Week 9 brings the Dallas Cowboys come into New York Giants stadium needing a win against a playoff contender. Cowboys, at 5-3 go up against a really tough Giants team, at 6-1, with back up quarterback Brad Johnson leading the Cowboys for the third week in a row. Giants come into this game with the third best offense in the NFL, and the number one overall rushing offense. Tony Romo, the Cowboys usual starting QB is sitting out because his pussy is aching - or as they tell the NFL, because he has a broken pinky finger on his throwing hand. Compare Romo's injury to Jason Witten, the Cowboy's all-star tight end, who is the NFC's top receiver, who came into the game with a broken rib. Cowboys have a bye next week, and pussy Romo should be coming back for their game in two weeks. Offense
Giants start the game exactly the way they ended it - absolutely walking over the Cowboys. Giants opening drive ended with a nice 13-yard touch down to Eli Manning's big tight end, Kevin Boss. The Giants attack was relentless, and everyone was involved. Eli Manning had a solid game, with three touch downs in the first half (only the second time of his career). Really, the only blemishes on Manning's day was a pass in the first half to Plaxico Burress, where they were not on the same page, which meant rookie corner back Mike Jenkins was able to run back an easy interception for a TD, and a play in the second quarter where the ball just slipped out of his hand, where the Cowboys recovered on the Giants 16. Not like that play mattered though, since two plays later, the Cowboys Terrell Owens was stripped by defensive back Antonio Pierce, and the Giants recovered. While I really don't like Terrell Owens, I will give him some credit and mention that this was his first fumble as a Cowboy, and his first fumble since 12/12/04.
Brandon Jacobs ran really hard today, with a 12-yard touch down run giving him his 7th TD of the year, along with a big 31-yard gain, which took him to his 8th career 100+ yard rushing game (3rd of this season). The Cowboys defense was simply way too undisciplined, and played like they had no heart - both Jacobs and Derrek Ward ran all over them, including a 17-yard touch down run where Ward went virtually untouched. Amani Toomer, in his 13th season in the NFL, caught his 52nd career touchdown, and 2nd of this season. Steve Smith had a decent game for the Giants as well, including his first TD of his career.
It is tough to make this review seem not so one-sided, but that is simply how the game was. Marion Barber, the Cowboys starting RB, is one of my favorite players to watch, but even he was quite for nearly the entire game. Main reason with Barber being so non-existent is that Felix Jones, the Cowboys other explosive back, is injured, and without Romo starting at QB, the Giants really did not have to worry much about any passing game. Barber's only memorable rush was a nice 16-yard burst, but he did not have his usual dominance.
The Cowboys offense only scored 7 points today, but even that drive was too little, too late. That touchdown came off of the Cowboys' only real drive of the game, which ended early in the fourth quarter, being capped off by Terrell Owens' 137th touchdown catch (he is #4 on the all-time list). Just to give you an idea of how bad it was for the Cowboys offense - before this drive, they had 72 total yards - this drive alone was 75 total yards. Jason Witten is arguably the best tight end in football today, but you could not tell with his performance today. Not like I am going to fault a guy playing with a broken rib, but he definitely did not his usual high-caliber play.
The Giants defensive line was brutally relentless, led by Justin Tuck having his way with the Cowboys offensive line. Tuck ended the game with two and a half sacks. Brad Johnson throws a terrible pass intended for Terrell Owens, which Corey Webster picks off for his second interception of the season, and his first interception of the game. Webster does not finish there, as he picks off Johnson again, who forced a ball in for Jason Witten, who was triple-covered.
After such horrible play from Johnson in the first half, the third string quarterback for the Cowboys, Brooks Bollinger, starts the second half. For his first pass play, Bollinger throws a really under-thrown pass, intended for Jason Witten, which is easily picked off by James Butler of the Giants. In addition to that first pass from Bollinger, he had two passes that went right through the hands of the Giants secondary, which should have been interceptions.
Absolutely poor tackling by the Cowboys all game, especially in the second half. Cowboys had six defensive penalties in the first half, which is not the way you want to start a game against a team as powerful as the Giants. While the Cowboys did get some pressure on Manning early, it was merely a fluke, as the Cowboys defense was practically non-existent. DeMarcus Ware, on the Cowboys defensive line was literally the only player on the Cowboys defense that seemed to give a shit about winning. Cowboys defense had to be completely exhausted by the end of the game, with the huge time of possession advantage the Giants held. The time of possession edge the Giants held was 20:57 versus 9:03 for the Cowboys.
Although the Giants only beat the Cowboys 35-14, the game was never a contest. To say the Giants merely put a beat down on the Cowboys is an understatement. This was the most pathetic I have seen the cocky Cowboys play this season, or even in recent memory. Today, the Cowboys fans had to be embarrassed, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The Cowboys will need to get some changes in place before they meet the Redskins and Steelers, or they might be looking at the 2009 for actually making the playoffs. America's team got it up the butt, with no lube, and a sandpaper condom. The Giants, on the other hand, are putting themselves in a very good position to look seriously at back-to-back titles. Agreeably, it is still very early in the season to make those kind of projections, but the Giants are simply playing at a higher level than the rest of the league.