There really was not a whole lot to be happy about after watching the Dallas Cowboys defeat the New York Giants, 24-17, Wednesday night. The performance of Domenik Hixon was something to feel good about. The fact that there are 15 games to play is something to feel good about. Otherwise, not a whole lot.
Today's 'Kudos & Wet Willies' reflect that feeling.
Kudos to ..
Jason Pierre-Paul: The numbers don't show much, just four tackles and a sack. This guy is amazing, though. He made Tyron Smith look bad any number of times.
Domenik Hixon: Three catches for 55 yards, including a brilliant 39-yarder. Yeah, who was the dummy from Big Blue View who didn't think the veteran wide receiver/punt returner was going to make the team? Don't listen to that guy anymore.
Ahmad Bradshaw: He had 17 carries for 78 yards, including a 33-yard run and 10-yard touchdown. During the long stretches of the game where running was impossible you couldn't blame Bradshaw. There was nowhere to go except into the arms of Dallas defenders.
Sean Locklear: Probably the only Giants' offensive lineman who played a solid, consistent football game. He was the guy everybody worried about most entering the game, but Locklear certainly did his job. It was a bunch of the blockers around him who didn't.
Keith Rivers: No huge plays from Rivers, but he had seven tackles and looked like a player. His acquisition from Cincinnati will be a good one for the Giants.
Wet Willies to ..
Victor Cruz: I don't care about the six catches. What I care about are the three drops on easily catchable balls. I care about Cruz saying he "lacked concentration" in the season opener on the big stage with the Giants defending a championship and being in front of a national audience. Cruz can't get caught up in his reputation, in the 'Cruuuuz' chants and in making first-down gestures and all that nonsense. Catch the ball. Make plays. Don't be a show-off.
Justin Tryon: The 34-yard touchdown by Kevin Ogletree wasn't entirely his fault. Antrel Rolle played that ball terribly. Tryon, though, wasn't good at all after he replaced Michael Coe. The Giants need Prince Amukamara healthy -- yesterday.
Corey Webster: He is the Giants' best corner, but please don't tell me is a shut-down guy or a Pro Bowl player. He couldn't defend the out. He couldn't defend the slant. He bit on the double move. He was overmatched by Dez Bryant. The Giants need C-Web to at least be good, and Wednesday night he wasn't.
David Wilson: Fumbled on his second carry and then got the Tom Coughlin treatment. You simply can't cost your team points and stay on the field for a Coughlin-coached team. Not a good beginning at all for the Giants first-round pick.
David Diehl: Left side. Right side. It doesn't matter. Put DeMarcus Ware in front of him and that is bad for the Giants. . Really, there wasn't much push from the offensive line at all, but I guess I'm picking on No. 66.
David Baas: I have to throw Baas in here, as well. I have no idea what the overall numbers are I just know that every time I noticed No. 64 he was getting pushed backwards. The fact that there was no running game has to be impacted by that. This one might not be fair, but it's here.
Henry Hynoski: I watched the goal-line sequence after Michael Boley's interception over and over and over. Twice the Giants tried to run Bradshaw behind Hynoski. I love Rhino, but twice he came up with nothing but air. On the first play, a run right, Hynoski's job is to seal Anthony Spencer. If he does, it's a touchdown. Spencer bounced off Hynoski like he wasn't even there and threw Bradshaw for a loss. The second play, a run left, again has Hynoski leading and hitting no one. This time, he runs right past DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Henry, my friend, you are there to hit somebody. Anybody. Please.
Michael Coe: One pass broken up in the end zone does not make up for the fact that Dallas torched him for most of the night. Yeah, he made five tackles but that is only because the Cowboys kept completing passes in his direction. Not good.
Kwillies to ....
Antrel Rolle: Great play by Rolle on fourth-and-inches in the first quarter to slice through and stop Lawrence Vickers and get the ball back for the Giants. Horrible, horrible play on the 34-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree in the fourth quarter. At first glance, you blame that on Justin Tryon. Upon further review, you watch Rolle -- with over the top responsibility while Tryon was to the outside -- run right past the play and out of the picture. Where in the world did he think he was going?
Eli Manning: An OK game, but not great. Missed a wide-open Domenik Hixon for what could have been a 22-yard touchdown with 3:56 to play. The Giants eventually scored on a 9-yard pass to Martellus Bennett, but the misfire cost them more than a minute that they needed.