Cowboys at Giants score, takeaway: Cooper Rush, Dallas offense come alive late to win NFC East battle

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The Giants are no longer undefeated. The Cowboys were able to enter MetLife Stadium and hand rival NFC East their first loss of the season with a 23-16 victory over “Monday Night Football”.

This game was a slow burn through the first two quarters as both teams could only manage a total of three field goals before entering the halftime locker room. However, a combined 30 points were scored in the second half, which put Dallas out on a 17-0 run that stretched from the end of the third quarter to the opening stages of the fourth. Trevon Diggs then put the dagger in New York by knocking out Daniel Jones with just over a minute left in regulation.

Cooper Rush continued to keep Dallas in the win column and was ready throughout this prime-time affair. He backed up 31 times and completed 21 of his passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. On the other end, Jones passed 20 of 37 for 196 yards and a pick. He also ran nine times for 79 yards.

For a more detailed breakdown of how this game played out, check out our top takeaways below.

Why the Cowboys won

Cooper Rush continues to impress as a Cowboys starter as Dak Prescott continues to recover from a thumb injury he suffered in Week 1. The moment never seemed too big for Rush, even though the early parts of the game were weak and the Cowboys made a handful of self-imposed errors. He made a number of timely throws, including a clutch touchdown to CeeDee Lamb to take the lead in the fourth quarter (more on that play in our spins) that turned out to be the game-breaking score. Some of that credit for Rush’s success should go to Dallas’ offensive line, which kept him relatively intact for the night as the Giants recorded no sacks and only two quarterback hits.

Speaking of the O line, Jason Peters wasted no time making an impact after being elevated to the active roster for this game. He dug massive lanes for Dallas backs to snatch chunks of running play down the left side of the line, which included a 46-yard run by Tony Pollard in the second quarter.

On the night, the Tony Pollard-Ezekiel Elliott duo averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

Meanwhile, it was a rags-to-riches story for Lamb, who dropped an easy touchdown in the second quarter but redeemed himself with the late touchdown. In his first seven drives of the night, Lamb caught just four passes for 39 yards. On what turned out to be the game-winning drive, he lived up to his No. 1 WR status and caught four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown.

As for the defense, it gave New York tantrums all night, especially the pass rush. In addition to the five sacks he was able to get on Daniel Jones, Dallas pressured the QB on almost half of his pullbacks and constantly moved him from his spot, resulting in a scramble or Jones threw the ball.

It wasn’t a perfect night for Dallas, as he had eight penalties for 70 yards and let the Giants trail when there were opportunities to put them away early. Still, none of those mistakes proved fatal, and now the Cowboys are 2-1 this year.

Why The Giants Lost

A theme for the Giants on Monday night was their inability to grab the fruit at hand. There were periods throughout this game where it felt like the Cowboys were basically giving them the win, but they just couldn’t capitalize.

An example of this came on their first offensive possession in which a holding penalty on Dallas prevented what would have been a three-and-out and kept the player alive. New York brought the ball to the Cowboys 29-yard line, but went on three straight misses and had their field goal attempt blocked.

Coming out for the second half, the Giants pulled out a 10-0 run and took the lead for the first time, but couldn’t absorb Dallas’ backlash as they hit back-to-back touchdowns. During that streak where the Cowboys put up an unanswered 14, the New York offense ran seven plays and held the ball for just 1:43 on two drives.

Even in the closing minutes of the game, the Cowboys failed to stay in bounds on a third-and-7 completion by Rush to Jake Ferguson, which gave the ball back to New York with 1:45 to go. regulation time and a touchdown. With no timeouts in their pocket, traveling to the end zone from their own 9-yard line was going to take a miracle, but it was just another situation where Dallas wasn’t exactly buttoned up and gave New a chance. York, which he was ultimately unable to grasp.

In addition to situational errors, the Giants offensive line struggled to contain Dallas’ pass rush and beleaguered Daniel Jones all night. He’s been sacked five times and pressured on 43% of his forfeits in that game. On the other hand, New York’s top seven couldn’t disrupt Cooper Rush at all.

The Giants were also hacked on the ground, as Elliott and Pollard combined for 178 yards on 28 carries.

Turning

The Giants took their first lead of the game on an impressive Saquon Barkley touchdown, and it felt like the momentum had started to turn in New York’s direction. However, Dallas was quick to match the score with one of his own, as he went 75 yards down the field in nine plays. Elliott drove for the touchdown at the 1-yard line to tie the game at 13 apiece.

Dan Quinn’s defense then forced a 45-second drive through the Giants’ offense, and the Cowboys reached the end zone for the second straight time. This time the drive took them 11 plays to go for 89 yards and ended with a remarkable one-handed catch from Lamb in the corner of the end zone. That first touchdown to start what became a 17-0 run for the Cowboys to end the game was huge to stifle any kind of momentum for New York in what could have turned into a rowdy atmosphere at MetLife Stadium. .

Game of the game

Lamb’s one-handed hold is certainly the best play of the game, but we gave Dallas enough sparkle to turn the tide. The 1B in terms of best plays came from Barkley, who scored the first touchdown of the game to give New York its only lead of the game. He took a first-and-10 transfer from the Dallas 36 and lost two would-be tacklers in midfield before coming out on the left and galloping for the touchdown.

According Next Generation Stats, Barkley faced eight defenders in the box and gained +31 rushing yards over expectation on the run. Barkley now leads the NFL in rushing yards compared to expectations, edging out Browns star Nick Chubb. It was also Barkley’s longest touchdown run since Week 17 of the 2019 season.

And after

From there, the Cowboys will return to Dallas and await the Washington Commanders for their first of two matchups this season. Maybe it’s the game too where Dak Prescott returns under center after missing time with a thumb injury. As for the Giants, they will complete their three-game home run when they host the Chicago Bears.

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