The rivalry between the Giants and the Dallas Cowboys is long and storied. But the young men involved in the teams’ latest white-hot confrontations do not much care about what happened in 1960, the first time the teams met.
They do care about recent history.
The Cowboys were one of the N.F.L.’s best teams last season with a 13-3 record.
“But to lose to the Giants twice last year — to not beat those guys at all — that really stayed with us,” Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott said late Sunday night. “You want to change that somehow.”
The trash talking started early in the game, especially between the Giants defenders and the Cowboys wide receivers. But Dallas quickly sprinted to an early 16-point lead, then protected it through a sleepy second half until it became a thoroughly dominant 19-3 victory.
Much of the countdown to the game had focused on whether two of the biggest stars in the league — Dallas’s Ezekiel Elliott and the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. — would suit up to play.
Elliott made it to the field after a court injunction stayed a six-game suspension from the N.F.L. — a penalty based on a 2016 accusation that Elliott had beaten his former girlfriend. Beckham ran some sprints in the pregame warm-up, but ultimately he could not play because of an ankle sprain sustained about three weeks ago.
Beckham’s absence may have affected the game’s outcome — the Giants’ offense looked flustered and feeble. But Elliott’s presence unquestionably influenced the result, as he knifed through the Giants’ vaunted defensive front for 104 rushing yards on 24 carries and bewildered the secondary for 36 more yards on five pass receptions.
For the Cowboys, this victory helped wipe away the bad taste of the losses to the Giants last year, and of the disappointingly abrupt end to their postseason in January.
For the Giants, the game was a humiliating defeat that left Coach Ben McAdoo uncharacteristically and caustically critical of his team.
“No part of our offense was functional tonight,” McAdoo said.
Asked why various players, especially on offense, had not been able to get into the flow of the game, McAdoo interrupted to reply: “We weren’t able to get anyone going. No one got going.”
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SOURCE: NY Times, Bill Pennington