The Dallas Cowboys won their fourth straight game on Sunday, 44-20 over the New York Giants. It marked the second time in three weeks they eclipsed 40 points in a win over an NFC East rival, winning by 20 against the Eagles.
The Cowboys offense picked up after a slow start, allowing the Giants to tie the game at 10 late in the second quarter. Giants QB Daniel Jones was ruled out for the game with a concussion on the play before New York tied the game. Amari Cooper caught a 24 yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott just before halftime, and the Cowboys never looked back in the second half.
Before the Cowboys prepare for their next road game in New England on Sunday, here are my thoughts on their win over the Giants.
Cedrick Wilson has done a great job filling in for Michael Gallup. Without Gallup in the lineup, the Cowboys are missing a vertical threat opposite CeeDee Lamb, but Wilson has fit in well with Kellen Moore's plan to stretch defenses across the field. On Lamb's touchdown against James Bradberry, Wilson's route quickly drew coverage from the middle of the field, giving Lamb the space to get behind the Giants defense.
In their first game without Jaylon Smith, the Cowboys linebacker rotation is taking shape. Even though the drive ended in a Giants touchdown, the second quarter sequence at the goal line was an impressive series for some new faces to the Dallas defense. The Giants tried to read Micah Parsons on second down after he shot a gap and made a stop on first down, but Parsons along with Leighton Vander Esch kept the play from scoring. Rookies Chauncey Golston and Jabril Cox – who Dan Quinn wants on more third down packages – chased down Jones on a bootleg on third down. It was Cox that delivered the hit to Jones that led to him being carted off. Mike Glennon came in and handed to Devontae Booker on fourth and goal for the score, with starting RB Saquon Barkley also lost to injury in the first quarter.
With Jason Garrett on the opposing sideline, the Cowboys offensive line looked like the unit that was considered the league's best under him. Kellen Moore obviously worked with Garrett as both a player and coach, and went back to his roots when it came to letting his line play in space. Connor Williams, Zack Martin, and even Terence Steele were consistently on the second level creating space for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Even Connor McGovern made a key block in a jumbo formation for Elliott to get the Cowboys off their own goal line in the fourth quarter, a drive that ended in a touchdown to put the game away. The added creativity the Cowboys have found in the run game puts stress on opposing defenses that also have to account for plays like Elliott's receiving touchdown on a play-action pass out of the backfield. The Cowboys have found ways to scheme their best players the ball against the weaker points of the defense, giving Prescott full control of this offense.
On a personal note, I'd like to quickly thank the fans in Cowboys Nation and AT&T Stadium. I was in attendance for this game, my first time seeing the Cowboys play at home. The experience lived up to the hype that fans in Dallas set. Thank you as well to the Giants fans I attended the game with, for being good sports about traveling to see a team that had lost three of their first four games of the season. Here's hoping they can see Jones and Barkley back in the starting lineup at home.
Hello @CowboysNation! pic.twitter.com/DSuQvzmfHN
— Sean Martin ✭ (@SeanMartinNFL) October 10, 2021
So far, the NFC East has played out as expected through the first quarter of the 2021 season. With the Giants, Eagles, and Football Team all playing close to the level that allowed seven wins to claim the division a year ago, the Cowboys with a healthy Prescott have pulled away early.
Prescott moving on from his season-ending injury against the same team in the same week on Sunday was a big step for this team, but they'll measure their 4-1 start against Bill Belichick and the Patriots in Foxboro next. New England narrowly beat Houston 25-22 on Sunday.