blowout was expected and a blowout they got.
With the Dallas Cowboys having slayed the New York Giants by a whopping 40-0 score in the 2023 season opener, the anticipation was it would be more of the same in this rematch, the Giants in even worse shape now. And Dallas didn't disappoint, easily rolling to a dominating 49-17 victory over its division rivals to extend its home winning streak to 12 games.
Admittedly, asking Giants rookie quarterback Tommy DeVito to make his first career NFL start against one of the best defenses in the league was hardly fair. He took a beating as the Cowboys harassed him all day, totaling five sacks and limiting him to just 86 passing yards. New York went 0-for-12 on third-down tries and finished with only 172 yards of offense overall.
Conversely, Dak Prescott simply feasted against the New York defense. He tied his career high with five touchdowns – four through the air to four different receivers and one on the ground – while earning 404 passing yards, which was his third time topping 400 yards with four scoring tosses, a franchise record.
Given Prescott's prowess, CeeDee Lamb had an unforgettable day, earning 11 catches for 151 yards with two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing. That marked his third straight game surpassing 10 and 150, respectively, setting a new NFL record.
Meanwhile, Brandin Cooks showed that the considerable handwringing about his production this year was all for naught. He reached season highs in both catches (9) and yards (173), and added a score of his own to help the effort.
In all, the Cowboys racked up 640 yards of offense, the second-highest total in franchise history, while their 472 passing yards were also second-best in team annals. Dallas outgained the Giants by 468 yards, the largest differential in the NFL since 1962.
A promising drive on the game's opening possession ended in disappointment. Highlighted by a beautiful one-handed catch from Lamb for a gain of 30 yards as well a 21-yard run off left guard by Rico Dowdle, the Cowboys marched 73 yards in 10 plays down to the Giants' 2-yard line.
But once again their struggles in the red zone reared its ugly head. On fourth down, head coach Mike McCarthy made the decision to go for it, only to have Tony Pollard stuffed at the 1-yard line.
The Cowboys, though, kept the field position advantage and one series later came back for their third try and finally found pay dirt. Starting at the New York 46-yard line, Dallas needed just five plays to cross the goal line. Lamb got the honors, taking a reverse around the right end 14 yards for his first rushing touchdown since his rookie season of 2020.
The last play of the first frame was one Prescott would certainly want back. The quarterback attempted to thread a throw into Jake Ferguson over the middle, only to have cornerback Cor'Dale Flott step in front of the pass and return the interception 21 yards to the Dallas 12.
Despite being set up with great field position, however, the Giants weren't going to make much progress against this Cowboys defense. And sure enough, although they did manage to reach the Dallas 4-yard line, Saquon Barkley was stopped short on fourth down to end the threat.
Although the Cowboys were now starting with their back against their own goal line, that wouldn't be a problem for an offense really starting to find its rhythm. The team had four plays that gained at least 10 yards, which included a 25-yard completion to Cooks and then a 30-yarder to Lamb on consecutive snaps. The touchdown eventually came with a 1-yard catch by Ferguson, his fourth score of the season.
At this point, there was really no stopping the Cowboys as they soon upped their side of the ledger to 21. Needing just six plays to travel 54 yards, they ran three pass plays for 16 yards and three runs for another 38. The last of those was a 10-yard pass from Prescott to Cooks in the end zone.
Of course, Cooks and the Cowboys weren't done yet. With the Dallas defense continuing the punt parade, Prescott and company got one more shot before the quarter ended. And they used that time to tack on a fourth touchdown. The drive started with a 34-yard pass to Cooks and also saw Lamb swoop in to catch an unlikely lob from an under-pressure Prescott for a 17-yard gain. The series came to an end with the quarterback finishing it off himself, scrambling 10 yards up the middle to the goal line and a 28-0 lead.
At the break, the Cowboys had outgained New York, 368 yards to only 27.
With the outcome already decided, the only question that really remained was could the defense complete the shutout. And if there was any doubt about the Cowboys' intentions, a pair of sacks on the second half's first two plays showed they weren't about to step off the gas.
Alas, that goal would not be met as on their next possession, the Giants finally found a spark, marching 91 yards over seven plays. Barkley did most of the heavy lifting, picking up 44 yards on four carries before wideout Lawrence Cager took a short pass from DeVito and raced down the right sideline the final 10 yards for the touchdown.
Any dreams of a comeback, though, were quickly dashed when the Cowboys came right back with another score of their own. Prescott completed a 28-yard pass to Lamb and then later reached Michael Gallup on a 41-yard bomb in the end zone to counter the points.
After DaRon Bland picked off his fifth pass of the season, Prescott went back to work basically doing whatever he wanted at this point. He and Cooks connected twice during the series for gains of 37 and 32 yards before the quarterback went to Lamb for the 12-yard touchdown.
With the start of the final quarter, out came Cooper Rush and several other reserves to give some needed rest to a few of the starters. Following a 40-yard field goal for the Giants, the Cowboys backup quarterback led an 11-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Dowdle powering up the middle for his first career NFL touchdown.
Not that it mattered to the final outcome, but the Giants did add one more touchdown when DeVito lofted a pass to Sterling Shepard in the back left corner of the end zone with six seconds left to round out the scoring and bring the game to a merciful end.
Improving their record to 6-3, the Cowboys will now get ready to travel to Carolina for a noon matchup at the 1-8 Panthers next Sunday.