After a slow start, the Dallas Cowboys found their rhythm and never looked back in a dominating 35-17 week one win over the New York Giants. In the process, a new franchise record was set and improvements were shown. Here are the four biggest takeaways from today’s game.
1. Dak Prescott
In the midst of a heated contract situation debated widely by critics, Prescott did his part today showing why he deserves his steep asking price. Not only did he lead the Cowboys offense to 499 yards at the time he was pulled and 35 points he also set a franchise record that has stood for over two decades. His 25-of-32, 405 yards, four-touchdown day saw him break Cowboys legend Troy Aikman’s opening day passing record of 362 yards. While it is widely known that the Giants are one of the worst teams in the league it is still a good sign for Cowboys fans to see their franchise quarterback off to a good and quick start.
2. Amari Cooper and Co.
Another Cowboy vying for a payday, Cooper did his part to show why he deserves it hauling in six catches for 106 yards and one touchdown despite still not being 100 percent. However, he wasn’t the only receiver to have a big game. Second-year man Michael Gallup led with 158 yards on seven catches while new acquisition Randall Cobb had a touchdown of his own on four catches. Even the tight ends, Blake Jarwin, and Jason Witten got in on the action with each scoring a touchdown on a combined seven catches for 54 yards. Much like Prescott, this unit quick and efficient start is a good sign moving forward.
3. Kellen Moore
I know it’s only one game but one can help to have a cautious sense of optimism after today’s game. There were more downfield shots, more trust in Prescott and a more balanced rushing attack with both star Ezikel Elliott and rooke Tony Pollard each having 13 carries. The offense was 6 of 10 on third downs and most importantly 2-of-2 in the redzone with both trips resulting in touchdowns, a refreshing change. It looks like the conservative play-calling days of Scott Linehan are gone and a new more aggressive offense is emerging. A refreshing change.
4. Defensive Woes
Despite playing strong down the stretch the opening drive was nothing to be happy about. After safety Xavier Woods forced the first fumble of Saquan Barkley’s career they proceeded to allow a 59-yard gashing run en route to allowing a touchdown. They also allowed tight end, Evan Ingram, to snag 11 catches for 116 yards and one touchdown and despite consistent pressure allowed Giants quarterback Eli Manning to go 30-of-44 for 306 yards and one touchdown. On top that the unit notched just one sack and allowed 470 yards. For the Cowboys to have any type of success against the upper echelon teams in the league the unit has to improve and improve quickly.