From the moment Victor Cruz turned the corner and got up the sideline for his 74-yard touchdown in the first quarter on Sunday, it was apparent the Cowboys secondary couldn't keep up with New York's passing game.
Here's a highlight of the play, for anyone who can stand to watch. Now, here's how it happened, as explained by former NFL safety Matt Bowen, who now contributes to NationalFootballPost.com.
In short, Terence Newman failed to disrupt the release of Cruz at the line of scrimmage, apparently guarding against an slant route as opposed to an out. Newman, who played in the slot for the Cowboys until Orlando Scandrick arrived in 2008, was manning that spot because the Giants had two wide receivers and two tight ends on the field in short yardage, a situation that would not call for the Cowboys' nickel defense.
Newman is slow to turn his hips on the outside cut, at which point he has no chance.
Mike Jenkins, playing corner on the outside, is blocked by Hakeem Nicks.
Safety Gerald Sensabaugh takes a poor angle on Cruz, eliminating his chance for a tackle. Sensabaugh was in a shallow zone, guarding against the slant, an apparent example of poor communication by the secondary, since Newman played for the slant as well.
Newman, who had a very tough game against the Giants, is made to look bad on the play, but there are plenty of people who share blame for the mistakes, including Sensabaugh, the secondary coaches and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
In the 16th game of the season, such execution failures shouldn't be happening.