Thursday, September 6, 2012
Giants 'drop' ball vs. Cowboys deep passing
By ESPN Stats & Information
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty ImagesThere were a lot of firsts in the Dallas Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the New York Giants on Wednesday.
Kevin Ogletree (right) had a career game for the Cowboys.
The Giants are the first defending Super Bowl champions to lose their season opener since the 1999 Broncos.
For the first time in a regular-season game, Victor Cruz had multiple drops. He's the first Giants player with three drops in a game since Mario Manningham in Week 4 of 2009.
The breakout star for the Cowboys was fourth-year receiver Kevin Ogletree, who caught a touchdown pass for the first time in his career -- and he caught one more for good measure.
Ogletree had a career day. In three seasons and 31 games going into Wednesday, he never had more than three receptions or 50 receiving yards in a game, and he never had a reception longer than 33 yards.
Against the Giants, Ogletree had a career-high eight receptions, 114 receiving yards and, most importantly, the first two touchdowns of his career.
Ogletree is the second Cowboys player ever with at least eight receptions, 100 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns against the Giants. The other was Mike Renfro, who had 10 receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns in 1985.
How about some fantasy football perspective? Ogletree had 21 career fantasy points in ESPN standard scoring in his first three seasons combined. He scored 23 fantasy points against the Giants on Wednesday.
And all of this happened in the first game of the 2012 season, the first NFL game played on a Wednesday since 1948, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Cowboys are now 6-0 all-time in season openers against the Giants.
How did the Cowboys get it done?
• On passes that traveled 15 or more yards downfield, Tony Romo was 5-of-7 for 150 yards with two touchdowns, including one to Miles Austin in the fourth quarter that put the Cowboys up 24-10. Last season, Romo completed five passes of such length on 11 attempts in two games against the Giants.
• Romo threw two of his touchdown passes Wednesday when outside the pocket. Over the past two seasons, Romo has thrown 12 touchdowns when outside the pocket, with half coming against the Giants. No other quarterback has more than three against a single team over that span.
• The Cowboys sent five or more pass-rushers after Eli Manning on 10 of his 35 drop-backs (28.6 percent) after doing so nearly 38 percent of the time last season. The less aggressive approach made the Cowboys' added rushes more effective, with all three sacks on Manning coming when sending five or more.