The Dallas Cowboys had their way with the New York Giants’ rebuilt secondary in their 35-17 trouncing of Big Blue, including 405 yards through the air. Dallas had seven pass plays of over 20 yards, including a 45- and a 62-yard completion.
What was eye-popping about the Giants’ performance was the loose coverage and passive approach in defending the Cowboys’ cadre of talented receivers — Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb.
Most of the plays went uncontested, with a Cowboys receiver unfettered in the middle of the field. The Giants only defensed three passes and two of those were by linebackers Lorenzo Carter (who lucked into his play) and Alec Ogletree. Veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins had the other.
“Those are just numbers, man,” Jenkins said of the 494 total yards the Cowboys pinned on the Giants. “This is Week 1. We still have 15 more weeks to go. Numbers are numbers. At the end of the day, we are going out to win the ‘W,’ and we just have to get back to work.”
Much of the damage, as stated above, was done in the middle of the field and there seemed to be some confusion when it came to responsibility. Veteran safety Antoine Bethea was playing his first game in Blue as was his partner, Jabrill Peppers. They were teamed with rookie Deandre Baker and free agent Antonio Hamilton, who is basically on the roster for special teams purposes.
The 35-year-old Bethea says its no time to panic.
“You kind of have to step back and look at the big picture,” Bethea said. “It was like five or six plays. Five or six big plays where they made a play or a miscommunication on our end. We have to go in tomorrow and critique the film. A lot of the stuff we did wrong is correctable.”
Head coach Pat Shurmur, who was animated during the game when he received no satisfaction from the officials on several questionable calls, also did not ring the alarm bells after the game when talking about the defense.
“I think there were some big plays against us in the passing game that we’ve got to – we’ve got to get that rectified, especially against a good team,” Shurmur said. “There were a couple that we’ve got to get closer in coverage. I’ll look at it. I’ve got an idea of what happened, but I want to make sure I see it before I follow-up with a full answer.”
Even a bad team would have exposed them on Sunday. They appeared timid, giving the Dallas receivers a 8-10 yard cushion and then with the poor communication, were in reaction mode all game. This is supposed to be an attack defense. We did not see any signs of that mantra at play down in Big D.