Rush was at his best in the second half, which is when the Cowboys needed him the most. Rush led back-to-back touchdown drives after the Giants took a 13-6 lead in the third quarter, completing 12 of his next 13 passes for 129 yards. Ezekiel Elliott tied it with a touchdown against New York on the first drive, his fifth in a row.
With 8:30 remaining in the second, Rush threw a flawless fade to the corner of the end zone, where receiver CeeDee Lamb made a one-handed grab. Rush and Lamb successfully completed a crucial fourth-and-4 earlier in the drive, and they later connected for a 26-yard pass to the Giants’ 1-yard line. Rush’s final stats, 21-of-31 for 215 yards and a touchdown, weren’t spectacular, but they were sufficient to secure the victory. The only other Cowboys quarterback to have won his first three career games is Rush. Which two others? Roger Staubach, a member of the Hall of Fame, and Jason Garrett, his former head coach, he is only the second quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have scored game-winning drives in all three victories, which came in overtime and the fourth quarter (Virgil Carter).
A promising pattern: the Cowboys have the most sacks in the NFL with 13 through three games. They bugged Daniel Jones all game long on Monday. Everyone is familiar with Micah Parsons. Before suffering a left foot injury against the Giants, DeMarcus Lawrence made his presence known by recording his third career game with three sacks. Six defenders have contributed to the 13 sacks. The Cowboys can wear down an offensive line with their diverse pass rush, which can stay fresh throughout a game.
The eye-popping Lamb was grinning afterward, but a second-quarter slump had to be excruciating for him. He might have scored if he had held onto the Rush pass during a long over. Instead, he made history by becoming the first player this season to miss a wide-open target at least 30 yards down the field. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, he had 6 yards of separation, making it the fourth drop of its kind since 2020. But on the crucial fourth-quarter drive that gave the team the lead, Lamb was outstanding.
He completed a fourth-down pass, gained 26 yards, and then made the one-handed TD catch that got fellow No. 88 Dez Bryant excited in one of the suites at MetLife Stadium. Stuart Archer The Giants had followed this strategy to win the previous two games: keep the score low, generate enough offense in the second half, and eke out a victory. However, Wink Martindale’s defense did not hold up as well this time. The Giants (2-1) were eliminated from the unbeaten group. Right now, the only unbeaten teams are the Miami Dolphins and the division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Even so, New York is still in good shape going into the Chicago Bears game at MetLife Stadium the following week. WR breakdown: Jones didn’t have particularly impressive numbers, but he actually played quite well.
Following wide receiver David Sills’ slip, he completed 20 of 37 passes for 196 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception on the final drive. For the majority of the game, Jones’ legs were the Giants’ best offensive option. Jones had the most first down rushes this season with seven on Monday night. He rushed nine times for 79 yards during the game despite constant pressure. He had 16 rushes for 46 yards as of Monday night. Jones is projected to make 142 attempts at running this season, which puts this into perspective. Jalen Hurts of Philadelphia led all quarterbacks in rushing attempts last year with 139. The Giants have failed to score a touchdown in the first half of this season, which is a troubling trend.
The Giants scored nine points in each of their first three games. They are constantly adjusting, according to coach Brian Daboll’s statement from last week. But no matter what the Giants tried this week, it was unsuccessful. However, the halftime adjustments have been admirable. In the second half of its last three games, New York has scored 46 points. Raanan Jordan An unappreciated fact to be aware of: On 24 dropbacks, Jones came under pressure and spent the entire night running for his life. It was the most pressure he had ever experienced in his four-year career; the most this season for a quarterback; and the second most in the previous two seasons. Evan Neal, a rookie right tackle, had a difficult game in pass protection.
Lawrence single-handedly beat Neal for three sacks, and Neal also made a crucial false start on the game’s final drive. No problem, Dak. In his second game as a starter in 2022, Cooper Rush performed admirably. He completed 21 of 31 passes for 215 yards and a crucial touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb that helped the Cowboys surpass the Giants midway through the fourth quarter. Rush has proven he can take the reins while Dak Prescott recovers by handling the enormous responsibilities of a Cowboys starting quarterback with poise through two games. The Cowboys were able to outgain the Giants by more than a yard per play thanks to his performance, and his string of completions on the aforementioned touchdown drive, including a strike to Lamb to convert a fourth-and-4, helped the Cowboys to a significant victory early in the season.
We’ll leave the absurd quarterback controversy debate for Twitter users to have in the coming days, and in its place, we can acknowledge that Rush has undoubtedly greatly benefited from his performance over the past two games. Dallas’s result is 2-1. The Giants’ line continues to have issues. Daniel Jones played fairly well (aside from his final attempt, which was caught by Trevon Diggs; the statistics don’t reflect this). Jones appeared to be the quarterback Giants supporters had hoped he would develop into in recent years. He was calm, and despite the fact that some of his attempts came a little too slowly, he still let loose all night. Unfortunately, neither those tasked with protecting him nor his receivers frequently did him any favors on the other end of his passes.
Jones did not cause this defeat; rather, the offensive line gave up QB pressures on a startling 40.5 percent of Jones’ dropbacks on Monday night. Jones was literally under pressure for a large portion of the game, took five sacks, and still managed to keep the Giants in the game.
He simply never had enough time to settle down, which is more indicative of New York’s present state. Although defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s target, rookie tackle Evan Neal, won’t want to watch this tape, it will be an important learning tool for the first-round pick. Saquon has returned! Through three weeks (+112), Saquon Barkley is the only running back to surpass expectations among running backs, trailing only Lamar Jackson across all positions. On Monday night, Barkley gained 27 of that RYOE total, including +31 on his 36-yard touchdown run. For Giants supporters, that play was a long time coming.
They had to wait years for Barkley to get back to the form that led to his selection as the second overall pick in 2018. Barkley is showing the burst, agility, change of direction, and top speed that once made him popular throughout the NFL. He also appears to be healthy and capable of making a weekly difference for this Giants offense. Of course, coming during a contract year, the timing is ideal. The Giants will undoubtedly benefit from his contributions in every game if he can stay healthy throughout the entire season.
Rushing attack by Dallas: back again. Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott deserve a tip of the 10-gallon hat for their combined 28 carries for 178 yards and one touchdown. They created a ground attack that controlled the game and enabled Dallas’ offense to move the ball steadily all night long. Their efforts perfectly insulated Rush. Penalties hindered their offensive goals, but Elliott came through in a couple of crucial short-yardage situations on a drive that culminated in an Elliott touchdown that tied the game at one yard.
The Rush had opportunities to advance the ball down the field because the New York defense was kept on its toes by the threat of the run. It was especially helpful on the drive that resulted in the game-winning touchdown, and Jason Peters’ substitution at left guard is largely to blame for that. On third-and-12 in the first half, Dallas called a toss left and easily gained a first down on an Elliott run of 27 yards. While Elliott isn’t the same home run hitter as in years past, the one-two punch of Pollard and Elliott can be a real weapon for Dallas if it keeps blocking this well up front — regardless of who is playing quarterback.
Cowboys are an elite team
This is what made the Cowboys an elite team early in Elliott’s career. Dallas’ Micah Parsons is not the only player on Dallas’ defense. Although the second-year linebacker is a true game-breaker, Demarcus Lawrence’s night on Monday was truly his. Lawrence’s alignment was changed for the majority of the game, which caused problems for the offensive line of New York, which Lawrence took advantage of by recording three sacks and four pressures.
With the help of Dorance Armstrong (four pressures, one sack), Parsons and Armstrong combined for a total of eight pressures on Jones throughout the course of the game. Diggs’ diving interception at the end of the game sealed the victory for Dallas, capping a night that should make Quinn proud of his team’s consistent ability to make a difference. In the coming weeks, it will be much more important.