The Cowboys Take Their First Step toward the Super Bowl

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Week one of the NFL is full of hopes and dreams for players, coaches, and fans. Everyone starts out with a clean slate and a perfect record staring them in the facemask.

Then the games start.

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are two of the NFL’s most storied franchises and rivalries. It seems more and more frequently, they meet to start the season and who wins often has the better season. That doesn’t mean the games are easy as they’re division opponents, and division opponents are the toughest any team can face.

Here are six takeaways from the latest chapter between these rivals to open the NFL’s 100th season.

In no particular order:

  • Shaquan Barkley hasn’t slowed down. After demonstrating he was truly a generational talent in his rookie season, Barkley started 20 19 off with a 50 yard scamper on his second carry. He’d finish the game with 120 yards on 11 carries.
  • Dak Prescott looked as good as advertised as he shredded a porous Giants’ defense. With his supporting cast playing outstanding, he threw for a career high in the first half (256 yards) and finished 25/32 for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.
  • The Giants’ defense is still as bad or worse than last season. Not to take anything away from Prescott or the rest of the Cowboys, but the Giants’ secondary looked lost for most of the game and their pass rush was nonexistent. After revamping the unit in the offseason, this was not the way they wanted or expected to start the season.
  • In his first game back from retirement, Jason Whitton had 3 catches for 15 yards and an early touchdown. While the Cowboys fans loved seeing him score, they also showed their appreciation for him for giving him the loudest welcome of all the Cowboys when the teams were announced.
  • Ezekiel Elliot wasn’t a factor running the ball. With only 13 carries for 53 yards, Elliott scored the Cowboys’ final touchdown on a 19 yard run. While he didn’t carry or receive the ball a lot, his presence forced the Giants to play close to the line of scrimmage, allowing the Cowboys’ receivers to run rampant through the Giants’ secondary.
  • Pat Shurmur and other coaches may not fully understand the challenge rules. During the final two minutes of the first half, Shurmur tried to challenge a play that he wasn’t allowed to. While it may be argued he did it to show his team he was fighting for them, it could’ve been a mistake in the heat of battle. But in the second half, there was a interference call he should’ve challenged to keep the drive alive. Instead, they went for it on fourth down and were stopped.

Overall, it was what we’d expect a Super Bowl contender to look like against a rebuilding opponent, especially given it’s week one. Fifteen more chapters to go until we see how everything plays out.

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