In one of the NFL’s most intense rivalries, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys did not disappoint. With both sides having a lot of new faces and being eager to make a statement as the NFC East kingpin, it was the Giants who came out victorious in a 20-19 victory. There were a lot of high and lows for both teams but there were several key factors that led to the outcome and will be something to look forward to the rest of the season.
The Giants Offense is in good shape
The debut for head coach Ben McAdoo was a solid one as the former offensive coordinator saw flashes of a high powered offense. Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes as he was able to get all of his important weapons involved. After a long layoff due to injury, Victor Cruz caught his first touchdown in two years showing he can still be a valuable receiver. Rashad Jennings only had 75 rushing yards but ran really tough through the tackles against the Cowboys front seven. Rookie Sterling Shepard also got in the action with a score of his own. With their high volume passing attack being spread out to the many weapons which also includes Odell Beckham Jr, the Giants will be tough to stop.
No worries Cowboys fans, the future is bright
With Tony Romo getting injured in the preseason and being out until mid-season, the Cowboys were relying on fourth round rookie Dak Prescott. His stellar play in the preseason had the organization optimistic for the future. In his first regular season game, Prescott was 25 for 45 for 227 with no touchdowns or interceptions. He played with a lot of poise in the pocket making some very good throws throughout the game. There were a couple of missed opportunities that Prescott missed on which could have resulted in touchdowns. The other rookie that the Cowboys are looking for to lead the team is first round draft pick Ezekiel Elliot. The running back finished with 20 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown. Despite him not really being able to gain any long runs, Elliot ran tough through the holes and displayed his physical presence to almost every defender he met head on. With these two young players being asked to contribute to the Cowboys, they definitely have the skill set to become a dangerous backfield for years to come.
Close games will be a factor in who wins the division
As the Cowboys were driving down the field hoping to get a chance to win the game, fans that are familiar to this rivalry knew that anything could happen. As Dak Prescott completed a pass to Terrance Williams, everyone on the Cowboys was expecting him to run out of bounds to stop the clock. Unfortunately, Williams stayed in bounds which kept the clock rolling and ended a chance for a Dan Bailey field goal. This shows why division games really matter and how any moment can cost a team the win. Last year, the Giants poor game management in the fourth quarter cost them a win as Tony Romo was able to lead the Cowboys on a game winning drive. The NFC East should be way more competitive this year with a lot of new faces on every team. Do not expect many blowouts in this division as time management and decision making will be the key to factor on who will be crowned king.