Whether it was the immense noticeable amount of sweat or constant overthrows from Dak, the Cowboys’ early struggles eased as the clock approached its final ticks, with Dallas handling the Giants in a 19-3 win.
As the offense tried to find a groove, the young defense of the Cowboys dominated Eli and company. Granted, Odell Beckham Jr. was inactive, but by holding New York to 233 yards of total offense, you could not have asked for a better performance. Lawrence constantly worked his opponent, finishing the game with 2 sacks, while Charles Tapper was able to add one as well. Sean Lee continued to perform like the pro-bowler he is and lead the team with 8 tackles. Then there was Jaylon Smith, making his NFL debut with 7 tackles.
The secondary remained strong throughout the game and only allowed two catches for 15+ yards. Plus, they were responsible for the only turnover between the two teams thanks to an Anthony Brown interception towards the end of the third quarter. Not allowing any big plays, the Giants’ only 3 points came on the opening drive after halftime, one that lasted 9 minutes and 44 seconds.
Though many anticipated Dallas’ defense would be suspect, a sluggish start by the offense was the biggest problem, as they left many points on the board. Dreadful in the first quarter, Dallas would be able to march into Giants’ territory every drive, but would only garner 6 points. With questionable play-calling, missed opportunities, and players looking out of game-shape, Dallas was not focused. Leaving what needed to be left behind in the first 15 minutes of action, the Cowboys would put away the game in the second quarter, capitalizing on every possession but one.
Trying to knock this rust off early, Dak’s throws would soon become tighter, Ezekiel continued to perform like the top-3 running back he is, finishing with 104 rushing yards, as the offense finally found a productive balance. Although 16 of the Cowboys’ 19 points would come in the first half, Dallas’ defense remained locked in during the second, helping the Cowboys to begin the season 1-0.