The Dallas Cowboys offense needs a fast start Sunday night against the New York Giants.
After the first-half failures in Week 1, the questions surrounding the offense have been swirling around The Star. No one with the team is ready to sound alarm bells but they’re also not hiding from the obvious: The slow offensive start torpedoed the Cowboys against the Carolina Panthers.
“We did a lot of stupid stuff and it put us back in the chains,” Running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “Simple stuff like not knowing our assignments and giving up the easy sack.”
Elliott, who finished with 69 yards on just 15 carries against the Panthers, will be the obvious focal point of a quick start. The Giants, of course, will be loading the box to stop him, which will force Dak Prescott to keep them honest with his arm. Penalties and a sack on the Cowboys’ first three possessions prevented the offense from getting into its normal game plan early.
“A lot of miscommunication and basically not doing our jobs,” Elliott said. “That’s all it came down to and that put us behind the chains and didn’t give us an opportunity to get in a groove. And we kind of left our defense hanging. We left them on the field too long. We got to make sure we sustain some drives and put points on the board.”
It comes down to execution on first and second down, he said. “We can’t beat ourselves. We have to come out and establish that run get some momentum early. We’ve got to start fast.”
Tight end Geoff Swaim said a fast start begins with doing the little things well.
“When you have a loss like that there’s a lot of blame to go around,” Swaim said. “For me, there’s a lot to clean up. None of us are immune to that. You can’t lay an egg in the first half and play the way we played and then come out and just roll. That stuff builds. Our defense played a great game and they put us in a great position.”
There won’t be any added pressure, Swaim said, to get off to a good start.
“You can’t look at it like that and focus on one drive in the totality of a game. You’re preparing for a whole game,” he said. “You want to start fast obviously. But I’m not going out there on the first drive thinking ‘OK, this better be it or else we’re screwed!’ That’s not how you approach it. You execute the plays that are called and that consistent approach is the right thing. That’s how you approach everything. Do what we do and execute at a high level and when we do that, we’re a pretty good team.”