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Film study: Giants’ first drive vs. Dallas, and back-breaking mistakes

Let’s take one last look back at Giants-Cowboys

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants’ 40-0 home-opening season loss against the Dallas Cowboys is one of the more catastrophic defeats in recent Giants’ memory. There was tangible positive buzz swirling around the Giants, and ostensibly for good reason. New York exceeded expectations in 2022 and added several players through trade and free agency while resigning core contributors from the previous year.

New York’s first real test to prove they were a true contender was at home against the divisional rival Cowboys, and they failed miserably. A few mistakes cascaded into a disaster in front of the Giants’ faithful. Before New York knew it, they were down 16-0.

Quarterback Daniel Jones faced pressure on over 60% of his dropbacks. Dallas individually had 39 pressures, which was more than New York had in both matchups against the Cowboys last season. Jones was sacked seven times and was constantly under duress. The right side of the Giants’ offensive line failed to protect Jones against, not just Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, but Dante Fowler Jr. and Dorance Armstrong.

Because of the pressure, and the resulting poor decision-making, Jones finished 30th in EPA per play; he was just ahead of Josh Dobbs - the quarterback he’s facing this week in Arizona - and the newly-paid signal caller in Cincinnati, Joe Burrow.

The Cowboys overpowered the Giants and landed haymaker after haymaker until most of the reeling fans of New York pulled a Roberto Duran - No Mas.

However, the Giants started the game with an 11-play, 48-yard drive. They moved the football well on the drive and found creative ways to establish the run. I detail that drive, and some plays later in the game, through the video below: