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Cowboys vs. Giants, Week 1: Film Study Observations

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I’ve watched and re-watched the Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the Giants, and I’m thoroughly impressed. Outside of Tony Romo and Kevin Ogletree, the offense was pretty average last night. The defense, on the other hand, looked sensational from top to bottom. If the D we saw in Week 1 is any indication of what we’ll get down the road, you’re looking at a playoff team.

At NBC, I posted my initial reactions to the game and film study:

Defense
  • A few months ago, I wrote about DeMarcus Ware’s chances of breaking the sack record. Yeah, that might really happen. The Giants motioned Martellus Bennett to Ware almost every play early in the contest. It didn’t matter.
  • I was very impressed with both cornerbacks. The rookie Morris Claiborne held up very well against Hakeem Nicks, as I thought he might. Claiborne excels against larger receivers on whom he can get his hands. Meanwhile, Carr was sensational. The first quarter toss to Victor Cruz over Carr’s head wasn’t Carr’s fault—he was playing another receiver and came off of him when he saw Orlando Scandrick get beat. Other than that play, Scandrick had a nice game as well. Cruz helped the Cowboys with a few drops, but Scandrick stilled turned in his best-ever performance against the Giants.

You can check out all of my observations at NBC.

At Dallas Morning News, I broke down two of Romo’s audibles.

The 40-Yard Strike to Kevin Ogletree

One a 2nd and 10 at the Giants’ 40-yard line, Garrett called for “21” personnel—two backs and a tight end. He split tight end Jason Witten into the slot, creating a formation called “3 Wide I.” Despite the somewhat pass-oriented look, the Cowboys have historically run from the “21” personnel grouping 89 percent of the time.

Prior to the snap, the Giants’ “Sam” backer showed blitz. Romo noticed it and issued a “Kill” call. The original play called in the huddle was likely a run, and Romo figured he had single coverage outside.

The Giants did indeed blitz, but the Cowboys picked it up. Right tackle Doug Free got beat inside just a bit by Osi Umenyiora, but Romo knew where he wanted to go with the football and scooted outside to his right.

Read the rest of the analysis here. I need to break down the film a bit more and spend a few hours tracking all of the plays in Excel. Wow, I just realized I have no life. Just kidding, I always knew it.

More to come at DallasCowboys.com.

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5 Responses to Cowboys vs. Giants, Week 1: Film Study Observations

  1. ron archie says:

    I must say that I was ready to see some real football and I mean real; And it looked as if the boys who wore the dominant blue uniform were awesome.Blue belongs to the conservative Cowboys.And yes I see a playoff spot this year and maybe Superbowl.

  2. Greg says:

    http://thedctimes.com/2012/05/running-the-numbers-missing-martellus-bennett/#comments

    50 catches and 10 TDs started last night. Mark my words. Bennett will show Garrett how naive and unqualified he is. He does not understand what Mike Martz says is the nature of the modern NFL offense: it’s all about mismatches.

    While Gilbride was designing plays with WR picks and obvious mismatches, Romo’s first TD to Ogletree was a failed Garrett play but second effort by Romo and KO caused the TD. Demarco Murray’s long run was terrible play design that failed but Murray improvised and did not give up. The 4th and 1 hand off was not only a terrible pastiche of Sean Payton, the physics were impossible. Sending Vickers with little to no acceleration into a space that was filled with bodies much larger than his and expecting him to somehow pierce the space between his own players and the opponents, is virtually impossible.
    Once again, Garrett has zero understanding for calling effective running plays that yield first downs or red zone successes.

  3. moses says:

    I thought Romo played a great game. He seemed to have been running for his life on about half the passing plays.

    TSmith has got to get better. He was beat on speed and power rushes by JPP way too often. The middle of the line was very soft. In the first half it seemed like the DTs just dominated the C and G collapsing the pocket.

    Murray ran well.

    The TEs need to improve. Romo hit one in the middle of the field with a decent pass and instead of turning up field, the TE fell.

  4. Ron–Wow. I think they have that potential, but I’m not ready to crown their asses.

    Greg–You might be right on Bennett. You know I liked him while he was here, but fans thought he was a bum because he didn’t play the role they envisioned.

  5. Moses–I like Smith will be fine..toughest matchup all year, although the best OTs in the league don’t get beat like that. He has work to do, but right now he just needs to regain confidence.

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