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Dak Prescott, Cowboys Cruise to Easy Win vs. Giants Without Odell Beckham Jr.

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 10:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the 2017 season with a 19-3 win over the New York Giants behind a shutdown effort by the defense.

Although Ezekiel Elliott and the offense were the story of the team's success in 2016, the Cowboys held their opponent to just 233 yards from scrimmage and one scoring drive.

With star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. out with an ankle injury, the Giants offense simply couldn't move the chains Sunday night in AT&T Stadium.

The not-currently-suspended Elliott led the way for Dallas offensively, totaling 104 rushing yards and 36 receiving yards.

It was a rare grinding effort for the running back without many big plays:

Tim Cowlishaw @TimCowlishaw

Zeke goes over the 100-yard mark the hard way. Nothing over 10 yards...

Matt Miller @nfldraftscout

Zeke Elliott is like a young Frank Gore in his ability to rarely lose yards and always scoot through tight lanes for plus yards.

Although Dak Prescott struggled with consistency in the win, he still threw for 268 yards and a touchdown, along with 24 rushing yards on three carries. 

The touchdown went to Jason Witten, who also had seven catches for 59 yards while becoming the all-time Cowboys franchise leader in receiving yards, passing Michael Irvin in the process. 

Irvin congratulated the tight end on the record:

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Michael Irvin @michaelirvin88

Congrats 2 @JasonWitten on @dallascowboys Record! U have earned it & NO 1 deserves it more. WE ALL HONOR YOU!!! https://t.co/fwlLqUgKEF

The home team managed just three points in the second half, but it was enough to close out an easy victory over the division rival.

While the Cowboys built a 16-0 lead by halftime, the score didn't even show how one-sided the action was in the first half. Dallas owned a 265-49 advantage in offensive yards, 16-2 in first downs and held possession for more than 20 minutes.

After a few missed opportunities in Giants territory, the team finally got into the end zone on a 12-yard touchdown to Witten:

NFL @NFL

Dak. Witten. @DallasCowboys TOUCHDOWN!!! #DallasCowboys #NYGvsDAL https://t.co/dZwkrUVlFE

While the Giants defense did as well as it could to keep the game close, the offense faltered without the injured Beckham:

Mike Leslie @MikeLeslieWFAA

In an entire half of football, the New York #Giants did not advance the ball past their own 34 yard line. #Cowboys #Giants #NYGvsDAL

Nick Kostos @TheKostos

The only second-half adjustment the Giants offense can make is to go back in time and not get OBJ hurt against Cleveland

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Truly a dubious accomplishment for the Giants OL to be making it seem like the Cowboys have a pass rush. Didn't think they'd be this bad

New York finally got a drive going in the third quarter, but still only settled for a field goal after 16 plays and nearly 10 minutes of possession. It didn't get much better from there as the team failed to even threaten many scoring chances.

Eli Manning ended his night 29-of-38 for 220 yards and an interception, with his receivers failing to gain separation throughout the game. The rushing attack was also virtually nonexistent, as Paul Perkins and Orleans Darkwa registered a combined 30 yards on 10 carries.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys struggled to extend their lead as well, in what remained a defensive battle between the two NFC East foes.

This grab by Cole Beasley represented a rare offensive highlight sandwiched by constant punts:

NFL @NFL

Wait... what?! This @Bease11 catch is INSANE. 😱 #NYGvsDAL #DallasCowboys https://t.co/LwIVsm3DtP

An 11-play field-goal drive in the fourth quarter helped Dallas seal the win to move to 1-0 on the season.

The Giants will be on national television again next week with a Monday night game against the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys will be on the road in Week 2 for a battle with the Denver Broncos.

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