ARLINGTON, Texas – Giants quarterback Eli Manning entered Sunday's opener at AT&T Stadium with the most all-time passing yards and passing touchdowns against the Cowboys.
The defense knew it would have to pressure Manning early and often.
"Not enough," head coach Jason Garrett said. "Early on in the ballgame, we did not. As the game went on, we did more. When you're able to do that, typically you have success on defense."
The Cowboys entered the game with three new starters on the defensive line: left end Jack Crawford, filling in for suspended starter DeMarcus Lawrence; tackle Terrell McClain; and right end Benson Mayowa. As expected, defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli went seven deep in his rotation.
The defense had two sacks: one from Mayowa and one from cornerback Orlando Scandrick. But they wanted more pressure on Manning, who completed 19 of 28 passes for 207 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for a 110.3 quarterback rating.
Manning only threw for 60 yards in the second half and didn't reach the end zone again until his deciding 3-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter.
"We definitely weren't playing our style of ball on the D-Line in the first half. It's unacceptable," defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. "There's no excuse. I can't make an excuse for how we played. We played bad up front and we can't let that happen again."