Taylor Williams

Takeaways From The Cowboys-Giants Opener

Created on Sept. 12, 2013 5:00 AM EST

Clock Control

Of all the stats correlated with wins and losses, this one might be the most legitimate for the Cowboys. They handled the clock, the possession battle and the momentum with masterful skill, notching 37:10 of possession time to the Giants’ 22:50. They also rattled off 15 plays more than New York — evidence of the team’s desire to speed up its play-calling in addition to balancing it.

When your defense lives and dies on big plays, staying fresh and energized is beyond essential. If those players can improve their third-down rates — New York converted 6-of-11 third downs — the offense can dominate this crucial stat even more thoroughly.

Bottom line: Give Romo time and he’ll make the smart plays that keep the chains moving and the defenders refreshed. Defensively, tighten up on third downs.