In Do-or-Die Game Dallas Cowboys Show Up DOA

Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

With their season on the line, the Dallas Cowboys played one disgusting first half.

Things started okay when the Dallas Cowboys won the toss and decided to defer to the second half, which is a smart decision not always used in Dallas in the past.

After that things went quickly south as these are the first half numbers:

Total Yds
Yds Per Play
Yds Per Pass
Yds Per Rush

The Giants were able to march 78 yards for a touchdown on their first possession.  This was the first touchdown the Giants have been able to score in the first half of their last 5 games, and it took only 6 plays to accomplish that feat against the Dallas defense.

In fact, the Giants offense has been absurdly bad these past five games under new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and 2nd year starter Daniel Jones.  In the past 4 games the Giants have managed to score 0, 0, 3, and 3 points in the first half.  By the time they had played 30 minutes against the Dallas defense, they had scored 20.

Daniel Jones, a career 6.5 yards per attempt passer, finished the first half with 10.0 yards per attempt.  He had 150 yards on 15 throws with 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.  He had a 138.9 passer rating that first half, which was 70.4 points higher than Andy Dalton’s.

The Cowboys received the ball and were unable to do anything, gaining 15 yards (5 of which came on a defensive penalty) before punting.  This means the Cowboys finish the season having never scored an opening drive touchdown.

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The Cowboys actually wouldn’t score a touchdown on any of their seven 1st quarter possessions.  In their first 5 drives they had amassed 29 total yards on 21 plays (1.4 yards per play).  They were also 0-5 on 3rd downs at that point.

The Cowboys would somehow score 3 different times (all field goals) during the 1st half and finish with 113 yards because the last 2 drives of the half both netted field goals and combined for 84 yards gained.  The fact that they even scored 3 times was unbelievable, because their first scoring drive was only 6 plays and 7 yards following a Giants fumble.

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Shockingly, there were 3 other instances when the Cowboys had less yards in a first half this season: the first game vs. Washington (108), the first game vs Philly (92), and the game at Cincy (108).  Only one time this season did they score less points in a half – that was the game against the Cardinals when Dallas’ only 3 points of the game came in the first half.

For a team that supposedly was going all-out to keep their playoff hopes alive, both the offense and the defense were absent in the first 30 minutes.  At the worst possible time they reverted to the bad post-Dak team Dallas Cowboys fans had become accustomed to seeing.

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The question is, which team was the real Dallas team?  The team that forced the most turnovers the past 4 games of the season and were riding a 3-game winning streak? Or the team that came out flat and unprepared against one of the worst teams in the NFC?

  • Published on 01/04/2021 at 12:30 PM
  • Last updated at 01/04/2021 at 09:07 AM