5 takeaways from Cowboys’ 40-0 drubbing of Giants on Sunday Night Football originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Rain wasn’t the only thing that poured on the New York Giants Sunday night.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard jogged into the endzone on a one-yard touchdown run. Jogged. The scoreboard ballooned to 33-0 in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium.
It ended 40-0.
New York just had no answer offensively, which gave Dallas a perfect platform to capitalize with easy points that increased the gap.
Let’s dive into the analysis in more depth with five takeaways:
A one-play momentum changer
New York started with the ball and drove 48 yards down the field in 11 plays (the last was a fumbled snap on third down that lost yards) that consumed seven minutes off the clock. Until the mishap, the Giants were coordinated and confident. Then Graham Gano’s ensuing field goal attempt was blocked and returned 58 yards for a touchdown by Noah Igbinoghene.
New York never looked coordinated and confident again. And Dallas never looked back.
Daniel Jones suffers in forgettable night
Jones signed a four-year, $160 million contract with the Giants this past offseason. That equals to $40 million a year. He finished the game with 104 passing yards on 15-for-28 completions, no touchdowns and two picks. He was sacked seven times and added 43 rushing yards on 13 attempts. That’s not what a $40 million player should provide.
Of course, the weather and poor offensive line play weren’t optimal for Jones’ sake, but these signs were discernible in previous seasons unless he made noteworthy improvements as a pocket passer. That didn’t seem to be the case in Week 1.
Post-Ezekiel Elliott life starts strong for Dallas
For the first time since 2016, Dallas started a game without Elliott in the backfield. It was time to move on anyways, and they didn’t miss a beat with Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle and KaVontae Turpin getting it done in their respective ways. Pollard, in particular, looked sharp with his 70 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Turpin added a rushing touchdown as well.
Their production made the night that much easier for Dak Prescott, who didn’t stand out statistically — 143 yards on 13-for-24 passing, no touchdowns and no picks — but also didn’t need to.
Giants’ lack of WR quality on display
New York made the playoffs last season with Darius Slayton as its most productive wideout. Slayton posted 46 catches for 724 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. The Giants simply needed more to reach the next level, but this loss became quite evident they may regress.
Darren Waller led in the receiving department on the night, but none of that influenced the game significantly. He had three catches for 36 yards, with the next highest being Isaiah Hodgins with one catch for 24 yards. Yeah, that’s simply not good enough.
Cowboys’ stellar defense looks Super Bowl-level
Defenses win championships, and Dallas seems to possess a capable unit. New York’s offensive line didn’t exactly supply any resistance to the Cowboys’ pressure, but seven sacks and 11 QB hits is nothing to gloss over. Not to mention the countless times they knocked out the ball from New York’s hands, even if they didn’t recover the fumble in wet conditions.
Dallas also had eight passes defended, with Stephon Gilmore accounting for three by himself. Again, the Cowboys didn’t have much to defend and the real tests will come later, but it’s a promising sign for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.