DAL-NYG grades: Giants overcome rough night from QB Eli Manning

Highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Giants' Week 14 victory over the Cowboys.

| 5 months ago
(Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Al Bello/Getty Images)

DAL-NYG grades: Giants overcome rough night from QB Eli Manning

New York Giants 10, Dallas Cowboys 7

Here are the highest-graded players and top takeaways from the Giants’ Week 14 win over the Cowboys—New York’s second victory over 11-2 Dallas this season.

New York Giants

Quarterback grade: Eli Manning 25.8

Manning turns in horrid outing, but team picks him up in crucial win

There aren’t too many ways to put it: Eli Manning was flat out bad on Sunday night. In the first half, he had two fumbles that were recovered by the Cowboys, flipping critical field position. The first fumble slipped out of his hand while throwing and ended a drive that had the Giants just outside of the red zone; his second came as New York was just outside of field-goal range. Manning also had two fortunate incompletions that were dropped by Barry Church, but was not so lucky in the fourth quarter when he threw into tight coverage and Anthony Brown made a great jump on the ball and picked it off. Manning threw another dangerous pass on a slant intended for Sterling Shepard; the QB threw blindly down the middle after turning his back to the coverage. Manning, on the night, had six turnover-worthy plays, which is why he graded out so poorly despite the outcome.

Eli Manning vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

C Weston Richburg, 74.8

OT Marshall Newhouse, 74.3

WR Odell Beckham Jr., 71.0

OT Ereck Flowers, 70.9

WR Sterling Shepard, 69.2

Beckham make highlight of the night, but quiet otherwise

Odell Beckham Jr. had a truly electrifying highlight of the night, taking a slant pass 61 yards all the way to the end zone, blazing by the Cowboys’ secondary on what would turn out to be the game-winning touchdown. But outside of that highlight play, Beckham did not perform like a player of his caliber. He had two big drops, one of which could have gone for a touchdown; the other came close to the sticks on a third down inside the Cowboys’ red zone and forced the Giants to kick a field goal when they were down seven points. On the night, Beckham was targeted nine times and had four receptions for 94 yards and the aforementioned score.

Top defensive grades:

CB Janoris Jenkins, 91.6

S Landon Collins, 85.6

CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 85.1

ED Olivier Vernon, 83.4

DI Romeo Okwara, 80.3

Giants’ secondary shuts down Cowboys’ passing game

The Giants’ defense played a great complimentarily game on Sunday night. The run defense provided help on the edge and in the middle, with DT Damon Harrison outstanding all night. What stood out the most, though, was the play by the New York secondary—most notably, cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins set the tone early when covering Dez Bryant by fighting him off on a slant and coming away with a key interception. When covering Bryant on the night, Jenkins surrendered one catch on seven targets. The one catch that he did allow, he promptly forced Bryant to fumble, giving the Giants the ball back and causing the Cowboys to burn their final timeout. Jenkins then put the nail in the coffin by getting his hands in between Bryant’s on a fourth-down pass and deflecting the ball enough to hit the ground and end the game.

Dallas Cowboys

Quarterback grade: Dak Prescott, 36.8 

Dak Prescott unable to get on same page as Dez Bryant in loss

Dak Prescott was not much better than Eli Manning in the first half; his interception came on a slant route where Dez Bryant couldn’t keep his feet, and was ultimately not the rookie’s fault, but his third-down fumble late in the second quarter took the team out of field-goal range, and could have been much worse. Leon Hall then picked off Prescott when he and Bryan appeared not to be on the same page.

Dak Prescott vs pressure

Top offensive grades:

G Zack Martin, 78.2

C Travis Frederick, 77.4

HB Ezekiel Elliot, 77.3

OT Doug Free, 75.9

OT Tyron Smith, 71.2

Dez Bryant unable to make impact in Cowboys’ loss

The Cowboys had some success running the ball on Sunday night; both interior stars Travis Frederick and Zack Martin played well. Neither allowed a pressure, but both posted just average run-blocking grades. Ezekiel Elliot was effective for most of the night, finishing with over 100 yards with 4.5 yards per carry, But the story on that side of the ball was Dez Bryant, who was unable to get on the same page as Dak Prescott—and unable to shake CB Janoris Jenkins. Bryant was targeted eight times, and only managed one reception. Soon after catching that pass, he had a back-breaking fumble that severally hurt the Cowboys’ chances of coming away with a victory.

Top defensive grades:

ED Benson Mayowa, 85.3

CB Anthony Brown, 84.5

S Barry Church, 82.5

ED Tyrone Crawford, 80.6

DI Maliek Collins, 77.6

Edge support makes big impact, but its not enough for victory

For much of this season, the talk about the Cowboys’ defense has been the emergence of the secondary, with Brandon Carr and the now-injured Morris Claiborne having career years. But on Sunday, the Cowboys got great performances from their top edge defenders in Benson Mayowa and Tyrone Crawford. Mayowa was a menace in run defense, notching four run stops and helping limit the Giants’ running game with a 90.9 run-defense grade. Mayowa added a key strip sack that resulted in a turnover as the Giants were inching into field goal range in the second quarter. Crawford was also solid in both areas, with two QB hurries and a sack rushing the passer, earning 75.2 run-defense grade.

PFF Game-Ball Winner: Janoris Jenkins, CB, Giants

PFF’s player grading process includes multiple reviews, which may change the grade initially published in order to increase its accuracy. Learn more about how we grade and access grades for every player through each week of the NFL season by subscribing to Player Grades.

  • fuster

    helluva season for Jenkins and it sure doesn’t seem as if the Giants paid too much for him

  • AC2

    This writer sucks. Holy cow, these grades for that Oline are laughable.

  • Craig

    Wow, this fancy stat grading system is crap.. Not even a mention of Sean Lee in the top defensive grades?? What a joke.. The guy was in on 18 tackles and was dominant all night.. Certainly looked like one of the top d guys tonight.

    • Brian Haggerty

      It was just a screw up on not listing him. They actually graded him at 95, which is the tops in the NFL for this week at LB.

  • Johan

    This is just getting stupid now. Sean Lee had a huge night and somehow not even a top 5 defender? Well done.

    • iCoerce

      Sean lee was out of position on 2 key running plays that eventually led to first downs..

      • Johan

        I also saw how he cleaned up others mistakes and got stops in 3 down. So you say those d linemen played a better game without errors?

    • Brian Haggerty

      They gave Sean Lee a 95 grade for this game, but somehow they forgot to list him as one of the top defenders. They graded him the top LB in the NFL for week 14.

      • Johan

        That’s good. Thanks for the info!

  • James Winslow

    If the giants can avoid the seahawks in the playoffs they are probably going to the superbowl.

    • iCoerce


      • Brad Barber

        Lol Wilson just got obliterated by packers. We have more ball hawks and better passrush against a horrible oline. I’m not scared of Seattle one bit

        • iCoerce

          You forgot to note that in both games against the packers WIlson has put forth 2 of his more horrible performances as a pro.

        • James Winslow

          I just don’t like eli against Seattle defense. I just see him throwing a lot of picks.

  • Nunya Biz

    It’s staggering. We’re back to the ridiculousness with Eli. The second fumble was literally CAUSED by one of your top rated Giants offensive players, Flowers, never touching the BACK UP DE until he essentially shoved him into Manning less than 2 seconds after the snap. And to say Dak played better….and no mention of MULTIPLE interceptable balls that weren’t after making sure that you mentioned all the turnovers that didn’t happen to Eli but “could have”. Not to mention three or four perfectly thrown balls that were dropped by Beckham (one a probable TD) and Cruz. I honestly don’t get the agenda here. Eli wasn’t great, but he also was nowhere near what your’e describing.

    • No Sir

      Yeah, no. Eli was terrilbe.

      • Mordecai Carlton

        not the issue, we are in agreement eli was terrible, but with multiple drops, no run game, zero protection with basically the same stat line as Dak w/o the interceptions…. makes no sense

        • foreverclear

          He threw balls to Barry Church as if he was a reciever

    • mormonrock124

      Eli wasn’t good last night but Dak had a fumble as well, 2 bad picks, sacked 3 times and completed under 50% of his passes, so again from a grading system it’s just not consistent.

      Giant WR had about 4 drops as well last night which hurts the stat line.

    • Mordecai Carlton

      Gotta agree, Flowers almost cost the Gmen the game… and he’s top rated …wut? Also Dallas defenders, Sean Lee was EVERYWHERE and not cracking top 5… system flawed bruh… I agree with Jenkins game ball but gotta be rated higher, pick, fumble , Dez doing zip what else can he do return one?!!!

      • foreverclear

        i do not know about you but there is not much of a difference when you both fail this bad. That is like getting mad that I beat you in a test with a 30 and you had a 25.

    • Backinmd

      At least two out of three , four passes Orange Blossom dropped would have been touchdowns .. Both right in his hands …Dez didn’t have a good game either ..Think Dallas is reading to many of their own press clippings .. They were out of sync the whole game most of which was the Giants defense ..

  • James R

    Cmon guys. I appreciate what Eli has done for the past decade, but there comes a point where you have to realize he’s hindering the offense. We put up 10 points and he took multiple points off the board via an interception and fumbles. He missed multiple passes. Yeah, Beckam dropped a nice pass. The rest of the game, the defense had to completely shut Dallas down or we were in trouble. The D held them to 7 and we won by 3. Not happening in the playoffs. Let’s at least admit we need to start grooming/looking for a qb or we will squander this great, young defense. Go Giants.

    • mormonrock124

      Haha squander a great defense? The defense is finally good for the first time in a decade. If anything the poor defensive play squandered some of Eli’s best seasons.

      The Giants do need to fix the O line though, way to many missed blocks in both the run and passing game which lead to way to many negative plays.

    • Mordecai Carlton

      Its the oline… it may be among the worst in league in both run and pass blocking… eli will just toss it in the dirt to avoid the sack… no time , but hold on to the damn ball eli

    • Backinmd

      Mr. Orange Blossom dropped two touchdown passes ..Can’t blame Eli for that ..Must admit Eli didn’t have a very good game ….

  • Joe Troiano

    So… Dak outplayed Eli? Yeah, ok. Your QB grading is useless. There’s no way to account for hot reads and audibles as well.

    • foreverclear

      If we were being graded on a test I guarantee you If I had scored a 30 and you a 25 it would not matter that I had done ‘better’ as we both were garbage.

      • Joe Troiano

        ..but Dak was single handedly the reason the Cowboys lost. Had the Giants lost Eli was not the sole one to blame. Eli played crappy, not saying he didn’t. The pick on the curl was at least half on the receiver (Cruz), ball was thrown before the cut. Now PFF has named Eli the worst QB of the week. Not even close. We take half the QBs in the league and put them on the Giants for the Cowboy game and we’d have lost.

        • Boyfromoz

          Give me a break. One of Dak’s INTs was when Dez slipped. Dez had front position, the ball was on target – wouldn’t have been an INT without it. And Dak didn’t just drop the ball without being touched.

        • foreverclear

          Eli threw to Church twice as if he was a receiver

    • James Winslow

      I mean eli almost threw three picks. you can’t say he had a good game.

  • Dominique

    Dak led one good drive the entire game. Eli led a couple of ok drives and fumbled or was intercepted. OBJ did the heavy lifting. Both qbs were garbage last night.

  • crosseyedlemon

    You would think the Eli fans would eventually realize that PFF is just winding them up each week for the amusement of others.

  • Backinmd

    Three, four weeks ago everyone was saying Dallas would go undefeated rest of the season and a shoe in for the SuperBowl ..Now you have the press feeding frenzy of a QB controversy .. Dak vs Romeo ..Guess Romo will start next week or else ..Romo is too fragile to start anymore games unless Dak get injured …He and Dez’s timing were way off throughout the game and the cold weather effected Dallas more than the Giants ..