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Broaddus: Ryan Had His Defense Prepared For Manning


There was no doubt studying the Giants this week that coordinator Rob Ryan would have a nice game plan. He didn't let his players feel sorry for themselves when they lost their best defensive player for the season, and guys like Dan Connor, Ernie Sims and Orie Lemon stepped up against one of the better offensive teams in the NFL.

The Giants had a grand total of only 293 yards of offense and were an awful 20 percent on third-down conversions. The Cowboys secondary was outstanding, and without watching the tape, I can tell you Morris Claiborne played one of the better games of his young career. Out of the slot, Orlando Scandrick was in an all-day battle with Victor Cruz and he delivered as well.

I knew that sacks were going to be hard to come by, but the Cowboys front was able to make quarterback Eli Manning move around, which gave the defense a chance to get off the field. Ryan's unit kept the team in the game when they looked like they were going to get blown out. Give him and his staff a lot of credit for preparing the defense this week when no one gave them much of a chance.

 As I now sit down and really reflect on this game, say what you want, but it wasn't one that the Cowboys deserved to win. You turn the football over in this league, giving up 23 points to your opponent as a result, and you don't deserve to win. I can talk about the effort of tight end Jason Witten for his record-setting day or quarterback Tony Romo throwing the ball to the end zone with a chance to win, but in the end, like head coach Jason Garrett said afterward, turnovers are a team problem and today that team problem is what lost Dallas the game.

There were some outstanding individual efforts, but when you don't protect the football, you are going to lose. It's a shame that the Cowboys had to go through something like a loss to a division opponent to learn that lesson.

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