There are not many things better than an old fashioned divisional rivalry game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. This past Sunday was a huge statement game for both teams, however, the pressure was primarily on the Giants, who started off the season with an even record of 3-3.
The Giants were hoping to rally and defeat “America’s team” on their home turf this Sunday, but ended up falling short 31-21. The Cowboys have now won six straight games and defeated the Super Bowl defending champs, the Seattle Seahawks, in their previous game.
Dallas got off to a hot start, and ultimately a key difference in the game was the play of running back Demarco Murray. He is currently the NFL’s leading rusher and became the first player in football history to start a season by rushing for at least 100 yards in the first seven games of the season. The Giants rushing defense simply had no answer, and that helped set the tone for Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
It was up to quarterback Eli Manning to turn things around for Big Blue, he threw the ball 33 times, connecting on 21 of those passes totaling for 248 yards and three touchdowns. As of recent, Manning hasn’t been the one causing problems for the Giants. They were short their star wide receiver Victor Cruz who tore his ACL in Philadelphia the previous week, ending his season.
Despite it still being relatively early, the Giants have dropped two straight on the road to NFC East rivals, which is never a good sign for any team—let alone one with a losing record of 3-4 after Sunday.
“We need wins and we need to turn this thing around before we dig ourselves into a deeper hole,” said junior Andrew Caetano. “Eli has been doing his job, the offensive line has been giving him very little protection, and we need Beckham to really be the star of this team right now.”
Odell Beckham Jr., wide reciever, was the Giants first round draft pick back in May although he was sidelined with a hamstring injury for the first four games of the season. So far he has given many Giants fans hope of becoming the next big thing. He currently has 10 catches for 103 yards and three touchdowns in his three games played thus far. However, his role is expected to change due to the loss of Cruz.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo gave the Giants’ secondary some serious trouble by throwing three touchdown passes. In the end, Murray was the difference maker, rushing 28 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. This gave the Cowboys the ability to manage the clock and control the overall pace of the game, which wore down the Giants’ defense.
It is time for the New York Giants to find their identity this week as they rest up on a bye week and prepare for Monday night football against quaterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.