Dallas played a pretty good game against the Giants to start the season off 1-0. This won’t be the toughest game all season, but there are still things that can be taken from this game and used for the future. Here are five things learned from week 1.
1. Kellen Moore can Call Plays
One of the biggest question marks heading into the season was how well Kellen Moore could call plays in his debut season as offensive coordinator. The Giants don’t look like they will have a great defense, but Moore did an exceptional job at calling plays in his first game.
The results are there in any way it can be looked at. They scored 35 points, Dak Prescott looked very comfortable and the Cowboys won the game. He’ll need to get the running game going, but that will likely come. He did have play-action working though, as demonstrated below.
This is why I NEED ALL of the play-action
Linebackers, safety all bite hard a fake, not to Zeke, but to Tony Pollard.
— Tom Downey (@WhatGoingDowney) September 10, 2019
2. Contract-Year Dak Prescott is Great
Again, this is a game against the Giants defense, but Prescott seemed to tune out all of the talk about contracts. He played one of the best games of his career. Prescott was 25 of 32 passing for 405 yards and four touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception. The combination of Moore and Prescott seems to be a good one moving forward.
Reports are that the Cowboys and Prescott could be nearing a deal soon. Each game he plays like this his value goes up, so the Jones family will want to lock him up to a deal soon. Fans will only hope that if he does sign, that he continues to play this well.
3. The Wide Receiver Group Looks Good
There were doubts last season at this time about the wide receiver group, but there aren’t too many concerns anymore. This obviously goes hand in hand with Prescott’s good day, but the trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb can provide plenty of matchup problems in the future.
Gallup led all receivers with seven catches for 158 yards in what looks like could be a promising season. Cooper was solid as well with six receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. Cobb had a productive day with four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown as well. It looks like when the Cowboys go in 11 personnel (one tight end, one running back, three receivers), opposing teams will have too much to worry about.
4. Zeke isn’t Ready for the Full Load yet
Most fans likely knew this coming in, but Elliot did not receive a full workload in week 1. He hadn’t been with the team all preseason and although he was reportedly working out in Cabo, he likely still needs to get up to football shape. Elliot and backup Tony Pollard each had 13 carries against the Giants.
This isn’t a terrible thing for the Cowboys though. They were able to limit his touches in a game they won, which could keep him fresh for a playoff run. Jerry Jones has said he wants Elliot ready for the playoffs and to help this team compete and Elliot will be in better shape to handle the full load of work later in the year.
5. The Defense Will Bend but not Break
The defensive effort for the Cowboys was solid. They limited the Giants to just 17 points, but they did give up a lot of yards. Eli Manning threw for over 300 yards. Saquon Barkley rushed for 120 yards on 11 touches, but the Giants inexplicably stopped giving him the ball. Almost half of his yards came on a 59-yard rush in the first quarter.
For the defense though, the important thing is that they only allowed 17 points. If they can continue to bend, but not break the Cowboys will find themselves back in the playoffs with a chance to compete for a Super Bowl. With the offense looking this good early, the defense should have some pressure off of their shoulders.