The Cowboys showed up, handled business and avoided any signs of a potential letdown.
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys had another statement win Sunday against the Giants, getting their first division win with a 31-21 victory that puts them at 6-1.
Check out the instant reactions from the staff of DallasCowboys.com.
Nick Eatman: Alright, so I missed a near-200 game for Murray and a defensive touchdown, but at least I had the Cowboys seizing control of this one and getting the convincing win. The Cowboys were the better team and although the defense had some lapses, there was never really a doubt in my mind who would win. If you're picking an offensive star of the game, it has to be Dez Bryant. Yeah, Murray set records with another 100-yard game, Tony Romo was pretty flawless and Terrance Williams and Gavin Escobar both scored, it was Bryant who won the game for this team. He pulled them out of holes several times with clutch plays. He was pure beastly in this game and the biggest reason the Cowboys went to 6-1.
Bryan Broaddus: I thought there were some mismatches that these Cowboys defensive coaches could have taken advantage of in regards to their two guards as far as rushing the passer. What the Giants did to help not only these guards but their entire offensive line was go from a 5 to 7 step drop to shorter, quicker passes which got the ball out of Manning's hand quick and put less pressure on that line. But where you did see these mismatches was in the running game where the Giants really struggled to get any type of real movement. It was very clear that the Giants wanted to run the ball but Tyrone Crawford, Nick Hayden, Terrell McClain and Rolando McClain did an outstanding job of controlling the middle and not allowing the Giants to get that part of their offense going so mission accomplished in that regard.
David Helman: This one played out pretty much exactly how I thought it would. The Giants didn't lie down for their division rivals, but there was never much doubt about how this game was going to go. The Cowboys got big plays from all their big-time playmakers, and they looked impressive in their ability to win a division game without too much fuss. I said Joseph Randle would find the end zone, which obviously did not happen – but a member of his draft class, Gavin Escobar, showed he can be a valuable red zone weapon. The Cowboys were the better team going in, and they won it using the same blueprint that had worked five other times. The thing that strikes me the most about this game was the business-like manner in which it was won. The Cowboys showed up, handled business and avoided any signs of a potential letdown.
Here are the Week 7 gut feelings from staff writers posted on Saturday:
Nick Eatman:I was way off last week, of course. I really needed to see the Cowboys handle a team like Seattle and after that I'm more than convinced. That being said, the Giants could come right in here and shock all of us with a win. And it might not be that shocking. The Giants get whipped by the Eagles. The Cowboys handle the world champs. It only makes NFL sense for Dallas to struggle. But I'm still picking the Cowboys. I think it might be a closer game for a little bit, but the Giants are just too banged up. Dallas will run the ball like we've seen and I'm saying DeMarco Murray not only breaks the record for most 100-yard games to start the season, but I think it'll be his season-high in yards, maybe even flirting with a 200-yard game. I see a defensive touchdown in this one and let's go with … Brandon Carr. The Cowboys have control of this game but a late Giants score makes it seem a little closer on the final scoreboard. Either way, I'm seeing a 6-1 record come 7 p.m. Sunday evening.
Bryan Broaddus:Each week that Tyrone Crawford has lined up as the under-tackle in this Cowboys scheme, he has played a little better. It appears that these defensive coaches have found the perfect spot for him to play that takes full advantage of his skillset by putting him closer to the quarterback and the ball. The Giants have had their share of struggles along the offensive line, especially at the guard spot. One of the keys to this game for the Cowboys will be the amount of pressure that they can generate on Eli Manning. Coaches like to look for matchups along the offensive line that they can take full advantage of, and my gut feeling is that Rod Marinelli has his eye on Weston Richburg as a guy that he wants Crawford to rush on. Crawford has too much power and quickness for Richburg to handle one-on-one, and he if doesn't get any help, he will be in for a long afternoon. Look for Crawford to have a dominant game, both in defending the run but attacking Manning in the pocket.
David Helman:My main reasoning for picking Seattle last week was that I couldn't see the Cowboys running at will against the league's best run defense. Well, they did. Coming off that performance, I have a hard time seeing the Giants having success against DeMarco Murray and Co. – even if Doug Free is sitting out. The adage says that the records go out the window for division games, and there's some truth to that. There hasn't been a blowout in this series since 2011. The Giants are just dealing with too many problems right now, though – no Rashad Jennings, no Victor Cruz, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is questionable and the offensive line is coming off a horrific game in Philadelphia. That's too much to overcome against a healthier Cowboys team that is firing on all cylinders. I don't think this will be the same caliber of beatdown as the Giants' loss in Philly, but the Cowboys will win – something like 37-24. Murray will go for more than 100 yards, and Joseph Randle will bounce back from his arrest with his first rushing touchdown of the season.