1) Standing in the end zone before the ball was snapped on that final drive, I knew exactly what was about to happen. I can't tell you the number of times that I have seen Tony Romo look at a defensive alignment, then shoot a glance at Jason Witten like to say, "You know what to do big fella." Both Romo and Witten saw the hole in the middle of the Giants defense and were able to take full advantage of it.
2) To hold Odell Beckham Jr. to five catches and 44 yards says a lot about the effort from this Dallas secondary. Beckham lined up on both sides of the field as well as in the slot and his longest reception came on the Giants' second-to-last drive. On the only sack of the game for the Cowboys defense, Morris Claiborne was all over Beckham, denying him off the line of scrimmage, which allowed Tyrone Crawford the time to get up the middle and get to Manning.
3) I thought Joseph Randle ran the ball hard, but there were a couple of runs where I thought if he had kept his balance he would have had some bigger gains. Randle will see on film that if he would have just stayed on his feet and not allowed a single tackler to bring him down, his night would have been even more productive.
4) Was not surprised that Sean Lee led the defense in tackles with nine. If this defense was going to have some success defending the Giants on the run, Lee was going to have to be the main defender at the point of attack. I really like how he and Anthony Hitchens worked together their first time out, getting to the ball.
5) Jerry Jones spoke about those Monday's watching film and wondering why Lance Dunbar didn't get more touches in the game? Well, Jones doesn't have to worry about asking those questions when he sits down and watches this one. The Giants didn't have an answer for how to deal with Dunbar. His loose play ability was the difference in this football game.
6) So much for Dwayne Harris in the return game. His long punt return was only for 3 yards and the coverage unit was on him all night. Chris Jones was able to get the hang time on his punts while Kyle Wilber and Corey White were exactly where they needed to be, coverage-wise.
7) Note to Lucky Whitehead: If you are going to be active in these games make sure that if the coaches put you at the point of attack to block that you fight your rear off to get your head across your man so that Darren McFadden doesn't get crushed.
8) The offensive line didn't appear to miss a beat with its pass protection when Ronald Leary went out of the lineup with a groin injury. Mackenzy Bernadeau was able to fill the void and worked very well together with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick.
9) There was no doubt that the Giants offensively were worried about the Dallas pass rush and did all they could to protect their line. Don't be surprised in the future that you see more teams play this defense by using the quick game when it comes to throwing the ball. The Cowboys had some nice rushes on the night, but Manning also made sure that the ball got out of his hand quickly.[embeddedad0]
10) Good to see Terrance Williams pick up his game after a rough first half. It didn't appear like his concentration level was where it needed to be. Those early misses were plays in practices and games where I had seen him come up with the catch. Despite his troubles, Romo stuck with him and Williams was able to play a major role in the comeback, whereas in seasons past, Romo might not have done that.
11) It just goes to show you that even Super Bowl-winning coaches have bad days. Tom Coughlin cost his team an opportunity to win this game by allowing offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo to call a pass play on third down and not going for it on fourth down. Coughlin should have been aware that the Cowboys were without their best offensive player and the likelihood of driving into field-goal range with limited time and no timeouts was going to be difficult to accomplish.
12) Tony Romo said it best – you don't replace Dez Bryant. I hate to see them have to try to this early in the season.