The Dallas Cowboys wasted no time kicking off their season on “Sunday Night Football.”
The Cowboys jumped out to a huge 16-0 lead almost instantly in their NFC East matchup with the New York Giants on Sunday night, the final game on the first Sunday of the 2023 season, before cruising to the 40-0 win. It marked the largest shutout win in team history.
But it wasn’t Dak Prescott and the offense that showed out. It was Dallas’ defense and special teams.
The Cowboys blocked a field goal to spoil what was otherwise a very impressive opening drive from the Giants at Metlife Stadium, and Noah Igbinghene ran it back 58-yards for a touchdown. Cowboys rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey missed the extra point, but the play still stunned New York on a very rainy night.
— NFL (@NFL) September 11, 2023
It was the first blocked field goal returned for a touchdown by the Cowboys since 2007. There was just one in the league last season.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) September 11, 2023
Just like that, the Cowboys held a 16-0 lead. They kicked a field goal early in the second quarter, and then Tony Pollard picked up the offense's first touchdown to give the Cowboys a massive 26-0 lead with more than eight minutes left in the quarter. They rode that lead into halftime.
By then, it was far too late for the Giants to mount a comeback. The Cowboys cruised to the 40-point win.
Daniel Jones went 15-of-28 for 104 yards for the Giants. He was sacked seven times. Barkley had 51 yards on the ground on 12 carries.
Prescott went 13-of-24 for 143 yards in the win. Pollard had 70 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, and CeeDee Lamb had 77 yards on four catches.
The Cowboys had New York's number last season. Dallas won both games last year, beating the Giants 23-16 in Week 3 and 28-20 in Week 12. Despite both losses, the Giants still managed to make the playoffs, where they pulled off an upset over the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round. Dallas also won its wild-card game. Both teams fell in the divisional round.
Relive the first "Sunday Night Football" game of the season with Yahoo Sports.
The Cowboys didn't need to rely on Dak Prescott or anything other than their dominant defense and opportunistic special teams.