Dallas Cowboys

Jerry Jones: Cowboys are a better team than they were Week 1

Receiver Dez Bryant (88) motions for Terrance Williams (83) to get out of bounds in the season opener, which would have given the Cowboys a chance for a field goal.
Receiver Dez Bryant (88) motions for Terrance Williams (83) to get out of bounds in the season opener, which would have given the Cowboys a chance for a field goal. rrodriguez@star-telegram.com

The Cowboys’ only loss came in the season opener against the New York Giants. Although the Cowboys had more yards – 328 to 316 – and won the time of possession – 36:43 to 23:17 – they lost 20-19.

The Cowboys get a second chance to beat the Giants on Sunday.

Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are a better team because rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott are better. Elliott and Prescott had their worst games of the season.

Elliott rushed for a season-low 51 yards on 20 carries, and Prescott had a season-low 69.4 passer rating in completing 26 of 44 passes for 227 yards.

“Well, I think Ezekiel is a better runner, and he’s got it,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “He’s learned to pick his spots, be patient I guess would be the word, but he’s a better runner. I think the fact that we’ve got, you can call it experience, but we’ve got those repetitions so to speak under Dak Prescott’s belt. Boy, those are priceless, and he’s been in some tough situations and passed the test. I think we’re better at those two positions.”

Jones also said the Cowboys are better defensively.

They rank 18th in total defense but fifth in points. Defensive lineman Maliek Collins played only 17 of 56 snaps, cornerback Anthony Brown 13, defensive lineman David Irving 15, linebacker Damien Wilson didn’t play on defense and defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence was suspended. Brown, Wilson, Lawrence and Collins started last week and Irving played 41 of 74 snaps.

“Frankly, I think we’re a better defensive team than we were when we opened because you’ve got a Collins out there now that you didn’t have,” Jones said on his radio show. “You’ve got Lawrence that you didn’t have. You’ve got also we’ve seen Irving really start to make plays and come through, and he wasn’t there. That is experience. But I think we’ve got some players that you just have to mention their name and you haven’t seen them perform, then they’ve got that game experience under their belt, and they’re ready to roll. We’re a better defensive team than we were when we opened up.”

Takeaways (11, including special teams) and sacks (23) are where the Cowboys hope to improve moving forward.

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