Dallas Cowboys had many problems during the match vs. the Giants. One of the main reasons for ‘not so good’ performance was poor running game. Was the problem Ezekiel Elliott? Part of the problem, definitely. He only managed to run 51 yards for 20 runs. His average carry was only 2.5 yards. This came as a real surprise for everyone, the fact that Giants completely and fairly easily stopped Elliott. His longest run of the day was 8 yards, and he only managed it twice. Other runs aren’t worth of mentioning.
On the other hand, Alfred Morris had a better game than Elliott. Was the reason his experience or that defense of New York Giants treated him differently? We actually think that the main reason was Zeke himself. He missed almost entire preseason due to injury, and only managed ten carries during the time he was on. The Dallas Cowboys match vs. the Giants was his first NFL game, and he still has a lot to learn. People thought that he’s gonna be a superstar after just ten preseason carries.
Losing only 20-19, the Sunday’s match was one of those that Cowboys could easily win. Giants roster changed significantly, and while their attack was never the problem the defensive part was. They have strengthened their secondary, and Cowboys were made aware of that.
The Cowboys should have taken a lot more open style of the game. Instead, they played more conservative. Dak Prescott is a good quarterback, but a rookie one. He, just like Elliott had too much hype around him before the game, and the expectations were high. You can’t say he failed to deliver; his calls were good, but he should have done better. The zone-read option was called a few times; he did the running game. Generally, he played very smart but lost in the end. Despite good performance, considering he is a rookie, after all, he needs to do better. Cowboys need to do better.
Dez Bryant, considered one of the main Cowboys assets, was completely out of the game. This is something that must be addressed. Prescott needs to send the ball down the field, and to the hands of Bryant. More risks in his game are necessary. More QB creativity, more passing yards, more touchdowns by Dez and more Ezekiel Elliott, not the one from Giants game but the one we are all expecting him to be.
The offense definitely needs polishing but in a couple of weeks, we will see improvements, no doubt about it. On the other hand, it is the defense that needs to reach whole other level. While defending ‘good’ against the passing game, they were weak versus the running. At moments Giants running backs were splitting Cowboys defense like the hot knife through butter. Bad defensive performance managed to put additional pressure on the offense to succeed but at the end, they didn’t deliver.
In conclusion, both ends must improve if the Cowboys are to have a winning season. They will have a chance to redeem themselves next Sunday against Washington Redskins.