N.Y. Giants 27, Dallas 20: All Alone in Last Place

Better than bags on the head. Not much better, but better.

Better than bags on the head. Not much better, but better.

The Dallas Cowboys were once 2-0 and had beaten two division rivals.

That was once upon a time, as in September 20, 2015.

Just over a month later, the Cowboys find themselves with a 2-4 record and sole possession of last place in the division. The team could not hold on to a halftime lead, making numerous mistakes in the second half that cost Dallas the game in a 27-20 loss to the Giants.

The loss ruined a good game by Darren McFadden, who carried the ball 29 times for 152 yards. The defense held Eli Manning to 171 passing yards and a QB rating of 76.7.

McFadden’s touchdown with 2:17 left in the first half gave Dallas a 13-7 lead. It appeared that the Cowboys had stopped the Giants on the next drive, but Rolondo McClain was called for illegal hands to the face, extending the New York drive. The Giants ended up kicking a field goal.

New starter Matt Cassel did not make any major mistakes in the first half, but the third quarter was disastrous. He threw three picks, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Another interception occurred at the Giant 1-yard line, and the Giants were able to drive nearly the length of the field to kick a field goal.

Dallas kept the game close in the fourth quarter. Cassel made a few nice plays on an 80-yard drive, and his touchdown pass to Devin Street with 7:14 remaining tied the game at 20.

But former Cowboy Dwayne Harris returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. Dallas tried to drive the ball back for a game-tying score, but the Giants stopped the Cowboys on downs.

The Cowboys held the Giants and still had 1:36 to score. However, Cole Beasley muffed the punt, and the Giants recovered. Game over.

This is the team’s worst start since 2010, when Dallas started at 1-7. The last time the Cowboys had a 2-4 record after six games was 2001. That team finished 5-11.

 

Rummaging Through Stats

downloadWith the Eagles’ win over the Giants on Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys are now a half-game behind both of those teams and a half game ahead of the Washington Redskins.

Dallas faces the Giants next Sunday and could end up back in first place with a win coupled with a Philadelphia loss at Carolina.

Anyway, below are a few random statistics.

Joseph Randle vs. DeMarco Murray

Murray rushed for 107 yards against the Eagles, giving him 239 for the season. He still trails Joseph Randle’s five-game total of 289 yards, but Murray has shown improvement while Randle has not.

At his current pace, Randle would finish the season with 924 rushing yards. Of course, with Christine Michael expected to carry the ball more often, Randle may not reach the 900-yard mark.


Jason Witten

Witten has 30 receptions in five games, putting him on pace to catch 96 passes in 2015. That would be the most since he caught 110 in 2012.

He is not on pace for 1,000 receiving yards, though. The last time he topped 1,000 yards was also 2012, when he had 1,039.

Witten’s 9.0 yards-per-catch average is the lowest in his career.


 

Gavin Escobar

The Cowboys have drafted a tight end in the second round of a draft three times during the past decade. The strategy has not worked.

The last of those three picks, Gavin Escobar, was supposed to be more of a weapon this year, but he has managed only 4 receptions for 24 yards. That gives him 22 receptions for 263 yards in three seasons.

That’s 8 fewer receptions than Witten has this year alone.


Brandon Weeden’s Lack of Touchdown Passes

Weeden has attempted 98 passes this season but has thrown only 2 touchdown passes.

In team history, a Dallas quarterback has attempted at least 98 passes in a season 72 times (this includes backups, of course). No quarterback has thrown for fewer than 3 touchdown passes while attempting at least 98 passes. The closest to Weeden is Steve Pelluer, who threw 3 touchdown passes in 1987 in 101 attempts.

 

 

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