Since the 2012 season, the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys have played against each other six times in the opening game of the season. It seems like lazy scheduling from the league to make the two rivals face off every Week One without any shake up. It’s even worse for me as a Giants fan to watch the Giants lose all but one of those games. Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Cowboys makes the Giants 1-8 all time against the Cowboys in a season opener. Out of the nine games played, only two have been played in the Meadowlands. To say I am not a fan of the season openers against Dallas would be an understatement.
The Giants started this season off with a Saquon Barkley fumble, something that didn’t happen at all last season. He made up for his mistake by bursting out for a 59-yard run the very next play, paving the way for a Giants first drive touchdown. This gave me hope for the rest of the game, but that was quickly dashed.
The Giants young corners were ferociously picked apart by Dak Prescott and Kellen Moore’s offense. Amari Cooper continued to prove his worth to the team, Michael Gallup absolutely exploded, and Randall Cobb has so far shown to be a solid veteran pickup. Jason Witten also picked up his first touchdown since returning from retirement.
The Cowboys offensive line looked like a brick wall against the Giants pass rush. The defense got zero pressure on Prescott as he made it through the game without being sacked. Although Ezekiel Elliot got in on the fun and had a touchdown of his own, the Cowboys run game was pretty much shut down. Elliot would finish the day with only 53 yards on 13 rushes.
Saquon Barkley had a great day for himself, totaling 120 yards on 11 carries. The Giants need to start using him more, especially on third down situations as the team went 2-for-11 on third down conversions. Evan Engram proved that he can be useful when he is fully healthy, racking up 11 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Eli Manning had a good statistical day, completing 30-of-44 pass attempts for 306 yards and a touchdown pass. On one play, he ran for six yards, reminding me of how slow he really is. The offensive line surprisingly looked good and did a solid job of protecting him.
Giants rookie backup Daniel Jones also made an appearance in garbage time of the fourth quarter. He went 3-for-4 in passing attempts for 17 yards before fumbling the ball away.
The Giants defense was not ready for today’s game and it showed. The offense performed fine but they could not get the ball into the end zone. Although Saquon had a huge day, his carries were low, so I am hoping that his usage goes up throughout the season.
For Giants fans, this might be a long season if the team does not get it together. Dallas looked like an elite team that is ready to compete this year. Dak put on a showcase, passing for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns. This performance will continue to push him closer to the big deal that he is seeking. The Cowboys defense was solid and their elite talent did great, especially Leighton Vander Esch, Xavier Woods, and DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Giants are not one of the top teams in the league but if this game was an indicator of anything, it’s that the Cowboys look like they could make some noise this season.