New York Giants: Zeroes and Heroes of Game 1 at Dallas

Evan Engram, New York Giants. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Evan Engram, New York Giants. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /


Honorable Mention – Punter Riley Dixson had none of his four punts returned and three of them put Dallas inside their own 20-yard line.

Hero Number 3 – Eli Manning

Eli Manning had a pretty good game. He went 30-of-44 for 304 yards and touchdown. Additionally, the New York Giants signal-caller threw no interceptions and was sacked only once. His third-quarter fumble on the Dallas seven yard-line wasn’t good, but then again that entire red zone series of plays looked bad. Additionally, going back to criticism of the referees, they ignored a helmet to helmet hit by Demarcus Lawrence after Manning’s progress was stopped which allowed Leighton Vander Esch to rip the ball out. Had the G-Men scored, they still would have been down by 11 points and Dallas scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession.

Manning probably could have done even better, but he and Shula never looked like they were on the same page Sunday afternoon. Manning’s deep passes to Cody Latimer looked great, especially the first play of the second half when he hit his receiver in-stride down the right sideline for a 43-yard gain. Manning also had good chemistry with both Bennie Fowler and Sterling Shepard.

Hero Number 2 – Evan Engram

A matchup nightmare for any defense, the fast, athletic tight end took advantage of Dallas’ defense. Evan Engram caught passes in traffic with double coverage on him. He muscled away defenders all day and slipped off the line to catch the Giants first score of the game on a first-and-goal from the one.

Without playmakers on the outside, Engram became the New York Giants playmaker on the inside. He caught 11 passes for 116 yards and the above-mentioned score. Dallas had to double cover him often and not only did Engram excel, but it also gave Manning the ability to pick out his wide receivers in single coverage.

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Big Hero of the week – Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley showed what he’s made of on the Giants second offensive play of the game. He took Manning’s handoff, stutter-stepped as tackle Mike Remmers man-handled Dallas’ defensive end to the inside, and took off for a 59-yard gain. It took a great pursuit angle from opposite side cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, to prevent him from reaching paydirt.

Throw out the big run and he still had 61 yards on 10 carries and four receptions for 14 yards. That works out 6.1 yards every time Barkley touched the ball. Why would the Giants get away from giving it to him? That fact that with two chances to make two yards from the Dallas seven-yard line, they didn’t give him the ball on either snap is astounding. It was a very “Seahawks in the Super Bowl” pair of plays.

The fact still remains that every time Barkley touched the football, it was the defenders who got hit hard. It’s disappointing that for his top-shelf work Sunday afternoon, Barkley didn’t have a touchdown.

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Who were your Zeroes and Heroes this week? Let us know in the comments section or on social media.