NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 21, New York Giants 6

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) intercepts a pass in the endzone intended for New York Giants wide receiver Kenny Golladay (19) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Giants fall to the Cowboys, 21-6, on Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in East Rutherford. Nyg Vs Dal

The Dallas Cowboys trounced the New York Giants 21-6 in Week 15. The Cowboys' defense forced four turnovers and eliminated any semblance of a Giants offensive attack, while Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott did just enough offensively to ease his team to the win.

The Cowboys improved to 10-4 in the season and are now in firm control of the NFC East, while the Giants fell to 4-10 in what has become another lost season.

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Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback

Dak Prescott went 28-of-37 for just 217 yards and a touchdown, registering his second-lowest average depth of target (5.8) so far this season. Only 35.1% of Prescott’s attempts traveled past the first-down marker, his fourth-lowest mark this year.

The former fourth-round pick also produced two turnover-worthy plays, bringing his total to eight over his last three contests, and failed to generate a big-time throw for just the fourth time all season.

Prescott did find limited success in play action, completing eight of his 12 attempts for 71 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys ran the concept a season-high 32.5% of the time.

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 6/8 25 87.5% 0
Short (1-9 yards) 20/21 158 95.2% 1
Intermediate (10-19) 2/5 34 60% 0
Deep (20+) 0/1 0 0% 0
Running Back

Ezekiel Elliott out-touched backup Tony Pollard 19-15 yet was outgained 87-72 as Pollard continues to appear the more effective of the two backs. Pollard's three missed tackles led all ball carriers, and the third-year pro accrued 50 yards after contact to Elliott’s 45.

Elliott scored the duo’s lone touchdown, scampering in from 13 yards out midway through the first quarter.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Dalton Schultz hauled in each of his eight targets to finish with a team-high 67 receiving yards and a touchdown. The fourth-year tight end was a matchup problem from the opening snap Sunday, registering the unit’s lone contested catch while coming down with one of the team’s three explosive plays.

Offensive Line

The Cowboys' offensive line was up and down in their performance Sunday, powering a Dallas rushing attack that averaged 4.2 yards per carry while giving up 14 pressures in pass protection.

Starting left guard Connor Williams was the unit’s strongest member in pass protection, finishing as the only starting offensive lineman not to allow a single pressure.

Defensive Line

Dallas’ defensive line achieved relatively consistent penetration Sunday, registering seven pressures and two sacks. Edge defender Demarcus Lawrence continues to make his presence felt in his return from injury, tallying a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry in the victory.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Randy Gregory 27 2 0
Demarcus Lawrence 27 1 0
Neville Gallimore 23 1 1
Dorance Armstrong 20 2 1
Tarell Basham 16 1 0
Linebackers

Keanu Neal led all Dallas defenders with seven tackles, finishing with an average depth of 5.3 yards per tackle. He led a unit that excelled in coverage, conceding just 25 yards and two first downs on two receptions.

Secondary

The Cowboys' secondary effectively eliminated the low-wattage Giants passing attack, surrendering 16 receptions on 31 targets for 148 yards and three interceptions.

Cornerback Jourdan Lewis drew a team-high 13 targets yet allowed just five receptions for 38 yards while forcing three incompletions.

Player Coverage snaps  Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Trevon Diggs 37 1/3 9 2.8
Anthony Brown 37 5/8 60 85.4
Jayron Kearse 36 3/4 22 87.5
Damontae Kazee 32 1/1 15 118.8
Jourdan Lewis 32 5/13 38 14.6

New York Giants

Quarterback

Mike Glennon was again disastrous in relief of usual starter Daniel Jones, completing just 13 of his 24 attempts for 99 yards and three interceptions.

While each of Glennon’s last two starts has been abysmal, Sunday may have been the worst, as the eighth-year pro’s 24.8 passer rating was the second-lowest figure of any quarterback with at least 24 attempts this season. The only success Glennon was able to find was when he found his playmakers in space, as 51.5% of his yards came after the catch.

Glennon was eventually supplanted by Jake Fromm, who was only slightly more effective in mop-up duty. The former fifth-round pick completed six of his 12 attempts for 82 yards, highlighted by a 36-yard strike to receiver Kenny Golladay late in the fourth quarter.

Mike Glennon: Passing by depth

Target Depth Comps./Atts. Yds. Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 3/4 17 75% 0
Short (1-9 yards) 8/13 51 76.9% 0
Intermediate (10-19) 2/3 31 66.7% 0
Deep (20+) 0/4 0 0% 0
Running Back

Saquon Barkley turned 19 touches into 74 total yards and three forced missed tackles to lead all New York ball carriers. Barkley’s eight targets led all Giants, yet he was able to haul in just four for 24 yards.

Barkley's backup, Devontae Booker, logged just 10 touches but accumulated 82 total yards in the defeat. He was incredibly effective as a rusher, averaging an impressive 9.3 yards per carry, including a 31-yard gash on fourth down early in the third quarter.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Kenny Golladay led all New York wide receivers with seven targets, catching three for a team-high 53 receiving yards. Each of Golladay’s receptions came on contested targets.

Evan Engram’s four receptions tied Barkley for the team lead, as the fifth-year tight end accounted for 33 yards and two first downs in the defeat. Engram was Glennon’s go-to target on third down, catching each of his team-high three targets for 26 yards and two first downs.

Offensive Line

The Giants' offensive line thrived in the run game, facilitating a New York rushing attack that averaged an impressive 5.2 yards per carry. The unit was equally stout in pass protection, allowing just nine pressures and one sack.

Defensive Line

New York’s defensive line performed competently in the defeat, accumulating 13 pressures and three sacks while holding Cowboys rushers to an average of just one yard before contact.

Edge defender Lorenzo Carter paced the unit with five pressures, including his first sack of the season.

Player Pass Rushing Snaps Total Pressures Sacks 
Leonard Williams 28 2 0
Azeez Ojulari 26 1 1
Dexter Lawrence 25 4 0
Lorenzo Carter 21 5 1
Linebackers

Tae Crowder led all defenders with 12 tackles, registering an average depth of tackle of four yards. Crowder and his fellow Giant linebackers struggled in coverage, as the unit conceded 11 receptions on 13 targets for 83 yards and five first downs.

Secondary

The Giants secondary performed admirably against the Cowboys' passing attack, surrendering 128 yards and a touchdown on 16 receptions.

Cornerback James Bradberry forced a team-best two incompletions, allowing receptions on four of his team-high six targets for 38 yards.

Player Coverage snaps  Receptions allowed/Targets Yards allowed Passer rating allowed
Xavier McKinney 40 2/2 25 118.8
Jarren Williams 39 4/5 19 82.5
James Bradberry 39 4/6 38 84.0
Logan Ryan 33 4/4 28 135.4
Julian Love 31 1/3 3 42.4
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