The Cowboys defense isn’t just stealing the show these days; it’s the key to success in the second half of the season. Four takeaways were critical today as Dallas picked up a 21-6 road victory over the New York Giants.
Dallas picked off backup QB Mike Glennon three times, highlighted by Trevon Diggs’ 10th interception of 2021. A poor throw was laid up to Trevon late in the game and initially ruled an incompletion, but a challenge by Mike McCarthy led to the correct call as Diggs was down before the ball was stripped away by the Giants’ receiver.
Jourdan Lewis and Malik Hooker also had picks today. In the first half, Carlos Watkins recovered a fumble after DeMarcus Lawrence punched the ball away from Saquon Barkley.
The one area where the Cowboys defense was surprisingly quiet was sacks. While they got pressure on Glennon and Jake Fromm at times, only one sack shared between Dorance Armstrong and Neville Gallimore was recorded.
The turnovers were important as the Cowboys offense was again lackluster. A conservative gameplan led to low production; only a 5.9 average on passing plays and 4.2 yards on the ground. Dak Prescott did hit Dalton Schultz for a TD in the third quarter but only had 217 yards total for the game.
Schultz led all Cowboys receivers today with eight catches for 67 yards, including some key 3rd-down conversions. CeeDee Lamb added six catches for 50 yards.
Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined for 126 yards on 28 carries, with Zeke scoring the game’s first touchdown early. Greg Zuerlein went 3/3 on field goals but missed both of his extra point attempts.
The lack of consistent execution on offense is a concern with the playoffs looming closer. The Giants were very shorthanded thanks to injuries and COVID-19, reduced to signing former Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith just two days ago and playing him today.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys improved to 10-4 and should shortly clinch the NFC East. If it doesn’t happen by the end of Week 15, next week’s home game against Washington can make it official.