It doesn’t get much easier for the Dallas Cowboys than what transpired at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday night, as they embarrassed the New York Giants in their 40-0 win to kick off the new year.
Head coach Brian Daboll and the Giants are going to want to throw this game tape in the trash, as everything that could’ve gone wrong, did.
It all began on the Giants’ first drive of the game, where they moved the ball well. Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones were using their legs to get into Cowboys’ territory with a good chance to strike first.
But a botched snap by rookie center John Michael Schmitz on third down brought the field goal unit out for New York. Graham Gano, who missed just three field goals last year, had his kick blocked, and the Cowboys’ Noah Igbinoghene took it to the house.
It was a complete change of momentum that the Giants simply never recovered from.
The first half just got worse, as Barkley was hit hard two drives later and the ball popped out of his arms and into DaRon Bland’s for a pick-six, making it a 16-0 game quickly.
Then, after the Cowboys kicked another field goal to move their lead up three points, Jones threw another interception on the very first play of their drive. Five plays later, Tony Pollard found the end zone for his first score of the season.
The cherry on top in the first half was Gano kicking a complete shank after a 14-play drive got the Giants in field goal range. And as you’d expect, the fans in the MetLife Stadium crowd sent the boo birds toward Big Blue after their disastrous effort.
It wasn’t any better in the second half, as the Cowboys easily went 10 plays for 75 yards with Pollard collecting another rushing touchdown to cap the drive and give an authoritative 33-0 lead.
While the Cowboys could’ve taken their starters out at the beginning of the fourth quarter with the way the game was going, quarterback Dak Prescott led the offense to another second-half touchdown. This time, KaVontae Turpin rushed his way into the end zone, making it a 40-0 game.
The calamity that was the Giants showed again on the ensuing drive, as Isaiah Hodgins would’ve had the longest play of the night after a catch-and-run, but Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs stripped him immediately and Dallas recovered.
Dallas was simply faster than the Giants, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Cowboys suffocated Jones in the pocket, as he was sacked seven times, with Micah Parsons, Osa Odighizuwa, Dorance Armstrong and DeMarcus Lawrence wreaking havoc.
The Giants’ offensive line has been an issue for many years now, and though it was believed they were taking the positive steps forward after last season’s success, fans and experts alike will be thinking differently after this performance.
It was an all-around beatdown by the Cowboys, executed in all three phrases, which is exactly the way head coach Mike McCarthy hoped the new year would begin.
Prescott was pulled after the Cowboys were up 40 points. He finished 13 of 24 for 143 yards with Lamb his top target after catching all four of his targets for 77 yards.
Pollard, in his first game as the true starting back for Dallas with Ezekiel Elliott no longer with the team, rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries.