Jan 1, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) unloads pass before Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Anthony Spencer (93) gets to him at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Dallas Cowboys 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Dallas Cowboys vs. NY Giants: Grades for All 3 Units


I re-watched the Dallas Cowboys beating the New York Giants with the aid of the All-22 when necessary and came up with grades using a very simple -1, 0, or +1 scale.

My Rating System:

Not all plays that are a “win” for any said player is a +1, it has to be a good to great play, ditto for “bad plays”. For defensive players this includes: beating a block and making a tackle for no more than a short gain, deflecting a pass, and pressuring the QB. For offensive players: forcing a missed tackle, successfully blocking a defensive linemen and having the RB run off you (this means no blockers were between the player and the RB), blocking a DE one on one for a long period of time, or making a difficult throw/catch. This system clearly does not accurately display how some players played, but to do that perfectly would be almost impossible. Thus I am going to leave it up to you to weigh individual plays how you want to, these grades are simply = good plays – bad plays, with all such plays weighted equally. It is more of an efficiency measure than anything. The actual excel file is far too big to include here, so here is a link to it, it includes what happened on every bad/good play.

Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) runs in for touchdown against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Dallas Cowboys defeat the New York Giants by a score of 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

 EDITOR’S NOTE: Our apologies for the size of the following chart.

 

Player

Good plays

Bad plays

Grade

Ogletree

6

0

6

Spencer

7

2

5

Ware

6

1

5

Phillips

5

0

5

Smith

9

5

4

Hatcher

4

1

3

Bryant

3

0

3

Austin

3

0

3

Bernadeu

5

3

2

Jones

2

0

2

Carter

2

1

1

Brent

1

0

1

Lissemore

1

0

1

Hanna

1

0

1

Vickers

1

0

1

Coleman

1

0

1

Murray

2

2

0

Lee

2

2

0

Witten

3

4

-1

Livings

1

2

-1

Parnell

0

1

-1

Costa

0

1

-1

Church

0

1

-1

Sensabaugh

0

1

-1

Free

3

5

-2

Carr

1

3

-2

Scandrick

0

2

-2

Romo

4

8

-4

Claiborne

0

-6

-6

Quarterback

Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) rolls out during the first half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

 

 

Before you all go mad about Tony Romo’s grade, remember I have weighted all good and bad plays evenly, A breakdown of Romo’s graded plays : 5 innacurate/missed throws, a bad interception, a dropped interception, a delay of game (there was another delay of game that appeared to be on the center, so I graded no one for the play), two difficult throws, and two plays where he forced missed tackles. I would say he played well, but not great. If you disagree, please leave your comments.

 

Wide Receiver

Pick Kevin Ogletree in all your Fantasy Leagues! I’m actually serious. Last year Laurent Robinson put up gaudy numbers going up against 3rd and 4th corners because of the other threats on the Dallas Cowboys offense. There is no reason why Ogletree can’t do something similar. In terms of real life football, you could argue that his stats are extremely misleading. All he had to do was run slants that were defended terribly (seriously, after the first 2 or 3 times you’d think they’d adjust), and up and go that Webster completely bit on, leaving him wide open, and what was actually a really nice short TD catch. So out of all those ONE good play, and the rest easy catches. I will say this, he was reliable, which counts or something, but don’t go overboard thinking he’s the next great Cowboys WR.

Miles Austin looked healthy and Dez Bryant was solid, both made big plays at critical times.

Tight End

Aug 15, 2012; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna (84) at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

John Phillips blocked like Martellus Bennett did last year. Jason Witten was a victim of gameplan,  i.e. take what they will give you – which was Ogletree. Although he did have couple of penalties, I am in love with rookie James Hanna as a player. The way he runs routes and catches the ball reminds me of Jimmy Graham. He had a catch on a quick out where the linebacker wasn’t even close to keeping up with him.

Offensive Tackle

Tyron Smith played well in my mind. Jason Pierre-Paul is an absolute beast and I’d say he more than held his own. He gave up 3 pressures according to profootballfocus.com but I only had him for one. They do a great job so they may be right, but I was watching closely and if I did miss any, then they would be quite minor. Smith had NINE good plays, and was absolute beast run blocking.

Doug Free had his fair share of struggles, but there were also numerous occasions where he held Tuck and Osi at bay on seven step drops, overall he was not too bad.

Secondary

Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive back Brandon Carr (39) stops the pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon (87) during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. Dallas won 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

 

Note: obviously these grades will not favor cover players as I cannot give +1 for covering a player well and not getting targeted. The whole secondary played lights out, rookie first rounder Morris Claiborne was beaten quite a lot on underneath stuff but nothing big. Although he did look very suspect in run defense, hopefully that’s not a trend. Brandon Carr was Revis-like, the safety’s each had a missed tackle, but both were near the LOS and didn’t matter much. Slot corner Orlando Scandrick played ok, although he was beaten a couple times. Mana Silva got on the field for 22 (39%) snaps, as mentioned above, and wasn’t graded, a nice performance.

 

Linebacker

Sept 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

The linebacker’s were great, OLB’s DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer dominated; Ware had two sacks and Spencer made 2 good plays after the Giants had 1st and goal inside the Cowboys’ 10 yardline. ILB’s Sean Lee and Bruce Carter looked good in the run game and didn’t get targeted much in the passing game, which is a win. Dan Connor only played 4 snaps, this shouldn’t change.

Defensive Line

Sept 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is sacked by Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher (97) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

DE Jason Hatcher looked really good rushing the passer, and he made a couple plays against the run as well. Sean Lissemore’s one good play was beastly, he threw his man aside as if he was a toy. DE Kenyon Coleman went round Diehl on the speed rush one play as if he was Ware, which tells you all you need to know about Diehl. DT Josh Brent made a nice play against the run also. One caveat on the whole front seven’s performance: the Giants o-line gets terrible grades from PFF and they were the last ranked rushing team in the NFL last year – they are terrible folks.

Interior Offensive Line

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The new backup center, Ryan Cook, was not graded as having any good or bad plays. Spend a whole game watching the center on every play, this is not an important position folks. I don’t know how hard the line calls and the protections are, but lets judge how important the NFL thinks centers are – going off of Wikipedia, there was one center taken in the first three rounds of the 2012 draft, in the second round. The Dallas Cowboys could be fine with David Arkin at center.

As for the guards, all of OG Nate Livings graded plays were barely gradeable, he mostly was unnoticeable. Mackenzy Bernadeu for the most part played really well, lots of good run blocks.

Special Teams

Aug.1, 2012; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys punter Chris Jones (6) takes a kick during training camp drills. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

 

Chris Jones quietly had a really nice day punting the ball, Dan Bailey made one out of one easy field goals, and there were no special teams coverage gaffes. Nothing to see here folks.

Overall, the Dallas Cowboys gave a great performance that shocked many, me not included. The most encouraging parts were the O-Line holding up against a good defensive front, the secondary, but also Bruce Carter. The one thing that was surprising was how dominant the defense was overall, and how well Carter played. Albeit in a small sample size, he was not good in the preseason, hopefully he can continue this fine form. Go Cowboys!

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  • californy

    I at least like your attempt at some type of grading system. I guess you and I saw a couple of differnt games. I though Living and Tyron play worst that you gave them credit for. There was one play I wanted to point out that Tyron didnt make or make that you might of missed. It was the 4-1 that The Cowboys went for. Tyron instead of hitting his man, he stood up and tried to push in the charging tackle who was playing nose on the Guard. First of all he was late, to high to make an impact. When he was doing this his man sneak around him and grab the Running back legs and kept him from really going air borne. Initially I was blaming Parnell, but it was the CB who beat Tyron to the punch.
    I also saw the game twice, well amost twice I stop at the 10 minute part of the third quarter. I was concentrating my effort on the Center play. The Center in my oppinion out played most of the OL. There was only one point that I saw the center being beat, that was on the Romo interception, when Romo couldnt step into the pocket. It was Pierre Paul who beat the Center.
    I dont know how you view the false start, I view them as the player being beaten. The player is cheating and trying to get an advantage on his player. I could be wrong about this but I counted Tyron with at least 2 false starts, i dont recall if he had any holds that he got called on. I did see him go for the neck on one play where he didnt get called. I remember PP beating him when Romo excaped to his right step into the pocket to throw a TD to Ogletree.
    The part i saw from the line most of the time is the absence of any running lane. The OL was not able to move their player and Romo and Murray had to find other routes to make their play.

  • californy

    You can be serious about David Arkin as a Center. I dont even consider him a Guard at this time either. David Arkin is not even good enough to suite up on Game day. The play of the center in this game was really like non existant, but the key to his success was not giving up negative plays

  • californy

    I cant believe you said Tony Romo didnt play great. First of all I am not the fan of The QB, I dont think you need to keep prasing his play all day. I too saw Tony bad mechanics on two poor passes, one to Felix and the other to Witten. But if it wasnt for Tony legs and his ability to excape the pressure we would not of scored in this game. I seen at least 3 plays where Tony scrambled to avoid the sack, and on those play he connected for big yardage.

  • boysteamusa

    The way you have rated here is ridiculous. Clearly players contributed far more than what your grading system has recorded. Tony Romo -4, are you kiddin? Ogletree gets 6 and Romo who got him the ball does not? Cmon, pretty silly.

    • Ben Fitzgerald

      If that was your interpretation of what I wrote then I doubt its worth explaining to you why your wrong.

  • Fran

    If you think Tyron Smith “more than held his own” against JPP I don’t know what to tell ya. JPP did basically whatever he wanted against him, and I’m not sure I saw Smith actually block JPP the entire game…maybe once.

    • Ben Fitzgerald

      I don’t know what game you were watching, but Smith had plenty of good blocks against him in the run game and did ok against one of the best pass-rushers in the league.