After a successful preseason, the New York Giants opened the 2019 regular season against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with expectations that far exceeded what many others across the league were anticipating.
Early on, it appeared as if the Giants would have the last laugh. They forced Dallas to punt on their first series and then drove down the field with relative ease, capping their opening drive, which featured several impressive Saquon Barkley runs, with a one-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Evan Engram.
Unfortunately for the Giants, that would be the high point of the first half.
After being stymied on their first offensive series, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys began to expose many of the Giants’ defensive weaknesses, especially in their young and inexperienced secondary.
In particular, Prescott picked on cornerback Antonio Hamilton, who played about as poorly over two quarters as someone could. He was repeatedly victimized and did little to help himself, missing several key tackles.
Compounding matters, the Giants were unable to generate any pass rush whatsoever, found themselves struggling with fundamentals and cost themselves with several poorly-timed penalties.
In total, the Cowboys put up over 300 yards of offense in the first half, including more than 250 yards and three touchdowns courtesy of Prescott and his various receivers.
At the half, the Cowboys led 21-7 and it wasn’t even that close.
Things got no better for the Giants in the second half as the same issues persisted, highlighted by increasingly poor calls from the officials.
Prescott and the Cowboys continued to have their way with a thin Giants secondary throughout, eventually eclipsing the 400-yard mark through the air and the 500-yard mark total.
Meanwhile, the Giants offense struggled to convert on third down, and key moments seemed to play out without Saquon Barkley getting the necessary touches. It was curious play-calling to say the least, and something head coach Pat Shurmur will have to answer for over the coming week.
In the end, the Cowboys walked away with a 35-17 victory to move to 1-0 on the season, while the Giants fell to 0-1. They will take on the Buffalo Bills (1-0) at MetLife Stadium in Week 2.