The New York Giants managed to escape from Dallas with a 29-24 victory yesterday afternoon, despite letting a 23-point first half lead slip away on a day in which every inch mattered. Indeed, if the endzone were just a few inches deeper, things would be looking a lot different right now.
That is because the Cowboys appeared to execute a successful hail mary play to effectively end the game. Quarterback Tony Romo heaved a deep ball in the direction of wide receiver Dez Bryant, who beat his coverage and high pointed the ball, only to come down with his right hand touching out of bounds first before the rest of his body.
That, literally, was the margin for error on the afternoon—the dividing line between winning and losing. Had the Giants gone on to lose, they would be staring at a 5-3 record halfway through the season, having been swept by the Cowboys.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys would be 4-3, rather than 3-4, and would be just a half game behind for the division lead while being tied in the loss column. Should two division teams finish atop the division with the same record, a series sweep would be the first tie breaker.
Luckily for Big Blue, however, the playing surface in Dallas adheres strictly to the league’s rules with respect to the dimensions of the playing surface, and because of that, Bryant’s hand was just an inch or two out of bounds, meaning a would-be go-ahead touchdown was just another of Romo’s 26 incomplete passes on the day.
It was a fitting end for what proved to be a somewhat bizarre football game on the eve of the Frankenstorm invading the east coast just in time for Samhain festivities.
Indeed, on the day, one player proved to be the best offense for both teams, as Tony Romo not only threw 62 passes for 437 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another: he also threw four interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
While the Giants somehow managed to accumulate 293 yards of offense, they had just 11 first downs. Meanwhile, they converted just 3 of 15 third down opportunities, and scored just one touchdown in four trips into the redzone. In addition, the play disparity rested squarely in the Cowboys’ favor with a ratio of 83 to 58.
But some of this, again, can be attributed to that great bastion of offense, Tony Romo. His four interceptions were returned for a total of 103 yards, or almost 26 yards per interception. And that is because the last interception occurred on the sidelines for no return.
Indeed, it was by and large Dallas’ own miscues that set up the Giants with their offensive opportunities throughout the first half. Four of their five scores in the first half came directly off of three Romo interceptions and one Dez Bryant muffed punt.
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