After a dominating 35-17 victory over the New York Giants, plenty of pundits had their reasons for the win. Today we will bust some of those myths.
Whatever superlative adjective you would like to use to describe the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 showing, it would be accurate. Dominating? Absolutely. Impressive? You betcha. Inspiring? I’m sure some people are making plans for Miami in February.
After getting off to a questionable start, the Cowboys poured it on, scoring on five straight possessions. What was once a 7-0 deficit turned into a 35-10 whooping.
The Cowboys played the role of Oprah Winfrey. Tight end Blake Jarwin got a touchdown. Tight end Jason Witten got a touchdown. Receiver Amari Cooper got a touchdown. Receiver Randall Cobb got a touchdown. Running back Ezekiel Elliott got a touchdown.
How they were so successful, however, is questionable. Some will point to new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore’s 21st century innovations such as pre-snap movement. That was definitely something Cowboys fans have not seen in forever, but it was not why this team won.
Some will bring up the heavy usage of play action passing. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw the ball 32 times. On 59 percent of those pass attempts, he faked the hand off to a running back. That, too, was something “new” around here but not the reason why they won the game.
Some will just say, “it was the Giants, they aren’t very good.” This may be true, but they get paid to play this game as well. They also were just enough of a pest to make people a little nervous until the Cowboys offense got cooking. Also of note, while the scoreboard says otherwise, statistically this game was a lot closer than you might think.
New York actually ran more plays. They acquired more first downs. New York outgained Dallas on the ground by 62 yards and only had 24 total yards less than the Cowboys.
Some will point to the presence of Elliott. While he definitely changes the culture of the locker room and did have a decent game, his 53 yards on 13 carries actually represented one of the worst games of his career. The play action passing game worked with or without Elliott in the game as well.
The truth is this. There is no singular reason why the Dallas Cowboys won so easily. The offense looked amazing. Beyond the first drive and a late garbage touchdown, the defense stepped up most of the day. The coaching was excellent. The quarterback was phenomenal. The receivers were open all day.
The hope is that this was not just one game. Even if they don’t play as well, something similar each week will be more than good enough. Time will tell but for now, the new look Dallas Cowboys look very, very good.