Game Review: Cowboys, Giants and a black cat

After winning against the Eagles and having the bye week off, it has felt like an eternity between games, so it was a welcome sight to see the Cowboys take on the Giants at MetLife Stadium – the scene of the Cowboys’ most disappointing defeat of the season against the Jets.

It was a similar story to that Jets game at the start, with a typical (for 2019) slow start by the Cowboys offense. Dak Prescott threw an interception on the first play of the game, giving the Giants the ball at the Dallas 8-yard line. The defense held and forced the Giants to kick a field goal: something they had to get used to, as the Dallas defense held New York to field goals on four out of five red zone trips.

After drawing level, the Cowboys made more early mistakes missing a 54-yard FG and then Randall Cobb fumbling the ball. This led to another Giants field goal and gave New York a 12-3 lead.

The game would take a bizarre twist as a black cat ran onto the field, making some great moves and looking very agile. This seemed to wake the Cowboys up as they would go on a six-play, 75-yard series resulting in a 42-yard touchdown for Blake Jarwin. Dallas then intercepted Giants QB Daniel Jones and secured another field goal to end the half leading 13-12.

Credit: Bill Kostroun / Associated Press

Dallas wouldn’t drop behind again, scoring two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give them a 30-18 lead. And with the Giants driving to try to close the gap at the end of the game, the Dallas defense forced a fumble from Jones that was recovered by Jourdan Lewis who ran it back for the game-ending TD. That sealed the 37-18 win and moves the Cowboys to 5-3, cementing first place in the NFC East.

The Cowboys won this game on the legs of star RB Zeke Elliott, who had 139 yards rushing from only 23 carries (a 6-yard per carry average), and the great play of the Dallas defense, which continually forced the Giants to settle for field goals. They got key stops when they needed and apart from one blown play that resulted in a 65-yard reception by Saquon Barkley, they held the Giants’ best player in check. In fact, Daniel Jones actually had more rushing yards than Barkley.

The defense had lots of key contributors in this game. DeMarcus Lawrence had a sack and three quarterback hits, and continually made good tackles in the run game, while Sean Lee had a great game filling in for the injured Leighton Vander Esch, leading the team with 12 total tackles, nine of which were solo tackles alongside a tackle for loss and a pass defensed.

Credit: Adam Hunger/Associated Press

Key contributors

  • Dak Prescott: 22-of-35 for 257 yards, three TDs and one INT – after his early interception, Dak was able to fight back and lead his team to victory throwing touchdowns to Blake Jarwin, the acrobatic Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper; another TD to Cobb was wiped out for a holding call.
  • Zeke Elliott: With 23 carries for 139 yards, Zeke was the workhorse of the Dallas team, continually falling forward for extra yardage and averaging six yards per carry. His runs – and even the threat of his runs – opened up key throwing lanes for Prescott.
  • Jourdan Lewis: The turnover magnet struck again, being in the right place at the right time to scoop up the Daniel Jones forced fumble and run it in for six points, sealing the game.
  • The black cat: After his appearance halfway through a field goal drive by the Giants, the Cowboys would outscore New York 34-6. Who said black cats were unlucky? (Giants fans, I would think.)

Overall, this was an expected win by a team that has now beaten the Giants in the last six meetings. The Giants last won back in November 2016.

Next up for the 5-3 Cowboys are the 6-3 Vikings on Sunday, when Dallas will be trying to prove they can beat good teams this season. Their only non-divisional win so far has come against the woeful Dolphins so it’s time to step up.

Featured Picture – Credit: Adam Hunger/AP Photo

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