NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 3 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 23, New York Giants 16

East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) tries to pass as Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) rushes during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys moved to 2-0 without Dak Prescott this season, as Cooper Rush led the team to a hard-fought 23-16 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Monday night.

For the second straight week, Rush outperformed a much more highly regarded quarterback, besting Daniel Jones in passing grade (75.4 versus 61.6, on first review)), passing yards (215 versus 196), big-time throws (one versus zero) and yards per attempt (6.9 versus 5.3) Monday night. While the Cowboys' pass protection was able to keep Rush upright all evening, the Giants' pass protection was overmatched against the Cowboys' venomous pass rush.

The Cowboys offense hurt itself with some untimely penalties that killed multiple drives, but it was still able to outgain the Giants while winning the time-of-possession battle.


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Offensive spotlight: He's not going to be mistaken for Patrick Mahomes anytime soon, but Rush continues to do enough to put the Cowboys in position to pick up victories. Ultimately, Rush finished 21-of-31 for 215 passing yards, one touchdown, one big-time throw and most importantly zero turnover-worthy plays. Rush did a great job helping his offensive line by getting the ball out early, finishing with a 2.23 second average time to throw, which is the fourth-quickest time-to-throw among Week 3 quarterbacks with at least five dropbacks.

While Rush performed well, Dallas might've been the real star of the evening, as Tony Pollard finished with 105 rushing yards from 13 carries while Ezekiel Elliott posted 73 rushing yards from 15 carries. While Pollard bested Elliott in terms of rushing grade on first review (78.0 versus 70.8), both backs forced four missed tackles on first review.

Defensive spotlight: Even though Micah Parsons (correctly) received all the attention, DeMarcus Lawrence was the Cowboys pass-rusher who the Giants had no answer for. Even though he missed some time due to a lower-leg injury, the perennially underrated edge defender finished with three sacks and seven total pressures en route to a 90.0-plus pass-rush grade and 25.9% pressure rate on first review. Additionally, Lawrence also recorded three tackles and two stops against the run to round out his performance.

Despite being held sackless, Parsons continued his tear through opposing offensive lines Monday night, as he totaled six pressures, two quarterback hits and a 24.2% PFF pass-rush win rate on first review.

Rookie spotlight: Cowboys first-round pick Tyler Smith stacked another positive performance in pass protection at left tackle on top of his impressive debut at the position against the Cincinnati Bengals, finishing with a 70.0-plus grade while allowing just one pressure across 31 pass-blocking snaps. Additionally, Smith showed off his athleticism as a lead blocker in space for multiple explosive runs.

Offensive line spotlight: The Giants' offensive line stood out in the worst way, as it was charged with three sacks and 16 pressures allowed. Giants tackle Andrew Thomas was the only Giants offensive lineman who graded adequately well, as he allowed just three pressures across 49 pass-blocking snaps.

The Cowboys offensive line, on the other hand, was outstanding — both in the pass- and run-blocking departments. In pass protection, Dallas' offensive line was charged with just pressures allowed across 31 pass-blocking snaps on first review. Right tackle Terence Steele recorded his second-straight game with a 77.0-plus pass-blocking grade on first review, as he didn't allow a single pressure on the evening.

On the ground, Dallas' offensive line paved the way for 5.9 yards per carry and a 30% first down/touchdown rate.


Box Score

Passing
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Cooper Rush 12.4 21 / 31 215 6.9 1 0
New York Giants
Player Fantasy Comp/Att Yds YPA TD Int
Daniel Jones 14.74 20 / 37 196 5.3 0 1
Rushing
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Ezekiel Elliott 14.5 15 73 4.9 1 27
Tony Pollard 13.5 13 105 8.1 0 46
Cooper Rush 12.4 2 -2 -1 0 -1
New York Giants
Player Fantasy Car Yds YPC TD Long
Saquon Barkley 22.6 14 81 5.8 1 36
Daniel Jones 14.74 9 79 8.8 0 17
Richie James 8 1 4 4 0 4
Matt Breida 0.3 1 3 3 0 3
Receiving
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
CeeDee Lamb 22.7 12 8 87 7.2 1
Ezekiel Elliott 14.5 1 1 2 2 0
Tony Pollard 13.5 1 0 0 0 0
Noah Brown 10.4 7 5 54 7.7 0
Peyton Hendershot 7.3 3 3 43 14.3 0
Jake Ferguson 3.3 3 2 13 4.3 0
Simi Fehoko 2.2 1 1 12 12 0
Jalen Tolbert 1.4 2 1 4 2 0
New York Giants
Player Fantasy Tgt Rec Yds YPT TD
Saquon Barkley 22.6 4 4 45 11.2 0
Sterling Shepard 9.9 10 5 49 4.9 0
Richie James 8 5 4 36 7.2 0
Daniel Bellinger 8 5 4 40 8 0
David Sills V 4 4 2 20 5 0
Chris Myarick 1.6 1 1 6 6 0
Kenny Golladay 0 3 0 0 0 0

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