The Dallas Cowboys are still upset from last year apparently. Playing the role of “party poopers” the Cowboys defeat the New York Giants 24-17 on opening night of the NFL in the Meadowlands last night. A night that had everything from a musical group “No Doubt” reunion to a stellar banner ceremony honoring the Super Bowl champion Giants, who officially began their title defense.
Dallas had revenge on their minds after being eliminated from playoff contention last year at the hands of the Giants and it was so much sweeter after the emergence of receiver Kevin Olgetree and running back DeMarco Murray as they led the Cowboys to the win. Murray rushed for 129 yards including a couple of big gains in the second half while Olgetree exploited the Giants lack of depth in the secondary for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Tony Romo recovered from a shaky start to finish with 307 yards passing and three touchdown tosses.
Other that the amazing game by Olgetree and company, the Cowboys defense played an awesome game start to finish. Dallas’ defense frustrated Eli Manning and his offense with three sacks and a half-dozen pressures, all before the largest crowd at MetLife Stadium for a Giants game.
“We let them know where we are as a defense, and that we’ll play that way every week,” DeMarcus Ware said after getting two sacks to give him 101 1/2 for his career, now in its eighth season.
Manning finished with a pedestrian 213 yards and a touchdown as a result of the Cowboys relentless pressure. Recievers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, where stifled by corners Morris Clairborne and Brandon Carr as they were held to a combined 10 catches and 96 yards. Cruz was targeted 11 times last night and dropped four key passes from Eli.
The Cowboys receivers Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Olgetree, continuly abused the Giants thin secondary. The absence of Terrell Thomas who was lost for the year with another blown out knee and second year corner Prince Amukamara forced the Giants to start Michael Coe. Coe did a decent job matching up against Miles Austin who was shut out most of the game. Coe suffered a hamstring injury in the second half which lead to the Giants using Justin Tyron who was recently cut by the Indianapolis Colts. From that point on, it became the “pick on Tyron” gameplan as the Cowboys capitialized.
Though its only one game and the first game of season, the weight of this game was heavy given the amount of trash talking exchanged between the two teams throughout the offseason. Coach Tom Coughlin took the loss in stride. “Take a bite out of humble pie, that’s basically what it is,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “It brings you right back down to earth.”
The Giants can only hope that next week’s matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will produce better results as they believe Prince will be game ready. They could use them as they face a revamped offense that includes receivers Mike Williams, Vincent Jackson and rookie running back Doug Martin.