Overview: The Giants scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and led the ball game, 21-10, at the half.
QB Eli Manning was hot (14/16 for 191 yards and 2 TDs) and rookie WR Odell Beckham was putting on a show, reeling in all eight of his targets for 125 yards, including a one-handed TD grab for the ages. But in the second half, they came out flat, like they've done so many games this season.
After two three-and-outs, they drove the ball down to the Dallas 18 and were in position to score. Manning had WR Preston Parker in the clear, but threw the pass a tad too high. Parker got a hand on it, deflecting it to Dallas safety Barry Church for an INT. They would only get the ball back three more times, scoring once, but the opportunity to put the game away had already past.
Efficiency-wise, they went 11-16 (69%) on third downs, 0-1 on fourth down and 3-for-4 in the red zone.
Overall Grade: B
QB: Manning had a stellar first half, hitting his targets with precision. He was almost as good in the second. Sans the pass to Parker, and a missed opportunity to a wide open Beckham down the left sideline, he played winning football. The Giants actually passed the ball more in the second half, but with not the same success. Beckham left the game with a back bruise for a stretch and many of the passes were of the short variety to the backs and the tight ends. Grade: A
RB: Only 2.8 YPC on the ground is usually a losing stat, but in the Giants case that wasn't the smoking gun in this game. They held the football for 35 minutes and sustained drives through short passes. They had 27 first downs to the Cowboys' 18 and ran 74 plays to Dallas' 53. The RBs were held in check on the ground, gaining only 89 yards and one TD. Rashad Jennings caught eight passes for 68 yards and Andre Williams had a 12-yard catch. Good, but not quite good enough. Grade: B
TE: It was widely thought that Larry Donnell would be a big difference maker against a Cowboy defense that has had problems vs tight ends. He wasn't. Donnell was not even targeted in the first half and had only two catches for 24 in the second. He remains inconsistent as both a receiver and a blocker. Daniel Fells had three grabs for 35 yards and Adrien Robinson was dusted off in the fourth quarter, scoring his first NFL touchdown on a 1-yard pass to give the Giants a 28-14 lead with 3:00 remaining. As a group, they were not very impressive. The Giants need more from these guys. Grade: C
WR: Beckham's performance alone warrants an A here. Not only is he productive, he's downright worth the price of admission al by himself. His one-handed TD catch is the talk of the town this morning. He ended the game with 10 catches for 146 yards and 2 TDs. Rueben Randle and Preston Parker were afterthoughts, combining for just four grabs for 52 yards. Imagine if Victor Cruz was around to pair with Beckham? Grade: A
OL: Head coach Tom Coughlin decided to shuffle things around with the injury to RT Justin Pugh (quad) out. Geoff Schwartz, who was the team's LG coming out of training camp, played in Pugh's spot at RT. Adam Snyder, a veteran who played in some big games with the 49ers, started at LG for the rookie Weston Richburg. Those changes didn't have much affect on the running game, but the pass protection seemed a little better. Eli was sacked only twice and hit four times. It's hard to grade this group because they aren't capable of much to begin with. Grade: C