The Dallas Cowboys didn’t need a dominant win. But with the schedule they have coming up, they needed a win.
Monday night won’t end up on many highlight films. There were dumb penalties and bad turnovers. The Cowboys should have had an easy win but let the New York Giants, who came in with a 2-6 record, hang around deep into the fourth quarter.
Whatever. It was a win. The Cowboys leave New York with an ugly 37-18 win, which they couldn’t say when they came to MetLife Stadium to visit the Jets. Dallas improved to 5-3.
The Cowboys were slogging along with the Giants, who had two remarkable defensive letdowns that led to touchdowns. Without those, they might have gotten an upset.
Two big plays haunt Giants
Dak Prescott threw a rough interception on the first play of the game, when he never saw safety Antoine Bethea hanging out near the line of scrimmage. That was the type of night it was.
Dallas needed a spark and the Giants gave it to them. Tight end Blake Jarwin caught what should have been a good gain but not a touchdown. But the Giants defense never converged on him, cornerback Janoris Jenkins looked like a matador as Jarwin passed by him, and the Cowboys had a 42-yard score. That cut the Giants lead from 12-3 to 12-10.
The Giants were still hanging in the game into the fourth quarter, trailing 23-18 when the Cowboys faced a third-and-12. Amari Cooper inexplicably was wide open over the middle for a 45-yard touchdown. ESPN’s Booger McFarland pointed out that rookie cornerback DeAndre Baker missed an assignment, playing zone with the rest of the defense in man coverage, and that allowed Cooper to run free. Game over. The Cowboys added a defensive touchdown in the final seconds to finish the scoring.
It’s a little concerning that the Cowboys needed the Giants to fall asleep on defense a couple times to get a win, but they can’t be too picky.
Cowboys have tough remaining schedule
Here’s the Cowboys’ upcoming schedule. There’s not one easy win:
Week 10, vs. Vikings
Week 11, at Lions
Week 12, at Patriots
Week 13, vs. Bills
Week 14, at Bears
Week 15, vs. Rams
Week 16, at Eagles
The Cowboys aren’t going to go 0-7 in that stretch or anything, but every one of those games should be tough.
That’s why Dallas needed a win on Monday night. They couldn’t lose to a two-win Giants team before that gauntlet. Especially with the Philadelphia Eagles showing some signs of life.
Dallas was sloppy. They lost their cool a couple times, getting into fights with the Giants and guard Will Hernandez in particular. They had more than 100 yards in penalties. They allowed the Giants to stay in the game a lot longer than they should have. It was a lot closer than the final score would indicate.
But it was a win. There won’t be many easy ones the rest of the season.
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