Cosell’s Watching: Giants Offense vs. Cowboys Defense

Dallas Cowboys, From the Desk of Greg Cosell, Greg Cosell, Inside the Game, New York Giants

Editor’s Note:  Greg Cosell is the Executive Producer of NFL Matchup.  To produce each week’s show, Greg watches the same all-22 game tape as the NFL’s coaches and players use in their preparation.  Check back to TCIPF throughout the week for notes from Greg’s film study of Week 14.  Here are his observations from Eli Manning’s Offense vs. Rob Ryan’s defense.  Later today: The rest of Giants/Cowboys.


  • Cowboys clearly game planned to double Nicks on the Giants 1st possession. . .Nicks the “x” receiver in the Giants base personnel packages
  • Nicks 64 yds on 1st quarter FG drive was great example of chess match: Cowboys overload pressure to dictate Ware one-on-one on LT Diehl, Ware beat Diehl quickly off the edge; Nicks ran by Ball to the post and showed quickly for Manning, which negated quick pressure by Ware and Hatcher
  • Unbelievable block by RG Snee on Ratliff on Jacobs 1 yd TD in the 2nd quarter

  • S Church played in all sub-packages v. Beckum

    Brandon Jacobs runs 1 yard for game winning TD (AP)

  • Butler and Albright played snaps at OLB for the Cowboys to spell Ware and Spencer
  • Jacobs ran hard, Developed a rhythm that was evident on tape
  • Cowboys high percentage blitz from many different alignments and personnel packages, S Church had snaps when he aligned at OLB in a base 3-4 look
  • There were snaps in which Snee played LG and Petrus played RG, Petrus played both guard positions in college at Arkansas
  • In the Giants 3 WR personnel package the Cowboys at times doubled both Nicks and Cruz & singled Manningham on the outside
  • Manning stayed poised and composed v. Cowboys high percentage blitz, He knew where to go with the ball quickly and decisively – He was not sacked in the game
  • Cowboys a totally blown coverage on Manningham 47 yd TD, It was the first play the Giants had 4 WR personnel
  • LT Diehl struggled in pass protection v. Ware, Too much quickness and speed
  • Manningham 15 yds on 4th + 3 in the 4th quarter an example of doubles on Nicks and Cruz in the slot, and a single on Manningham – Manningham beat Newman

    Eli Manning (AP)

  • Manning consecutive big time throws on first 4th quarter TD drive: Cruz 23 yds and Nicks 24 yds – Both pocket movement in response to pressure
  • Cowboys stayed aggressive with blitz and man coverage in the 4th quarter, They did not play conservatively
  • Cruz a very tough man-to-man cover from the slot, A go-to receiver for Manning v. man coverage
  • Ballard 18 yds on winning TD drive was one-on-one v. S McCray, Cowboys doubled all 3 WR and matched McCray on Ballard
  • Manning was outstanding throughout the game but was especially impressive on the final 2 drives, Willingness to make stick throws into tight windows and accuracy really stood out
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