Dallas Cowboys open season with a win
Diane Xavier | 9/16/2013, 11:29 a.m.
The Dallas Examiner
They say that a strong defense is what gets you a championship. For the Dallas Cowboys, their goal of making the playoffs and winning a Super Bowl trophy looked more realistic as the team’s defense led the way by forcing five turnovers to get the victory against the New York Giants, 36-31 in the season opener held Monday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Cowboys had six overall takeaways with five on defense and one on special teams. This was an improvement from last season as the club only had 16 total takeaways in the 2012 season.
“Obviously, taking the ball away is the number one ingredient to winning football games in the league,” said Jason Garrett, Cowboys head coach. “We have playmaking-type players, it’s been a huge emphasis in practice and everything that we do. When you have guys around the football, good things happen. Guys on defense, guys on kicking game are running to the ball so when the ball comes out, we’re ready to pounce on it and make plays like we did tonight.”
The game began with Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware intercepting New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning on the Giants’ first offensive play. Ware intercepted the ball at the Giants’ 15 yard line which led to the Cowboys’ offense scoring first with a field goal.
Offensively, the Cowboys produced 331 total yards on offense with 87 yards rushing and 244 yards gained in the passing game.
The Cowboys’ running game came alive as running back DeMarco Murray found open lanes to help the offense move the ball down the field.
“It feels good to get a win,” Murray said. “I thought the defense played well and the kicking game played a great game. Offensively, we did some things well. We put up some points and yards out there. We’ll watch the film and get things corrected for next week.”
The game was close at halftime with the Cowboys leading 13-10. However, before halftime ended, the Cowboys got a scare as quarterback Tony Romo was injured on a play and ended up having a bruised rib. That didn’t stop Romo from finishing the game.
“Just took a hit and they caught me pretty good,” Romo said. “I just had to take a little bit of time. It’s just part of playing football. You take some hits sometimes and you’ve got to come back from it. We had plenty of guys do the same thing tonight and it was no different. You get back out there and play. I’ll be fine.”
In the second half, the Cowboys’ defense continued to stop the Giants’ offense by forcing more turnovers from fumbles and interceptions.
“We’ve been emphasizing that since the offseason,” Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee said. “We have to find a way to take away the ball from the offense. We’ve been emphasizing it. I thought that’s a great thing we did tonight. We played with a lot of effort. We found a way to get the ball out.”