Look Of A Champion: Cowboys ‘Smother’ Giants With ‘Relentless’ Defense

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Mike McCarthy was speaking about his football team’s identity late Sunday night and that seemed appropriate because it’s often a topic of great interest around the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys, you see, have displayed multiple identities in recent years. No, we’re not calling them Sybil, but anyone who has been paying attention understands the Cowboys have too often been different than, well, the Cowboys.

None other than owner Jerry Jones himself has described the Cowboys as something of under-achievers who didn’t play to their talent or expectations in the playoffs after raising expectations in the regular season.

The players within that locker room sometimes talk and always understand they play for The Star and it’s about someday returning this club to championship levels of old.

Micah Parson tweets after the Cowboys game against the New York Giants

Cowboys Find Their Identity

And then there’s McCarthy after this 40-0 trashing of the New York Giants that basically thrust Big D’s team into whatever championship conversation happens at office water coolers around America today.

“That,” McCarthy said, referring to the dismantling of New York, “is who we are. I clearly feel we’ve taken another step.”

The Cowboys believe they’ve advanced to being more than a good regular-season team. They believe they can be something better.

“You could see that in training camp,” McCarthy said. “But I would say you look at the way teams are going to try to play us. You look at [the Giants’] first series. They’re going to try to pound the ball and challenge our run defense over and over again try to soften up the pass rush.

“But the pass rush was relentless tonight…Clearly it was in total control of the game.”

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked seven times by the Dallas Cowboys.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 10: Daniel Jones #8 of the New York Giants is tackled by Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys during the third quarter at MetLife Stadium on September 10, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Cowboys Are About Their Defense

The Dallas Cowboys are a defense dominated club. We got that drift last season when Dallas was fifth in the NFL in points allowed.

But we totally get it now that the Cowboys intercepted Giants quarterback Daniel Jones two times, returning one for a touchdown when DaRon Bland flew 22 yards to the house.

We get this defense’s vibe because the Cowboys used five different players to sack Jones seven times.

And did we mention the fumbles? The Cowboys forced five New York fumbles. The Cowboys only recovered one but yet another the point was made when they didn’t turn the ball over at all.

So one team let the defense feast. And the other team was the main course.

“We didn’t let them breathe,” Parsons said. ” We smothered them.”

Giants coach Brian Daboll accepted the Cowboys beat his team thoroughly.
Head coach Brian Daboll of the New York Giants looks on after defeating the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on January 01, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Giants Beaten ‘All The Way Around’

New York coach Brian Daboll could do nothing other than agree.

“Got beat all the way around, coaching to playing and I accept that,” a dejected Daboll said. “No excuses. Give Dallas credit. They just did everything better than we did tonight.”

It was such a devastating onslaught that someone asked Parsons about how this Dallas defense might compare to the turn-of-the-century Baltimore Ravens defense that boasted Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and so many other dominant players.

“Everyone came in with a preparation, a mindset that we were going to dominate,” Parsons responded. ” We honed in this week. We prepared to the max and we were ready for our opponent.

“The turnovers, the relentlessness, the effort from all 11 — even the guys that came in in that fourth quarter to helped finish the shutout. It was impressive.”

Let’s understand this was a historical butt whipping.

Cowboys Hit Historic Milestones

The 40-point win was the second-largest margin of victory in a season opener for the Cowboys. And the seven sacks in an opener were the second most in team history.

So if the opener is a statement game, the Cowboys spoke loud and clear.

“I’m just excited to see where things go,” cornerback Trevon Diggs said.

No one in the Cowboys locker room is predicting this is going to be the way the team plays every game. No one went that far Sunday night.

But the statement made this night is the Cowboys got off to a fast start and didn’t stop until the stomping was complete.

That’s the first important step of the season.  

“Really the focus was to get off this season, take the first step and we accomplished that tonight,” McCarthy said. ” … A lot of good things tonight to build off us but it is only one win. It’s your first division win, first road win and all those are important to get that first win under your belt.

“But just the way we played, it’s nice to see the players emphasize and see their practice carry over to the field.”

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy likes his team's identity.
Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys is seen on the field prior to a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 10, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Dallas Even Beat The Weather

One more thing: The Cowboys were not dynamic on offense but they were mostly error free. No turnovers. No sacks. Obviously no points yielded.

And all that happened in a steady rain that turned the Giants into bumblers but hardly affected the Cowboys.

“I’m excited to get a game like that under your belt,” McCarthy said. ” Because you need those games, especially when you’re an indoor team. We play indoors. When you have a chance to play in bad weather like that I always thought it was a bonus to spend time in a bad weather place.”


“Because you’re going to get bad weather in the winter months.”

When playoff come around.

Follow on X: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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