The Dallas Cowboys earned the 23rd sweep of the Giants in the long series history between these two NFC East rivals when they trounced New York 37-18 on Monday night.
Not only is the sweep the most for the Cowboys against a divisional opponent in their franchise history, but it is now the most by a divisional opponent in Giants history since 1960. Dallas and Philadelphia each had 22 since 1960, but now, the Cowboys own the most in that span.
With all of that being a preamble, here are the hash marks following a victory that keeps the Cowboys atop the division:
The Bennett trade benefits — The Cowboys have done a masterful job in the past 12 months of evaluating existing talent in the NFL and adding it to their team to complement or enhance their game plan. Amari Cooper was a magnificent trade at the deadline last season, and the Robert Quinn acquisition from the Miami Dolphins in the offseason bolstered the pass rush.
Trading with the New England Patriots for defensive lineman Michael Bennett had an immediate impact as the former Texas A&M Aggie collected three combined tackles, 1.0 sack, four quarterback hits, and two tackles for loss. One would have to go back 13 games to find as productive of a stat line from Tyrone Crawford, the man Bennett replaces as the former is out for the year with a hip injury.
Going forward, the Cowboys' defensive line remains formidable, which is what is necessary in the back part of the schedule when trench play becomes more significant.
Xavier marks the spot — The former 2017 sixth-round pick from Louisiana Tech collected three combined tackles, an interception, a forced fumble, and a pass breakup. Woods brings a playmaking element to the back end that has been lacking since the best days of Barry Church, if one were to be so optimistic.
Coupled with Woods' play, it is why fans were salivating at the notion of adding New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, because he would bring an amplified version of Woods' playmaking and hard-hitting demeanor to the secondary.
Nonetheless, the Cowboys have the pieces they do now, and Woods can be the ballhawking safety they need to make plays to turn games around. If the pass rush can keep forcing opposing passers into bad decisions, Woods will have the presence to take advantage of them as he did in New York.
Zeke's lowkey big night — Ezekiel Elliott had 80 rushing yards by halftime. It didn't seem like it, but he did. In the Cowboys' three losses, which the Giants rematch seemed to have the same tenor, Elliott was stuffed, factored out of the game early, or just didn't seem to make an impact on the comeback. But Elliott's 6.04 yards per carry were giving the Cowboys easy yards and stabilizing drives.
Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore also seemed to give Elliott the ball as part of the flow of the game, not forcing it to the two-time NFL rushing champion. As a result, when the Cowboys' passing game found its groove, when the offense started tallying points, the Dallas offense was clicking and the Giants couldn't keep pace.
Elliott's 24th game of 100-plus rushing yards is by far the most since 2016 with Jordan Howard's 14 the second-closest. Since 2010, Elliott's 24 century-mark games are tied with Chris Johnson for seventh-most in that span.
The cat's meow — The black cat that ran out onto the field with 5:32 to go until halftime at MetLife Stadium was the greatest interruption to happen in the NFL this season, and it has the potential to be one of the more memorable moments of the season if the Cowboys do go as far as the Super Bowl.
One can only imagine the marketing opportunities that will spring forth since the data incontrovertibly proves the Cowboys' fortunes improved after the black cat's arrival.
DeMarcus Lawrence is already selling T-shirts.
Cats aren't at all cooperative like their canine counterparts, but it would be pretty fascinating to see in between quarters at AT&T Stadium a black cat running across the opposing end zone so as to "jinx" the other team. In this case, it was a good luck charm as the Cowboys ended up scoring 31 points in that end zone where the black cat crossed.
In fact, Brett Maher's missed 54-yard field goal was kicked in the opposite end zone, not in the black cat's end zone. There is an element of amusement to come out the whole black cat crossing that hopefully the Cowboys will incorporate much like the "We Dem Boys" of 2014 and the "Hot Boyz" of 2018.
Are black cats now good luck in Dallas? Share your thoughts on the Cowboys pulling of a sweep of the Giants with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.