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Defense dominated the Giants on the field and in the stat sheet

The key statistical takeaways of the Cowboys 40-0 win over New York

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

In the build-up to the game against the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys were not getting the respect they deserved. Instead of looking at the matchup and how different both teams’ level of talent was, some national media personalities opted to be trendy and pick the Cowboys to be upset by the Giants on national TV, despite the Cowboys having their number since 2017. Alas, men lie, but numbers don’t, and those numbers in the 40-0 blowout were very telling. Here are the stat takeaways from last night’s season opener against the New York Giants.

7- Quarterback sacks

The Dallas pass rush sent a message to the Giants early in the contest, and the Giants received it loud and clear. By the end of the first half, Dallas had established their pass rush dominance over the New York offensive line, and for the Giants, it wasn’t in their best interest to attack the Cowboys through the air. Symbolically, it appeared that the Giants were waving the white flag on a particular play at the end of the second quarter.

Down 16-0, with less than two minutes left in the half and the Cowboys having possession of the ball to start the third quarter, the Giants faced a 3rd and 2 on their 33-yard line. Instead of trying to pass the ball and pick up a third down conversion, they opted for a quarterback run from Daniel Jones out of the shotgun, resulting in a five-yard loss after being stopped by Markquese Bell.

Micah Parsons is the engine that makes the Cowboys’ pass rush go, but the attention the Giants committed to him early in the game spelled doom for them and sealed their fate early.

The presence of Parsons created opportunities for his teammates, and they capitalized. Osa Odighizuwa tied for the team lead in sacks with two, along with Dorance Armstrong. Jones was hit twelve times on Sunday, but it looked like a lot more, and each hit was more punishing than the last. Like the rain, the pass rush would not let up late in the game on Daniel Jones, who was inexplicably still in the game during the closing stages. When it rains, it pours, and the Cowboys’ relentless pass rush flooded Daniel Jones and the Giants.

31%- Giants’ 3rd down conversion rate

Truthfully, the Cowboys could’ve beaten the Giants much worse on the scoreboard, and they didn’t fully drive the stake deep enough in the hearts of Giants fans. The Cowboys left a few plays on the field, namely Peyton Hendershot’s drop of a would-be touchdown from quarterback Dak Prescott, and Prescott overthrowing CeeDee Lamb for a would-be touchdown. The offensive output for Dallas could have been better, but at least they set themselves up to have that chance offensively. You can’t say the same for the Giants.

The first drive for the Giants was as good as it would get for them. Overall, they converted only five of their sixteen third-down conversion tries. On their first drive alone, they only needed 3.3 yards on average to convert a third-down attempt. Afterwards, it got much more difficult. On their subsequent thirteen third-down attempts, their yards to gain were eight on average, twice facing a 3rd and 19. They converted a total of two third-down opportunities after their first drive. For a Dallas pass rush that smelled blood in the water, you could practically cue the iconic theme to Jaws every time New York faced a third down.

00 - Cowboys injuries and turnovers

The Cowboys earned the double zero in two vital statistics. First, a central talking point was the reduction in turnovers. To be specific, interceptions from quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott didn’t have a great game from a sheer numbers perspective, but he took care of the football with no turnovers. Tony Pollard did have a fumble in the red zone, but Tyler Biadasz was able to recover it to maintain possession. The offense was somewhat conservative, given the weather on Sunday night, but that was intent. Eliminate risk and subsequent turnovers, and the offense did just that.

Furthermore, the Cowboys left this game with the most crucial stat in their favor: No injuries. The Cowboys came into the game short-handed without Donovan Wilson and Tyler Smith. They can ill-afford to decimate their depth further, especially along the offensive line. No injuries were reported following the game, and the Cowboys took their flight back home after winning in dominating fashion and returning to the Metroplex virtually unscathed.

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