New York Giants: 3 major takeaways from the win over Dallas

New York Giants, Leonard Williams
Jan 3, 2021; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (14) runs from New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) in the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants walked away with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, by a score of 23-19. After Dallas had recorded 30+ points over their last three games consecutively, the Giants’ defense showed up in a big way, limiting them to just nine points at halftime.

Luckily, the offense did just enough to overcome a surging Cowboys team, with Sterling Shepard recording 112 yards through the air, one touchdown reception, and two rushing attempts for 24 yards and a score. Overall, he was phenomenal, and coordinator Jason Garrett finally realized that targeting him in man coverage was exactly what they needed to walk away with a victory.

However, there were many factors that played a significant part in the Giants’ win, so it is only fair to give credit where it’s due.

Three major takeaways from the New York Giants’ win over Dallas:

1.) Daniel Jones looked good

After a shaky first quarter, quarterback Daniel Jones began to sling the ball with accuracy and great timing. He finished the day with 229 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. The one turnover was a result of an Evan Engram dropped pass, something we’ve seen routinely this season.

Jones also activated his legs more than previously thought, as he bluffed that he would stay in the pocket this week during a press conference. He picked up 17 yards on nine carries, but he was able to move out of the pocket adequately and throw the ball downfield.

One connection that has seem to pay off is with Jones and WR Dante Pettis, who hauled in two receptions for 43 yards and a score. DJ threw multiple balls with zip and fantastic accuracy, showing off his ability to throw the ball downfield in man coverage. Impressively, with solid pass blocking, Jones looked like a stable quarterback who has plenty of potential left to unearth. Adding Saquon Barkley and a top wide receiver to the mix should do the trick, and I feel more confident than ever that DJ can be the answer moving forward.

2.) Pay Leonard Williams!

One player that stood out was interior pass rusher Leonard Williams, who finished the afternoon with seven total tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, and one pass defended. He was phenomenal all afternoon long, putting pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton and even forcing the interception that ended the game in the waning moments.

While Williams has disappeared at times, he remains a fantastic player for the Giants, who continued to develop and extract value from. He has proven he deserves a long-term deal, and Big Blue should make him an offer this off-season. The defense without him simply isn’t the same.

3.) Julian Love/Xavier McKinney

The Giants utilized Julian Love as the second cornerback alongside James Bradberry against Dallas, and he played with feistiness and desire. Love have been primarily used as a safety to start his career in the NFL, but making the transition to CB has paid off, as he looked a lot better than Isaac Yiadom has this season.

He finished the day with seven tackles, one pasts defended, and nearly walked away with an interception. He impressed me in this game against some very talented receivers, and the Giants should heavily consider him as a potential option at cornerback in 2021.

In addition, young safety Xavier McKinney left his mark on the win. He recorded eight tackles, one tackle for a loss, one pass defended, and an interception. He almost had an interception earlier on in the contest, but it was called back on a holding penalty.

McKinney has taken gradual steps forward, but he seems to be a fantastic fit on this defense, with Patrick Graham developing the scheme. He has a bright future ahead of him, and this one performance shows us that.