NY Giants grades: Offense holds, Leonard Williams has monster game

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
1 of 6

The NY Giants finally end their winless drought against the Dallas Cowboys in a big win on a cold day at MetLife.

What a game.

The NFC East was meant to be decided in a hard-fought, defensive-heavy, back-and-forth game. At the end, it was the NY Giants who prevailed through the wind, rain, and cold to put themselves in the best position to become NFC East champs.

Unfortunately, Alex Smith was able to lead the Washington Football Team to victory in Philadelphia, giving Washington the division title and a trip to the playoffs.

The Giants’ win over the Dallas Cowboys was a total team effort, though not particularly a total game played. The Giants’ offense played some of their best football in the first half, while the Giants’ defense made Andy Dalton look every bit of a backup quarterback.

That 14-6 first-half lead was important for the Giants. In the second half, the defense grew tired and struggled to stop Dalton, Ezekiel Elliott, and the rest of the Cowboys offense as they outscored the Giants 10-3 in order to close the gap.

A large part of that sluggish Giants’ defense was the fault of the Giants’ offense, which turned the ball and the momentum over to the Cowboys in the second half, and struggled to put up any points.

But the offense was able to capitalize on a big mistake. And the defense, from veterans to rookies who proved that they will be the strength of this team going forward, made big plays late to hold the Cowboys at bay.

While mistakes almost cost the Giants the game, there were plenty of players from the offense and defense to praise. We can’t get to them all, but let’s take a look at a handful of the players who were responsible for the Giants’ first win over the Cowboys in four years.