The New York Giants (6-2) scored the first 23 points of the game, then gave up the next 24 straight points to the Dallas Cowboys (3-4) but wound up hanging on late in a 29-24 road win.
Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo connected with wide receiver Dez Bryant in the back of the end zone for the go ahead touchdown with 15 seconds left in the game. The stadium exploded into cheers and applause, however, the crowd’s’ adulation was short lived as the touchdown was reversed to an incomplete pass upon further review by replay. Replays showed Bryant’s fingertips came down out of bounds.
The Cowboys’ offense inched closer to their goal when Romo completed a 10-yard pass to tight end Jason Witten, who finished catching a Cowboys’ record 18 receptions for 167 yards, on 3rd and 6.
With six seconds left, Romo threw a deep pass to wideout Miles Austin, 9 catches for 133 yards, short of the end zone but it fell incomplete to the field turf.
With one second left, Romo dropped back and scrambled to buy time before he heaved the ball out of the end zone, not close to any Cowboys’ receiver. Many Giants players raised their arms triumphantly as they walked of the field with their sixth win of the season.
The G-Men raced out early with the help of Romo. After Giants’ kicker Lawrence Tynes split the uprights on a 41-yard field goal on the opening possession of the game, the Cowboys became very sloppy with the football.
Romo and the Cowboys responded ungracefully on their opening possession. Romo’s pass intended for Dez Bryant, 5 grabs for 110 yards, fell into the hands of Giants’ safety Stevie Brown, his first of two takeaways on the afternoon. The ball was intercepted at the New York 36-yard line and returned 37 yards to the Dallas 27-yard line. Four plays later the Giants’ had a 6-0 lead with over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter.
The Cowboys again tried to respond, but the result did not change. This time Giants’ cornerback Corey Webster was the recipient of the Romo pass at the New York 31-yard line. Webster returned Romo’s second interception 38 yards to the Dallas 31. The Giants took four plays to score again, but this time it was a one-yard touchdown run by running back Andre Brown extending the lead to 13-0.
The Cowboys finally stopped the Giants forcing a three and out, but the punt was muffed by Bryant, recovered by Bryant and then fumbled as he tried to advance the ball. The fumble was recovered by corner Michael Coe deep inside Dallas territory at the 15-yard line. The Giants did not score a touchdown but did manage a 26-yard field goal, Tynes third of the day, extending the lead to 16-0 with under a minute expired in the second quarter.
Romo’s third interception of the first half came moments later, defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul leaped in the air and caught Romo’s pass. Only 23 yards of green field turf were between him and the end zone. Pierre-Paul went in untouched, stretching the lead to 23-0.
Later in the second quarter, the Cowboys starting showing signs of life. In fact, they went on a scoring run of their own, 24 straight points. A rushing touchdown by running back Felix Jones, playing due to an injury to starting running back DeMarco Murray, a field goal and two touchdowns by Romo gave the Cowboys the lead.
The difference between the Giants 23 points and the Cowboys 24 points, Dallas had to earn every point. Nothing was given to them off turnovers.
The last touchdown, to give the Cowboys the lead, was caught by tight end John Phillips, the first of his career. The touchdown pass was the Cowboys’ quarterback only one of the day, he threw for a career high 437 yards completing 36 of 62 passes. Romo also had a rushing touchdown.
The Giants’ were trailing by one point in the fourth quarter but showed no panic. On their sideline stood the NFL’s best fourth quarter signal caller, Eli Manning. Manning led the Giants on a field goal drive on their first possession of the fourth quarter, 8 plays and 60 yards, with four and half minutes gone. Tynes fourth field goal of the day was perfect from 43 yards away giving them a 26-24 lead.
Manning led the Giants on another field goal drive, on their next possession. This time, Tynes was good from 37 yards on his fifth and final field goal of the game. The Giants now had a five point lead with under four minutes remaining in the game, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Cowboys out performed the Giants in several key categories, including total yards and time of possession. One area where they lagged significantly behind were in turnovers, committing six turnovers while the Giants only committed two.
The Giants remain undefeated in the Cowboys’ billion dollar stadium, they also remain atop the NFC East division and bring their division record for the season to .500 (2-2).
Next week the Giants will host the Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) at Metlife Stadium at 4:25 pm.