Dallas Cowboys

JUST CHILL: Cowboys grades vs. the Giants

Under pressure, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel (16) heaves the ball to Devin Street for a fourth quarter touchdown. The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-20 at MetLife Stadium.
Under pressure, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Matt Cassel (16) heaves the ball to Devin Street for a fourth quarter touchdown. The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 27-20 at MetLife Stadium. Star-Telegram

My Cowboys GRADES VS. THE GIANTS

RUSH OFFENSE: A – The Cowboys rushed 41 times for 233 yards and controlled the clock. Darren McFadden had 29 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown. He will be the guy going forward as he looks to get better with a heavy load rather than be a piece meal as a part of a committee. The offensive line blocked like the best line in the league. The Cowboys also did good with scheme as Lucky Whitehead had 35 yards on four reverses or speed sweeps.

PASS OFFENSE: F - Matt Cassel was intercepted three times and had one returned for a touchdown in a 7-point loss. Cassel is an improvement from Brandon Weeden, but you can’t win with turnovers and certainly not three. Cassel had six completions of 20 yards or more. Weeden had six in the previous three games. Terrance Williams didn’t help Cassel with poor routes and not fighting hard enough to prevent the pick 6.

RUSH DEFENSE: D – The Cowboys gave up 132 yards on 25 carries. Shane Vereern had 56 yards on four carries. Some guy named Orleans Darkwa had eight carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. Linebacker Sean Lee and Rolando McClain had subar performances. Per Pro Football Focus, Lee struggled with a career-worst -2.7 grade against the run. McClain had a team worst -3.9 grade.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Eli Manning only passed for 170 yards and no touchdowns. Odell Beckham was held to four catches for 35 yards. The Cowboys gave up two big plays in the passing game, a 68-yard catch to Reuben Randle and a 43-yarder to Dwayne Harris. Cornerback Morris Claiborne and rookie safety Byron Jones had strong games. Brandon Carr continues to struggle at cornerback.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F—The Cowboys gave up a 100-yard game winning kickoff return for a touchdown to former Cowboys returner Dwayne Harris, who went untouched. That can’t happen with the game on the line. Cole Beasley killed the final comeback hopes with a muffed punt. Ironically, if the Cowboys had kept Harris instead of letting him go in free agency, the return and the muff likely wouldn’t have happened.

COACHING: D –The Cowboys continue to be criticized for how they handle volatile defensive end Greg Hardy. That wasn’t a pretty sight of him going ballistic on the sideline supposedly in an attempt to fire the team up. The Cowboys have lost four consecutive games for the first time since Jason Garrett took over as head coach in 2010.

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