Around the NFL  

 

Giants stave off Cowboys' last-minute comeback

Print

The NFC East clash between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants ended in wild fashion, giving the Giants their first victory in Dallas since 2012.

1. Dak Prescott had a chance to win his first NFL start as Dallas, down 20-19, took over at their own 20-yard line with 1:04 left on the clock. The drive fell short eight plays later as wideout Terrance Williams caught a pass in Giants territory but failed to get out bounds in time. The failed one-minute drill doesn't entirely take away from a promising debut for Prescott, who opened the game with scoring drives of 15, 15, 11 and seven plays before the offense was forced to punt. The first half for Dallas served as confirmation that this year's Cowboys are very much in play to duplicate their 2014 selves with Prescott at the helm. Hitting 25 of 45 passes for 227 yards, the rookie -- picked 134 spots behind Jared Goff -- helped Dallas control the ball for 22-plus minutes of the first half. Prescott found eight separate targets and looked comfortable directing the offense. He'd like a handful of those throws back, but the former Mississippi State star did a commendable job going through his progressions, finding holes in the defense and putting the ball where his targets had a chance to make plays. This loss falls more on a wanting Dallas defense that couldn't get the Giants off the field in the second half.

2. Eli Manning and the Giants barely saw the field early, but made the most of their opportunities on Sunday with three touchdowns on as many trips to the end zone. Finishing 19 of 28 for 207 yards, Manning made his share of clutch throws down the stretch. He also tossed a terrible pick to Brandon Carr that set up a Cowboys touchdown, but finished a juicy 5-of-7 throwing in the red zone. New York has been advertised as a pass-first attack -- and rightfully so -- but it was encouraging for Giants fans to see Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen repeatedly gain chunks of real estate between the tackles with the fourth quarter ticking away.

3. Ezekiel Elliott's debut was underwhelming. The rookie running back fought hard for his 51 yards against a much-improved Giants defensive front that kept him to just 2.5 yards per carry. The threat of Elliott alone helped Dallas stick to their ball-control game plan early on, with the No. 4 overall pick gaining steam in the second half with a leaping dive into the end zone for his first NFL touchdown. Veteran Alfred Morris also saw his share of snaps down the stretch and ran well for 35 yards at five yards per tote.

4. The idea that Prescott would cling to Dez Bryant was shattered on Sunday, with the rookie hitting the clearly upset Pro Bowler just once for eight yards. Bryant had a mildly controversial 24-yard touchdown taken away, but Prescott clearly favored tight end Jason Witten (9/66/0) and slot man Cole Beasley (8/65/0). It will be interesting to see how Bryant's line looks next week against a Redskins team with two fine corners in Bashaud Breeland and Josh Norman.

5. Victor Cruz played his first game since October 2014 and made a difference, hauling in four passes for 35 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Beckham -- who managed just nine catches for 79 yards in two games against the 'Boys last season -- led the team with 73 yards off four grabs.

Print

Fan Discussion