By Elwyn Henderson
The Dallas Cowboys, coming off their disappointing performance and loss a week earlier in Philadelphia against the Eagles hosted the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington Sunday in an NFC East matchup. Dallas came into the game 5-3 while the Giants entered the fray at 2-7.
Former President George W. Bush tossed the coin to begin the game. The Giants won the toss and elected to defer to begin the game. After a touchback of newly signed kicker Randy Bullock’s kickoff, Dak Prescott brought the Cowboys offense on the field for the first time.
Dallas drove all the way down to the Giants 1 and Tony Pollard was stopped on a 4th and 1 and the Giants took over for their first possession of the game on their 1 with Tommy DeVito at quarterback.
The Dallas defense only allowed 4 yards on three plays and Jamie Gillan punted the ball away to the Dallas 46 and Prescott and the offense returned to the field. They were not able to get anything going and it was a quick three-and-out. Following a Bryan Anger punt to the Giants 6 the visitors started their second possession.
The Dallas defense forced another three-and-out and after a second Gillan punt Dallas set up on the Giants 46 for their third possession of the day. The third time was the charm as Prescott led the offense the 46 yards to the end zone for the first score of the game in 5 plays that took 1:41. Brandon Aubrey hit the PAT and Dallas led 7-0 with 3:38 left in the first quarter.
After a touchback of Aubrey’s kickoff after the TD the Giants picked up one first down and were then forced to punt the ball back to the Cowboys on the second series of the possession. The kick went into the end zone and Prescott brought the offense out at their 25.
The drive was a short one, as on third down Cor’Dale Flott intercepted a Prescott pass at the Dallas 33 and returned the pick down to the 11, setting the Giants up in great field position as the first quarter came to a close.
DeVito moved the team down to the Dallas 3 where they faced a 4th and goal at the 3. Jonathan Hankins stuffed Saquon Barkley for a 2-yard loss at the 4 and Dallas went back on offense, dodging a bullet.
The ‘Boys took advantage of the break moving 95 yards in 8 plays and taking 1:46 off the second quarter clock. The score came on a 1-yard toss to tight end Jake Ferguson with 8:48 left in the first half. Aubrey nailed the extra point and Dallas led 14-0.
The Giants were forced to punt on their next possession and after a return of the kick the Cowboys set up at their 46 in great field position to pad their lead.
They did just that, moving the 54 yards into the end zone in 2:48 and taking 6 plays. The score came with 3:48 left in the first half when Prescott hit Brandin Cooks on a 10-yard TD pass. Aubrey’s extra pint kick was good and the blowout was on with Dallas advancing to a 21-0 lead over the hapless Giants.
Aubrey’s next kick went into the end zone for a touchback and DeVito and the Giants began their final drive of the first half.
The Dallas defense forced another three-and-out and following a 53-yard Gillan punt the Cowboys began their final drive of the half at their 15.
Prescott led the offense down the field and he finished the drive off himself with a 10-yard TD run with just 16 seconds left in the first half of play. The drive was 7 plays, 85 yards and took 2:31. Aubrey added the point after and the game was officially a laugher with Dallas shutting out the Giants 28-0.
DeVito took a knee after a return of the kickoff and the first half ended.
New York finally got on the board when DeVito hit Lawrence Caper on a 10-yard TD pass with 8:07 left in the third quarter. The PAT was good, making the score 28-7. The drive was 7 plays, 91 yards and took 3:29.
Prescott wasted no time in getting Dallas into the end zone once again after the score, moving the team 86 yards in 6 plays that took 3:27. The score came on a 41-yard TD pass to Michael Gallup with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. Aubrey was once again true on the extra point and Dallas led 35-7.
On the next Giants possession a DeVito pass was intercepted by DaRon Bland at the Dallas 23 and Prescott and the offense were back on the field again.
It took 3:04 and 8 plays for the good guys to get into the end zone again. The score came on a 12-yard pass from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb with 1:29 left in the quarter. Aubrey made the extra point and the score moved to 42-7.
The Giants suffered yet another three-and-out on their next possession and after a punt Dallas took over possession at their 9 and Cooper Rush came in to lead the offense the rest of the way.
Things didn’t go well for Rush when he came in, as he was intercepted at the Dallas 38 by Darnay Holmes with just over 10 minutes left in the game. The pick was returned to the Dallas 27 and DeVito brought his troops out to see if they could find the end zone for a second time.
It wasn’t to be, as Dallas forced a 40-yard Bullock field goal. The kick was good with 8:54 left in the game, making the score 42-10. The drive was 4 plays, 5 yards and took 2:02.
Rush atoned for his turnover on the next Dallas drive, leading the team on a TD drive. The score came on a 1-yard run by Rico Dowdle with 2:14 left in the game. Aubrey’s extra point try was good and Dallas led 49-10. The drive was 11 plays, 75 yards and took 6:40 off the fourth quarter clock.
New York got one last possession, hoping to make the score look a little better and gunning to find the end zone for a second time. They did just that as DeVito hit Sterling Shepherd on a 2-yard TD pass with 6 seconds left in the game. Bullock’s extra point try was good and the Giants made the score look slightly better, trailing 49-17. The drive was 11 plays, 75 yards and took 2:02.
Dallas fair caught Bullock’s kickoff and Rush took a knee and the game ended. With the win Dallas moved to 6-3 on the year while the loss dropped the Giants to 2-8.
When Coach Mike McCarthy was asked his thoughts on the big win, he said,”Our offense versus their defense, schematically they do a lot. It’s a challenge and we were really looking forward to it because you have to beat those type of defenses particularly when they try to stretch your protection. I thought our guys did a good job of that. Pass protection was a huge, huge emphasis for us this week and I don’t think we gave up a sack. It was a decisive win.”
Dak Prescott was asked when he held his press conference after the blowout win if it was tough to focus because of the Giants struggling so much this season.
“No, I wouldn’t say it was tough to focus, I mean I’ve talked about it week after week. This is the NFL. Those guys get paid; those guys hopefully love this game and put the same preparation and work into it. You’ve got to prepare the same way and stay focused the same way and then go out there and try to handle business. Obviously, they haven’t had the season they had looked forward to but from game 1 until now there’s probably things they pictured would go better. We came with the same focus we normally would. We didn’t score on that first drive but we got momentum going and we were ready to go and ready to play and we continued to do that. This is about us running our own race. No matter what the score is, the other opponent what they’re going through, it’s tough, young quarterback, whatever, we’re trying to build and become a better team. We want to be the best version of ourselves each week.”
Dallas travels to Carolina next Sunday to take on the 1-8 Carolina Panthers in a noon contest before returning to AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving Day for a 3:30 PM contest against the Washington Commanders.