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Week 1 Game Recap: New York Giants 17, Dallas Cowboys 35


What you need to know

New York Giants

1. The Giants offensive line has much improved since last year, especially in pass protection. Run blocking was solid too.

2. Manning was asked to do too much in this game, Dallas kept scoring and this forced the Giants to try to keep up with them. The Giants weapons aren't good enough to score that much.

3. Engram and Barkley are likely the only consistent options in terms of fantasy. Latimer has explosive potential to score in non PPR leagues and Shepard could perform well in PPR leagues occasionally but you will have to pick your games well to start them in.

Dallas Cowboys

Dallasí offense gouged the Giants in the comfortable win, one of the dominant performances of Week 1 on offense around the NFL. Dak Prescott showed development in his intermediate and deep accuracy, a troubling sign for opposing defenses with their progressing wide receiver corps as Randall Cobb was added and Michael Gallup took a step forward entering Year 2. Ezekiel Elliottís workload was protracted in his debut following minimal ramp up to Week 1 as his contract was finalized, however the workhorse back found the end zone amidst his 14 touches and was subbed out on many passing downs and late in the game.

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 44 - 306 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0
Eli Manning made a lot of good throws in this game and kept his team moving the chains for the most part but the Giants weren't able to finish several drives which ended up costing them.

Manning was accurate and decisive from the pocket. He knew where to go with the ball and had Barkley to keep the Dallas defense honest. His offensive line looked much improved compared to last year and he had enough time to survey the field on most of his attempts. Manning looked to Engram throughout this game to move the ball and he him with a quick seam route to convert in the first quarter. He finished this drive with a rollout play to the left which completely caught the Cowboys off guard as Engram was alone in the flat for an easy score. Manning had a few balls that fluttered into the air or were off target that could have been picked off but he got away with them. Manning made two errors in short situations that really hurt the Giants. He was called for intentional grounding on 3rd and 1 after a great drive stalled near the redzone. Manning later attempted a rollout and scramble for first down on 4th & 1 but he looked extremely slow and was tackled well short of the marker. He did manage to stay on his feet on one miraculous play, picking himself back up and hitting Latimer deep along the sideline after a potential sack was evaded.

The Giants passing game was predictable, with so few proven weapons to threaten Dallas with. He almost hit Shepard on a slant in redzone for a touchdown but the coverage was just good enough to break up the play. Overall, Manning had to pass too much to keep up with Dallas, it forced them into several bad situations and they lacked the consistency on offense to score most drives. Barkley was somewhat under utilized and the pass protection has been improved so there is hope that the Giants can be marginally better this year but it might be only a matter of time before Jones is inserted into the starting line up.

RB Saquon Barkley, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 11 - 120 - 0, Rec: 4 - 19 - 0 (6 targets)
Saquon Barkley looked dynamic and explosive as ever against Dallas but the Giants curiously only gave him 15 overall touches. The Giants used Barkley a lot early in the game but once Dallas had secured the victory, they pulled Barkley for Gallman and preserved their elite running back. The day started rough for Barkley who fumbled the ball on the first drive but the Giants recovered it. He then took an inside run to the left all the way into Dallas territory after some excellent blocking by the Giants gave Barkley a lot of space to work with. He took another handoff inside and pushed back the first defender, just short of the goal line. Barkley got stuffed on the next carry and the Giants went to the passing game to secure the score. Barkley looked very tough to tackle and get a hand on. His spin move shook off several first tackle attempts and he wouldn't go down easy. Barkley took several hits and kept moving at the line of scrimmage and really showed incredible talent in this game. He has the strength, speed and agility to punish defenses that make mistakes. Barkley never made into the endzone and was somewhat replaced by Gallman as the game developed with Dallas easily securing the win. The offensive line made some gaps for him however, and he will have far more productive games going forward.

RB Wayne Gallman, 14 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 17 - 1, Rec: 3 - 24 - 0 (3 targets)
Wayne Gallman entered the game in the second half to relieve Barkley somewhat as the Giants were well behind Dallas on the scoreboard. Gallman looked explosive out of the backfield and secured many catches with his reliable hands. Gallman scored a nice touchdown in the redzone, fighting for extra yards and reached the ball out just enough to break the plane which got the Giants their second score. Gallman got several checkdown passes sent his way towards the end of the game in garbage time. He is a fine player but won't be fantasy relevant as long as Barkley is healthy.

WR Sterling Shepard, 68 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 42 - 0 (7 targets)
Sterling Shepard caught a lot of balls but these were very short plays that didn't give him much to work with. Dallas played prevent defense in a lot of this game thanks to their massive lead. This allowed Shepard to secure easy curl routes and quick grabs from the line of scrimmage. Sterling and the Giants passing attack rarely threatened however. He got some slants/quick outs and curls and was good at finding space for his QB. Shepard had a shot at a touchdown in the redzone on a slant play. The coverage from Dallas was excellent however the DB was close enough to break up the pass. Shepard didn't threaten apart from this. The Giants passing game is mediocre and Engram will get a lot of the targets. Shepard will have a few games where he gets a lot of balls, valuable in PPR, but predicting those will be tough and he will have many quiet games like this also. He was diagnosed with a concussion after the game.

WR Cody Latimer, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 74 - 0 (8 targets)
Cody Latimer made some explosive plays for the Giants on Sunday and looked like a real threat at times. He made a terrific one handed grab along the sideline, securing it in bounds and getting away from the defense for some extra yards. Latimer did an excellent job keeping the play alive for Manning, getting free in the secondary and giving Manning a massive window to throw into along the sideline for a big play. Manning tried to hook up with Latimer on a few other occasions but the defense did an excellent job in coverage, not leaving much separation. Latimer has upside with his explosive play but the consistency is unlikely to be there as a fantasy option.

TE Evan Engram, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 116 - 1 (14 targets)
Evan Engram played very well on Sunday and was the only consistent weapon the Giants had in the passing game. Engram is tough to cover over the middle and has the speed/agility to get separation from linebackers.

He grabbed a short seam route early in the game and held onto the ball after a big hit. Engram scored later in the redzone on a rollout play. He faked the block before releasing and was wide open in the endzone. Engram caught several more plays over the middle, showing excellent hands as he had a lot of plays in traffic. He made some catches on off target throws and really helped the Giants to move the ball. Engram's issue has mainly been his health.

He has an incredible opportunity to produce in this offense this season and should be a valuable fantasy play almost every week.


Dallas Cowboys

QB Dak Prescott, 65 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 32 - 405 - 4 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 12 - 0
Prescott posted a career day, completing nearly 80% of his passes for more than 400 yards and four scores against the overmatched Giants defense. Prescottís biggest progression from previously in his career was his accuracy on intermediate and deep passes, an unlocked area of his game. Prescott drove the field for two touchdown drives in the first 20 minutes of the game and the rout was on against the divisional opponent. Prescott found Michael Gallup on a tight window in-cut throw and a perfect deep throw versus the blitz as Dallas warmed early in the game. Later, Amari Cooper was the target on two on-point deep throws and Prescott also found Blake Jarwin and Randall Cobb down the seam for a touchdown each. Prescott did not even utilize his rushing ability much (12 yards, only one third-down keeper to convert) which has been a staple of his game to-date. The Cowboys get Washington in Week 2, who were boat-raced after staked to an early lead against the Eagles in Week 1.

RB Ezekiel Elliott, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 53 - 1, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (2 targets)
Elliott has a new contract and was managed in his snaps and touches in Week 1 as projected. The Cowboys did not need much from Elliott as the passing game ruled the day against the Giants in the comfortable win. Elliott was subbed out regularly on passing downs and Dallas was able to get additional reps for rookie Tony Pollard in the process. Elliott had a mere two targets but did manage a red zone touchdown late in the third quarter to essentially ice the game, his highlight run in an otherwise pedestrian performance. Washington was gouged for 116 rushing yard by the Eaglesí running backs in Week 1 and is on deck for Elliot in Week 2.

RB Tony Pollard, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 24 - 0
Pollard saw extended work in his NFL debut with Ezekiel Elliot on a managed workload (and not needed much) in the win over the Giants. Pollard saw minimal success on the ground, looking far more pedestrian than his preseason flashes over the past month. Pollard was not targeted in the passing game, a forte of his by the college profile, as Dak Prescott diced the Giants to wide receivers and tight ends. On the positive side, Pollard was the clear (as expected) backup to Ezekiel Elliott. There could be mop-up duty again in Week 2 against Washington for Pollard to see double-digit touches.

WR Michael Gallup, 53 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 158 - 0 (7 targets)
Gallup surged along with the rising tide of Dallasí electric passing game in the divisional win over the Giants in Week 1. Gallup got loose deep on multiple occasions, including a long yards-after-the-catch foray and a perfect Dak Prescott deep throw against the blitz to Gallup. Gallup looks to have competition for targets from top receiver Amari Cooper and added Randall Cobb, but the 2019 debut for the second-year receiver showed a well-rounded usage (plus the downfield connection with Prescott) pointing to promise this season.

WR Amari Cooper, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 106 - 1 (9 targets)
Cooperís route-running acumen was on display against the Giants as he led the team in targets. Cooper produced on all three levels of the field (short, intermediate, deep), including two deep receptions as a backbone to his production against the Giants. Cooper added two drops, both on slant routes, as Prescott was hyper-accurate on mostly of his throws. Dallasí passing game was white-hot against the Giants and looks to keep the momentum against Washington in Week 2.

WR Randall Cobb, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 69 - 1 (5 targets)
Cobb stepped right into the departed Cole Beasley slot role in Dallas with positive results against the Giants. Cobb added yards after the catch on multiple occasions, showing a solid stiff arm and being schemed into a swing pass design on another. Cobb added a drop but also had a reception called back by penalty amidst his efficient performance on a mere five targets.

TE Jason Witten, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 15 - 1 (4 targets)
Witten made his return to the NFL after 2018 in broadcasting to his traditional role as the chain-moving and short-range option in the Dallas offense. He found the end zone off a play-action design at the goal line but was limited to short routes throughout the game. Secondary tight end Blake Jarwin showed well as more of a seam-stretcher and Wittenís snap count was closer to a tight end-by-committee rotation for the Cowboys than Witten as the dominant starter.

TE Blake Jarwin, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 39 - 1 (3 targets)
Jarwin was the secondary tight end to Jason Witten in terms of snaps (40% versus 66%) but Jarwin showed well down the seam for a back-shoulder touchdown as Dallas surged as a passing offense against the Giants. With Witten limited to short areas of the field, Jarwin offers a more well-rounded role to the position, notable for the upcoming weeks.