It’s not just raining New York Giants Sunday night.
Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard ran into the endzone on a one-yard touchdown run. Jogging. The scoreboard ballooned to 33-0 in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium.
New York had no answer, giving Dallas a perfect platform to capitalize with easy points that widened the gap.
Let’s dive deeper into the analysis with five takeaways:
A game can change pace
New York started with the ball and drove 48 yards on 11 plays (the last of which was a fumbled snap on third down that resulted in a loss of yards). Until the crash, the Giants were unified and confident. Then Graham Cano’s field goal attempt was blocked and Noah Ikpinokane returned it 58 yards for a touchdown.
New York has never been more reunified and optimistic. Dallas never looked back.
Daniel Jones suffers an unforgettable night
Jones signed a four-year, $160 million contract with the Giants this past offseason. That’s $40 million a year. He finished the game with 104 passing yards on 15-of-28 completions, touchdowns and two picks. He was sacked seven times and added 43 rushing yards on 13 attempts. That’s not what a $40 million player should be offering.
Of course, the weather and poor offensive line play weren’t conducive to Jones’ sake, but until he made significant strides as a pocket passer, these signs were evident in previous seasons. It didn’t seem that way in week 1.
Elliott’s post-Ezekiel career is off to a strong start for Dallas
For the first time since 2016, Dallas started a game without Elliott in the backfield. It was time to move on anyway, and they didn’t miss a beat with Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle and Kavonte Durbin getting it done in their respective ways. Pollard, in particular, looked sharp with 70 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns. Durbin also added a rushing touchdown.
Their production made the night a lot easier for Dak Prescott, who didn’t stand out statistically — 13-for-24 passing for 143 yards, touchdowns and no picks — but didn’t need to either.
The Giants’ WR quality is not on display
New York made the playoffs last season with Darius Slayton as its most effective wideout. Slayton recorded 46 catches for 724 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. The Giants needed more to reach the next level, but this loss made it clear that they could be set back.
Darren Waller led the receiving department on the night, but none of that had a significant impact on the game. He had three catches for 36 yards, the next most caught by Isaiah Hodgins with one catch for 24 yards. Yes, that’s not good enough.
The Cowboys’ stellar defense looks Super Bowl-level
Defense wins championships, and Dallas seems to have a capable unit. New York’s offensive line didn’t exactly offer any resistance to the Cowboys’ pressure, but seven sacks and 11 QB hits were nothing to gush over. Not to mention the countless times they knocked the ball out of New York’s hands, even though they didn’t fumble in the wet conditions.
Dallas had eight passes defensed, with Stephen Gilmore accounting for three of his own. Again, the Cowboys defense doesn’t have much to offer, and the real tests will come later, but it’s a promising sign for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.