What we saw from the Dallas Cowboys was a team that continued shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers, penalties, and injuries. However, the most important thing we saw is a team that refused to quit no matter what the situation they were in. Despite losing Dez Bryant and Randy Gregory, the Dallas Cowboys kept together and won the game 27-26 scoring with just seven seconds left to go in the game. The Dallas Cowboys are now 8-0 playing the Giants in Week 1 and have beaten the Giants for the fifth time in a row.
Thoughts on This Game
Offense: The offense had a very tough night. Tony Romo finished 36 for 45 passing for 356 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Dez Bryant had a limited night and finished with five catches for 48 yards. Dez Bryant suffered a broken foot in this game and will be out 4-6 weeks. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley did all right, both had a combined nine catches for a combined 109 yards. Cole Beasley did fumble the ball in the first half which was returned for a touchdown that allowed the Giants to take a 10-6 lead. Jason Witten finished with eight catches for 60 yards and scored two touchdowns, one of which as the game winning touchdown. No one would have expected Lance Dunbar to lead this game with the most receiving yards, as he finished his night with eight catches for 70 yards, but didn’t get a chance to run the ball. The running game was a bit of an issue. Joseph Randle started this game and finished with 16 carries for just 65 yards. Darren McFadden didn’t have much of an impact as he finished with six carries for just 16 yards. The offensive line was phenomenal as they didn’t allow a sack in this game, and they gave Romo plenty of time to throw the ball, especially on the game winning touchdown play. They didn’t have to worry about Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul as he did not play in this game. Trailing 26-20 with 1:34 remaining in the game, and with no timeouts left, the Cowboys drove down the field and took a one-point lead with just seven seconds left in regulation. It was amazing how on the most important play of the game, Romo fumbled the snap, picked it up, had plenty of time, and connected to Jason Witten for an eleven yard touchdown pass.
Defense: As far as the defense goes, they were impressive. They held Eli Manning to under 200 passing yards, and didn’t allow him to throw a touchdown pass. Mo Claiborne spent the entire game covering Odell Beckham Jr and did an outstanding job. Overall, the defense did a great job with containing the Giants’ best offensive player. Beckham had five catches for just 44 yards, and with Claiborne covering him a majority of the game, we can say that Mo Claiborne might be becoming the player he’s meant to be. It was great to see Sean Lee play again after he missed all of 2014 due to a torn ACL. Lee finished with a total of nine tackles. There was a bit of disappointment by the defense as they were not able to force a turnover (the two fumbles they supposedly forced and recovered were both ruled as incomplete passes). They managed to record one sack, which was by Tyrone Crawford. However, when the Giants had a chance to make their lead 30-20, the Cowboys defense miraculously prevented that. After driving up the field, thanks to a couple of penalties and missed coverages on the Cowboys defense, the Giants had a 1st down and 4 and somehow, someway the Cowboys defense kept the Giants out of the end zone. On 3rd and 1, the Giants attempted a pass play. The Cowboys blitz put so much pressure on Eli Manning, he had to throw the ball away. Facing a 4th and 1, the Giants decided to kick a field goad rather than taking advantage of a worn out Cowboys defense. Even if the Giants went for it on fourth down, and the Cowboys defense stopped them again, the Cowboys offense would have been forced to start at the one-yard line, but since New York kicked a field goal, they gave the Cowboys a big chance to win the game, and Dallas did just that. Sadly, the Cowboys defense lost rookie defensive linemen Randy Gregory to a high ankle sprain, but they managed to make big stops without him. I can honestly say that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has set up an aggressive defense. But the defense needs to work on forcing turnovers and sacking the quarterback more. I am really impressed from what I saw from Mo Claiborne, J.J. Wilcox, Tyler Patmon, and Barry Church.
Special Teams: Dan Bailey kicked two field goals and made them both. Dan Bailey’s kicks were from 21 and 32 yards. Punt returning is an issue as the only punt return the Cowboys got in this game was for -3 yards.
The Dallas Cowboys will face the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday in Philadelphia. The Cowboys will have to practice harder and be more focused because they’ll be looking to be 2-0 in the NFC East. The defense will play against former teammate DeMarco Murray and will look to prevent him from running all over them. They’ll look to force more turnovers. The offense will be without Dez Bryant, so they’ll rely on Terrance Williams as the #1 receiver, and they’ll need Devin Street, Lucky Whitehead, and Cole Beasley to be ready to make more catches.