it in, the team settled for a chip-shot 21-yard field goal.
So why not get the defense involved in the point parade. The Giants’ very next series saw Diggs lay a big hit on Saquon Barkley, popping the ball out of the pass-catcher’s hands and into the arms of DaRon Bland. It was then an easy 22 yards for the cornerback to cross the goal line, the Cowboys going up 16-0 after Aubrey’s extra point.
Cowboys-Giants takeaways: Dallas dominates in all phases to open 2023 with blowout - Michael Gehlken, DMN
What is your takeaway from this impressive week one showing?
Raise the IQ on the national Cowboys conversation
It is good this game was on primetime.
Maybe, even if just for a day, the broad discussion about this Cowboys team can become just slightly more educated.
National media personalities displayed their usual obsession with quarterback Dak Prescott in recent months. His interceptions. Teammate trash talk toward him during training camp. What the Trey Lance trade said about him. There was always much more to this roster than its quarterback, a fact that was displayed rather prominently at MetLife Stadium.
Smart call resting Tyler Smith
For the first time in his career, Tyler Smith missed an NFL game.
The Cowboys were wise not to rush him back.
Trevon Diggs had ruthless message for NY Giants amid Daniel Jones’ nightmare first half - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat
There is a swagger to this secondary. And their play backed it up.
With the defense running roughshod at MetLife Stadium, Diggs — the architect of the Cowboys’ second (!) D/ST touchdown of the half — had a cold-blooded message for the Giants that Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein caught on the NBC broadcast.
Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs told teammates on sideline he had a message for Giants, per @melissastark on SNF broadcast. The message: “Do not throw the ball anymore.”
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) September 11, 2023
Cowboys’ Trevon Diggs trolled NY Giants, Daniel Jones amid first half shutout
This is merely the attitude of a defense that knows its elite .. and was well-aware of the incredible (historic?) performance it produced in the first half.
It’s important to note the Giants’ offensive line did Jones zero favors. Not many QBs would perform well under these circumstances.
When given the time to throw, though, the former No. 7 overall pick left a lot to be desired. In the first half, he was 5-of-12 for 43 passing yards and two interceptions, adding up to a 12.2 passer rating. He was sacked three times.
Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Reaches Staubach-Level History With Win at Giants - Harrison Reno, Sports Illustrated
Dak Prescott has a stranglehold over this division. And that does not seem to have changed in 2023.
Going into Sunday, the only Dallas QB to every beat the Giants 11 straight times was the legendary Roger Staubach. And yes, Dak just matched that.
Since kicking off his career in 2016 as a fourth-round out of Mississippi State, Prescott has never failed to start in a Cowboys’ season-opener. After the preseason injury to then-starter Tony Romo, Prescott made his first career start at home versus the Giants, a game the Cowboys lost and never avenged that season as they lost on the return trip to East Rutherford.
But beyond his rookie season, Prescott has been perfect against the Cowboys’ rivals. Prescott had won the last 10 games against the Giants, an altogether impressive streak that pairs with his dominance against the rest of the division, where he boasted a 27-7 record, and it ranks as the second-best winning streak of a Cowboys quarterback against the Giants.
But now? It’s 11 straight. And it’s 28-7. And it’s impressive.
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