Stats That Matter: Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants Edition

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 6, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 12:  An official picks up a penalty flag during a game between the St. Louis Rams and the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field December 12, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Seattle won 33-13. (Photo by Jay Drowns/Getty Images)
Jay Drowns/Getty Images

I know a lot of you hate on statistics (math sucks!), but in the right context, stats can speak volumes. Let's take a look at some of the most relevant final numbers from last night's season opener between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.



That's how many yards the Giants had on offense, which was their lowest total since Nov. 21, 2010. The problem was that they possessed the ball for only 25 minutes and 33 seconds. The defense couldn't make plays to get the ball back into Eli Manning's hands, and Ahmad Bradshaw couldn't find any room to move on early downs. 

It also didn't help that David Wilson fumbled inside Dallas territory in the first quarter.

Credit, though, has to go to the Cowboys defense. Only two years ago, they had arguably the worst secondary in football, which made it nearly impossible for DeMarcus Ware and the defensive front to carry them. See how much more effective the pass rush can be with talent bolstering the back end?



Dallas penalties compared to New York penalties. This is both good and bad for both teams.

It's good for the Cowboys because they were able to overcome all of those infractions and win the game, but it's concerning that they drew so many flags in the first place. The Cowboys were the fifth-most penalized team in the league last year, and they probably should have been called for a few holds that they got away with Wednesday.

It's good for the Giants because they showed a lot of discipline again. The problem is that they still weren't able to win, and were outplayed, in spite of that. It's not a good sign.


5-7, 150 and 2

That's how many completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns Tony Romo had on passes that traveled 15 yards or more, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Last year against the Giants, he was only 5-for-11 on those attempts. 

This is what happens when you're down to your sixth cornerback and your No. 1 guy is struggling, but give Romo credit for taking full advantage of the Giants' weakness.



That's how many yards Ahmad Bradshaw would have had on 16 carries outside of his one big, 33-yard gain. That averages out to fewer than three yards per attempt, which is unacceptable. Throw in David Wilson's four yards on two carries and it was a terrible night for the Giants running game.

Sean Locklear, Kevin Boothe and Chris Snee couldn't open holes at all, and they even struggled with Will Beatty in as a jumbo tight end. 

This is what killed the Giants for much of 2011, so it's a concern that they're again struggling to move the ball on the ground.