Giants vs. Cowboys: Live Grades and Analysis for Dallas
Dallas 36, New York 31
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Game Analysis for Dallas Cowboys
Pass Offense: Without the high number of turnovers forced by the Dallas defense, there is no way the Cowboys would have won this game. Romo threw 49 passes against New York, a total that will certainly cost coach Jason Garrett his job if it continues. Romo's pass protection was good at times, but lousy at others. Receivers had some drops and early-season mistakes, but Dallas was able to do just enough to hang on.
Run Offense: When you dominate time of possession like Dallas did, you would assume that it was a big day for the running game, but it really wasn't. Dallas needs to run the ball better in the future, or it will lose games despite what the passing game and defense are able to do. DeMarco Murray looked good on a few carries on the way to 86 yards on 20 carries, but there was little else.
Pass Defense: Any other time Dallas gives up 450 yards to Giants quarterback Eli Manning, expect a big fat "L" in the standings. Manning had a couple of amazing possessions, especially in the second half. The problem was his three interceptions, the last of which was returned for a game-winning touchdown by cornerback Brandon Carr. An improved pass rush is vital going forward.
Run Defense: Hold an opponent to 50 total yards rushing and you should win the game most of the time. Had the Cowboys given up any more than that, there might have been a different outcome. When your defense forces six turnovers, two of those being fumbles by the opposing running back, you can keep yourself in games and win them. This is the strongest part of Dallas' entire performance.
Special Teams: Special teams was quietly effective for Dallas. While there wasn't much in the way of huge plays, there was a big fumble forced in the second half that set the Cowboys up for points, which they really needed. Placekicker Dan Bailey was perfect on field-goal attempts with a long of 45 yards, and the Giants only returned one of his kickoffs the whole night.
Coaching: Tonight's game was much about the coordinators Bill Callahan and Monte Kiffin. Callahan was making his first "start" calling plays, and Kiffin got his first look at his new 4-3 scheme. I honestly can't give Garrett much more credit than simply not breaking anything, concerning game management. Dallas had timeouts ready and waiting, and Garrett did seem to have a level of command that we've really never seen before.
Halftime Analysis for Dallas Cowboys
Pass Offense: Tony Romo had good protection until late in the first half when he was forced to the sidelines. Romo hit seven different receivers in chalking up 188 yards on 33 attempts. He threw one touchdown and an interception, although the pick can't really be blamed on Romo, as rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams clearly ran the wrong route.
Run Offense: DeMarco Murray carried 10 times for a decent 43 yards. Phillip Tanner had a single carry, which he fumbled. You would like to see more yards on the ground, given the fact that Dallas was able to create turnovers in the first half. The Cowboys' rushing attack has shown zero ability to help get the ball in the end zone once they penetrate the opponent's 20-yard line.
Pass Defense: Up until Victor Cruz's 70-yard touchdown on blown coverage late in the first half, the Dallas secondary had been close to stellar.
Strong safety Barry Church was active, and free safety Will Allen scored the Cowboys' second interception. Let's include defensive end DeMarcus Ware in this category following his interception of Eli Manning on the first play of the season.
Run Defense: Running back David Wilson of New York had a 13-yard carry in the first half, easily the longest run out of the backfield for the Giants in the first 30 minutes. The Cowboys held New York to just 16 yards on the ground while also forcing a fumble. This is easily the strongest area of the entire team.
Special Teams: Special teams was nothing to write home about, but it was solid. Kicker Dan Bailey hit two field goals of 30 and 38 yards, and Dwayne Harris had a nice tackle for a loss on the Giants' second punt return.
Coaching: Head coach Jason Garrett hasn't done anything to lose the game and was actually rather conservative with his timeouts as the game neared halftime. So far, Garrett seems to look a little less confused by everything happening around him, a possible benefit of having most offensive responsibilities in the hands of offensive coordinator Bill Callahan and Romo.
|Position Unit||1st Half Grade||Final Grade|
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