Cowboys’ Legion of Doom defense makes championship statement - Clarence E. Hill, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
New Jersey native Dan Quinn earned his first shutout with the Cowboys back in his home state, blanking the Giants 40-0.
The Dallas Cowboys, particularly their Legion of Doom defense, put out a message loud and clear to the rest of the NFL in Sunday’s 40-0 bloodbath of the New York Giants. It was a ruthless, relentless and merciless massacre inside the Giants own home stadium at MetLife Field that took a page out of the “Red Wedding” episode from Game of Thrones.
It was a signal to the league that a unit that was that finished third in sacks last season and first in turnovers for the past two seasons has a chance to be even better in 2023. “That’s who we are,” Cowboys coach McCarthy said. “I clearly feel we’ve taken another step. You could see that in training camp. The pass rush was relentless.”
It’s well understood among the Cowboys that if they are going to realize their Super Bowl dreams and reach the ultimate game for the first time in 28 seasons it will be led by a dominant and merciless defense, similar to the championship units that were the foundation to title runs in Seattle, Baltimore and Tampa Bay in years past.
“Absolutely. That’s the goal,” Lawrence said. “That’s the end goal for sure. We want to make sure we keep doing our job, keep stacking it one day and one game at a time. When we look up, we’ll be there.”
Sunday was a start and a ruthless statement.
Cowboys’ Micah Parsons: We Showed We’re NFL’s ‘Best Defense’ in 40-0 Win vs. Giants - Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report
The Cowboys pass rush teed off on Daniel Jones, led by none other than Micah Parsons notching his first sack of the season.
“I think we’re making a statement that we’ve been trying to make: We’re the best defense in the National Football League,” he told reporters after the game.
Dallas held New York to 171 total yards and 2.6 yards per play. The defense sacked Giants quarterback Daniel Jones seven times and forced three turnovers. In addition, the Cowboys’ first points came on a blocked field goal.
After you compile all of the numbers, they certainly make for a compelling statement.
When discussing the Cowboys’ contender credentials, Dak Prescott is often the first variable that comes to mind. But the focus on the veteran quarterback overlooks how defense may be the thing that carries the franchise over the top.
Parsons is perhaps the early favorite for Defensive Player of the Year after earning his second straight All-Pro nod. DeMarcus Lawrence and Trevon Diggs were both Pro Bowlers in 2022. Going from Anthony Brown to Stephon Gilmore at cornerback opposite Diggs should be a net upgrade.
Managing to hold onto defensive coordinator Dan Quinn was a bit of a surprise, too, because he probably could’ve returned to the head-coaching ranks if he had wanted.
The First Read: NFL Week 1 first impressions; who’s up/down entering Week 2? - Jeffri Chadiha, NFL.com
The Cowboys being able to win without Prescott needing to put up huge numbers is a scary thought for the rest of the league.
2) Believe in Big D: There’s been so much debate about what kind of season the Cowboys needed from quarterback Dak Prescott that one essential fact was lost: Dallas is pretty good all over. Their 40-0 win over the Giants proved exactly that. The ‘Boys obviously need Prescott to play well and limit his turnovers. They also don’t need him to carry them on a weekly basis, as he only threw for 143 yards on Sunday. This team is built to dominate in a variety of ways, as was the case on Sunday night against New York. The Cowboys scored on the return of a blocked field goal, the return of an interception and held a 26-0 lead at halftime. Dallas had games like this last season — when the team overwhelmed opponents some weeks and imploded in others — so it’s probably worth taking a few weeks to see if there’s more consistency this year. But know this much: It feels different. The Cowboys looked as impressive as any team in Week 1, and there’s a good chance they keep that momentum going.
MOST INTRIGUING GAME OF WEEK 2
There isn’t another game next weekend that comes close to this one in terms of storylines. Dallas obliterated the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday night. The Jets will face their first major opportunity to prove how reliable their much-scrutinized offensive line is, primarily because Micah Parsons will be lining up across from it. Both these teams are talented enough to reach the Super Bowl. This is their chance to show how they measure up against one another.
Tony Pollard says Cowboys’ run game ready to ‘keep getting better’ after 3-TD night - Todd Brock, The Cowboys Wire
The Cowboys offensive line controlled this game on the ground, even without Tyler Smith at left guard.
The Cowboys’ first game of the season was a soggy affair in the Meadowlands, but the rain didn’t seem to put any sort of damper on the Dallas offense in its first official outing with McCarthy calling the plays. A ground-heavy game plan saw the Cowboys run the ball 30 times compared to just 25 throws. More important, though, were the three rushing touchdowns that contributed to the team’s 40-0 routing of the divisional rival Giants.
Tony Pollard logged 70 yards on 14 carries, finding the end zone twice. Rico Dowdle, KaVontae Turpin, and Deuce Vaughn had another 15 carries split among them; quarterback Dak Prescott had a run of his own in a deliberately-diversified ground attack.
“I loved what we were calling on offense,” said Pollard in his first game as the Cowboys’ lead back. “I loved the flow of everything, how everything was going.”
For Pollard, it was also his first action since suffering a fractured fibula and high ankle sprain in January’s playoff loss. After a night that included a 25-yard pickup and also a 12-yard run, both Pollard and his head coach felt confident that he was fully back and ready to pick up where he left off after his first 1,000-yard campaign last year.
“You could really feel Tony the last couple weeks, like in the 9-on-7s and the team runs. So you knew he was back,” McCarthy told reporters in his postgame press conference. “I thought he did some really good things.”
“I felt great out there,” Pollard agreed. “I felt I could have had a little bit more. I’m ready to keep going, keep getting better as we keep going into the season.”
It took Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy one game to do something Kellen Moore never did - Jerry Trotta, The Landry Hat
Kellen Moore’s Chargers offense put up big numbers in a loss, while McCarthy’s was efficient in a dominant road win.
It’s only one game, but McCarthy taking over play-calling for Kellen Moore is off to a tremendous start.
While Moore dazzled in his Chargers debut, McCarthy managed to do something in one game as Dallas’ play-caller that the former offensive coordinator couldn’t (or refused to) in 17 games last year: get KaVontae Turpin involved on offense.
It took Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy one game to find a role for KaVontae Turpin
The Cowboys offense was just fine last season under Moore’s tutelage, but fans had deserved criticisms for the now-Chargers offensive coordinator. Among them was his refusal to get the dynamic Turpin involved on offense.
It’s no secret that Dallas’ receiver room was an issue last year. Outside of CeeDee Lamb, Prescott didn’t have a reliable target. With Michael Gallup struggling in his first season back from ACL surgery, Noah Brown finished as WR2 and T.Y. Hilton became a big factor down the stretch after he was signed in December.
The offense was literally starving for more playmakers, but Moore wouldn’t budge, much to the chagrin of CeeDee Lamb.
As soon as Moore was let go, McCarthy had Turpin lining up all over the field at training camp. Sure enough, the return specialist was used in a gadget-type role Sunday night and finished with five touches (three carries, two catches) for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Aaron Rodgers injury update: Jets fear torn Achilles for star QB with MRI looming - Jordana Dajani, CBSSports.com
Rodgers' season could be over before the much-anticipated showdown against the Cowboys in Week 2.
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers' 2023 season may be over before it ever really got started. After the quarterback was injured on his fourth play of the year, head coach Robert Saleh told reporters following the Jets' 22-16 overtime victory over the Buffalo Bills that they fear the four-time NFL MVP tore his Achilles. There's an MRI scheduled for Tuesday to confirm.
The injury, if confirmed, would be season-ending.
The Dallas Cowboys originally opened as 3-point favorites for their Week 2 game against the New York Jets at @DKSportsbook.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) September 12, 2023
Obviously Monday night impacted things.
DraftKings Sportsbook now lists Dallas as 7.5-point favorites.
NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys looked great vs. Giants, but are they Super Bowl great? - Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports
Week 2 Power Rankings will trickle in over the course of the day, here’s one of the first that has the Cowboys in behind the 49ers (1), Eagles (2), and Chiefs (3), but mercifully ahead of the 0-1 Bills (5) and Bengals (6).
Tony Pollard delivered in his first game as the Cowboys’ main back, with Ezekiel Elliott out of the picture. Pollard averaged five yards per carry, picking up 70 yards and two touchdowns. We’ll see if he can hold up over a full season, but the first step was a positive one.
We will publish our own power rankings at 9:00 AM ET, and update that post with how different outlets around the NFL have the Dallas Cowboys ranked as soon as their sites publish their power rankings for the week. So make sure to circle back to that post over the course of the day.
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