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Scout's View: Defense Stops Wilson; Smith At His Best

Posted Sep 8, 2013


Head coaches Jason Garrett and Tom Coughlin will both tell you that the turnovers were the difference in the game, but from my seat in the press box, it appeared to be much more than that. This was going to be a physical battle matching two teams that I thought were mirror images of each other.

The quarterbacks, the offensive skill on the outside and the elite pass-rusher. When breaking down the Giants this week, I knew they were going to give the Cowboys problems, but I also felt like New York would have its issues as well with Dallas.

I thought that the Giants would attack a Cowboys front seven that was really playing shorthanded along the defensive line. In the tape I studied of David Wilson, he was just such a different style of running back than what the Giants had used before against the Cowboys. I was honestly surprised with what a complete non-factor he was in the game. No matter how hard he tried, he just was unable to find any room.

The Cowboys defense did an outstanding job of rallying to the ball. When you play Wilson, you just cannot allow him any space to work because he can turn little plays into big ones. He can be such an explosive player, but that was not the case at all in this game.

After Wilson’s two costly fumbles, it got to the point where Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride wouldn’t even consider handing him the football and had to get him off the field. By not allowing Wilson to take over, I felt like it played a large part in the victory.

As much as we need to give credit to this Cowboys defensive line and the way they played, the team’s offensive line had just as many questions, but for the most part made it through the game on a positive note. There’s no doubt that there were some issues on the protection, but despite starting a rookie center and basically a rookie at left guard, the unit held its own.

Without looking at the game film, I really liked what I saw from Tyron Smith at left tackle and how consistent he was. I thought he played with skill, technique and power. He was dominate in space and was a force out on the edge, both on the run and pass. It didn’t matter who the Giants put to Smith's side, he was able to handle the job without fail. He had the one bad holding call and the motion penalty but other than those two mistakes, he was at his best.

It was a frustrating game for Dez Bryant, but give the Giants credit. They were not going to let the talented receiver beat them. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell put a cornerback in his face and shaded a safety over the top, but also buzzed a linebacker in the flat to take away some of his opportunities to run his slant.

Where you see the growth in Bryant is in his ability to fight through these types of games. You can see that he was frustrated early because he wants to be a huge part of the offense, but the commitment to the coverage on Bryant allowed guys like Jason Witten and Miles Austin to find space in the secondary and make plays.

Bryant is such a dynamic player that he is going to draw these types of special defensive schemes to try and take him out of the game. He paid the price in this contest, although there is no doubt that he will take this win against the Giants over numbers any day. It was another great learning experience for him and one he he’ll grow from.

Looking forward as always to getting into the film room on and breaking this game down a little closer with the Scout's Eye on DallasCowboys.com.

Photos from the Cowboys' 36-31 win over the NY Giants >>

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