The Cowboys were able to get their first win of the 2018 NFL season with an impressive performance against the New York Giants. Dak and company started off with a quick strike and then played strong defense the rest of the way.
What was awesome is how aggressive Dallas was in the first quarter. Not only did they try to air it out, but Tavon Austin was involved early. Prescott hit him on a beautiful 64 yard strike which was very refreshing to see. Now were there some areas of concern? Yes, but should we harp on them? Probably not, but they are worth a mention.
Let’s take a look at some of the good and bad from the Sunday night game:
- The Cowboys offense stalled again. They did wonderful on that first drive but really struggled for most of the game. This team might have gotten away from the Giants in this one, but they cannot keep playing like this if they want to get into the post season.
- End of half and end of game defense was not very aggressive. I’m not happy with how the defense started looking like they were letting up. Engram was wide open on a touchdown late in the game. Also the Giants scored a field goal within the final 5 minutes of the second quarter.
- Sean Lee injured was injured again. Yes he did come back onto the field, but I’m not sure how much longer Lee is going to be on the field. This is all too common and was one of the reasons the Cowboys didn’t want to pay big money to Demarco Murray in the day. The difference is they have paid Lee and could possibly regret it.
- Prescott cannot throw under pressure. This is a cause for concern. Prescott will face pressure all season. He has to play under more control when he does feel this pressure. Sunday night I saw some erratic throws which he will need to make for this team to really be dynamic this season.
- Finally for the bad, the team had a very tough time establishing the run. Elliott cannot run up the middle. Dallas is going to have to find something in a strong or I formation set. Maybe even a power set. Elliott needs space and the big guys up front cannot provide it right now up the middle.
- Ezekiel Elliott played well. He didn’t break 100 yards rushing but he looks really good this season. There were a few times that Zeke turned a negative play into a no loss or positive. Hopefully he doesn’t wear down too soon or too early in the year.
- The defense was freaking awesome Sunday night. I’m loving what we have on this side of the ball. Not only are they able to bring the heat, they are playing with some swagger. Now if they can start forcing turnovers then we have something special in the making.
- Brett Maher showed up and showed up big. Maher hit his two field goals with pristine accuracy. Plus he didn’t miss an extra point. In a week where kickers were trying to lose their jobs, Maher did a great job keeping the Dan Bailey comments at bay.
- Aggressive play calling was fun to watch. Dallas did tend to get slightly carried away with it but man was it fun to watch for a little bit. Dak with the run pass option, Linehan dialing up some plays for Prescott to launch it. Yes, the team did miss some plays and Prescott looked to get too carried away. But it was refreshing to watch the offense not look highly predictable.
- Finally, our wide receivers balled out man. Gallup, Beasley, Austin, Deonte, etc. played incredible. This might seem like an overstatement, but it is true. Prescott was able to place the ball where it was catchable and these guys delivered. If they keep making plays like this then we have a group that will be trustworthy, along with being low cost and low maintenance.
After a pretty decisive win in week 2. The Cowboys will be tested by one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Russell Wilson. Worried? Yep, but not too concerned. This will be a big time game in Seattle too so the 12th man will play a huge role. Let’s see if we get a Cowboys team that looks to build on week 2, or a Cowboys team that will be more Jekyll and Hyde this whole season.