EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Back for another season with the plays that get overlooked but still were a huge factor in the outcome.
The Cowboys dominated from start to finish, but like always, there were some that might not be remembered but were significant to this one-sided blowout.
False start on LT for Micah – The Giants were moving the ball to start the game and doing it mostly on the ground with a mixture of running back Saquon Barkley and quarterback Daniel Jones. But on third-and-2 at the 8-yard line, left tackle Andrew Thomas was called for a false start as he was trying to get a jump on blocking Micah Parsons. That penalty pushed the ball back 5 yards and forced the Giants into a passing situation. But the next play was a bad snap that resulted in a 14-yard loss, causing the Giants to settle for a field goal attempt, which was blocked and returned for a touchdown. Without the penalty, the Giants likely keep running and had a great chance for an early lead.
Parsons, Thomas back-to-back – This is more of a "series" to remember because following the blocked field goal for a touchdown, the defense had to go right back on the field again after a long drive. But instead of allowing more yards, they went three-and-out, thanks to a nice pass break-up by Juanyeh Thomas and then a sack from Parsons. That led to the Cowboys getting the ball back with good field position again, leading to a field goal.
Kittle's catch in last year's playoff game – OK, so we never usually take a play from a previous game or season for that matter, but it's worth pointing out. Don't forget about the play that has been talked about all offseason involving Trevon Diggs, who had a chance to take a big hit on 49ers tight end George Kittle in the NFC Divisional Game. Kittle came up with a crucial reception that led to a score in the 49ers' win. The talk about Diggs being physical enough for the position has been mentioned over and over, but early in the 2023 season, Diggs put a huge hit on Barkley, jarring the ball up in the air for DaRon Bland to pick off for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
Deep ball P.I. to Cooks – With the Cowboys leading 16-0 early in the second quarter, the offense had a third-and-12 at their own 18-yard line. The Giants were desperate to get off the field and get good field position, but Dak Prescott fired a deep ball to Brandin Cooks, who was roughed up by Giants cornerback Tre Hawkins for a 37-yard pass interference penalty that flipped the field to the Giants' 45. From there, the offense added more points.
Fumble recovered to save the drive – This play probably didn't change any of the outcome because it was already one-sided, but don't forget about Tyler Biadasz recovering Tony Pollard's fumble early in the third quarter. Pollard caught a screen and ran to the 12-yard line before he was hit and fumbled. Biadasz was able to pounce on the ball at the 4, allowing Pollard to score two plays later to extend the lead to 33-0.