The New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-7 thanks to a dominating performance from their defense.
It may not have been pretty, but all victories count the same. The play of the game was made by the offense when in the third quarter when Eli Manning connected with Odell Beckham Jr. on a slant route that he took 61 yards for the game winning touchdown. Though, the story of this game was how dominant the New York Giants defense was.
There were questions about how the Giants defense would fare going up against a team on an eleven game win streak without their star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. But the Giants defense put on their best performance of the year and shutdown the Cowboys’ offense. With the win, the Giants swept the season series from the Cowboys for the first time since 2011, and clinched their first winning season since 2012.
If you were giving out game balls for this win, you could give one to every member of the Giant defense because it was a total team effort.
They held the Cowboys offense to convert just one out of fifteen third down attempts, and held them to just 260 yards of total offense. Whenever the Giants needed their defense to step up, they delivered.
They were able to get consistent pressure on quarterback Dak Prescott, sacking him three times and forced several errant throws. Prescott completed just 17 out of 37 passes for 165 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott did gain 107 yards on 24 carries, but he didn’t have a run longer than 15 yards. The Giants defensive front of Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison, Johnathan Hankins and rookie Romero Okwara did more than just hold their own against the best offensive line in football. Okwara, who started in place of Pierre-Paul, had a team high eight tackles and a sack.
As well as the Giants defensive front was, their secondary was even better. Safety Landon Collins was making plays all over the field, and Leon Hall came away with a key interception in the third quarter while playing free safety. The Giants’ cornerbacks, particularly Janoris Jenkins, played their best game of the season. Just as he did in their week one matchup, Jenkins completely shut down Dez Bryant and had a key interception early in the fourth quarter. The only pass Bryant caught against Jenkins resulted in a fumble that Landon Collins recovered on the Cowboys’ second to last drive.
With his performance, don’t be surprised if Jenkins is named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
Next up for the Giants is their final home game of the regular season against the (9-4) Detroit Lions. The New York Giants have a chance winning 10 games for the first time since 2010.