IRVING, Texas – A depleted cornerback corps was the Giants’ primary personnel concern entering the season opener.
That continues to be the case after Tony Romo picked apart the New York secondary for 307 yards and three touchdowns.
However, it’s inaccurate to say the Cowboys simply exploited the Giants’ weak links over and over again. Sure, they had success against Michael Coe and Justin Tryon, a couple of journeyman corners forced into significant roles because of injuries to Terrell Thomas (season-ending torn ACL) and Prince Amukamara (high ankle sprain).
But the Cowboys had their most success in the air when attacking Corey Webster, the Giants’ best corner.
The Cowboys completed six of seven passes for 145 yards and a touchdown when targeting Webster. The lone incompletion was a dropped interception when Romo threw an ill-advised pass right to Webster after scrambling in the first quarter.
All four of Dez Bryant's catches for 85 yards, including a 38-yard deep ball, came against Webster. Kevin Ogletree, whose first touchdown came when he split a pair of linebackers in zone coverage, torched Webster on a stop-and-go for his 40-yard score. And Miles Austin had a 20-yard reception on a deep out the lone time he was thrown the ball while matched up against the Giants’ top corner.
The Cowboys were 4-of-6 for 37 yards against Coe, with Ogletree the intended receiver on each occasion. They exploited Tryon after Coe left with a tweaked hamstring, completing all three passes thrown his way for 61 yards, including the 34-yard KO TD to Austin on a jump ball down the left sideline.
“We knew their corner situation, but we wanted our receivers to go against their corners,” coach Jason Garrett said when asked about game-planning to attack weak links. “I think if you looked at the game we completed passes against every one of those corners, the guys who’d been playing a lot and also guys that not played as much. I think it’s important to understand the pattern vs. the coverage and where the ball needs to go, and I thought Tony did a really good job throughout the game last night.
“I thought our guys won on a consistent basis against all their guys.”
Webster was no exception. In fact, the Cowboys victimized the veteran starter more than anyone else.