Giants Fall to Cowboys 36-31: The New York Giants fell to the Dallas Cowboys 36-31 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday night. The story of the game was turnovers as the Giants turned the ball over six times, with two of those turnovers being returned for touchdowns.
“I’m totally embarrassed about that sloppy, sloppy football,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin after the game. “You can’t win turning the ball over. The carelessness, the lack of understanding that that’s how you lose.”
The Giants had five offensive possessions in the first half, and the first three resulted in turnovers. On New York’s very first offensive snap, QB Eli Manning’s screen pass intended for RB David Wilson was intercepted by DE DeMarcus Ware at the 15-yard line. The Giants’ defense held and Dallas was forced to settle for a short field goal.
On the Giants’ second possession, the Giants moved to the Cowboys’ 8-yard line in four plays with the big play being a 57-yard catch-and-run by WR Hakeem Nicks. But on 1st-and-goal, Wilson fumbled the ball away and Dallas recovered at their own 7-yard line. The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out. New York’s third possession then ended with another Manning interception as the Dallas safety returned the ball to the Cowboys’ 48-yard line.
The Cowboys drove to the Giants’ 13-yard line, but on 3rd-and-11, S Ryan Mundy intercepted QB Tony Romo and returned the ball 91-yards to the Cowboys’ 1-yard line. However, the Giants could not punch the ball in and were forced to settle for 20-yard field goal. The game was tied 3-3.
Late in the first quarter and early in the second, Dallas drove 60 yards in 14 plays to set up a 38-yard field goal as the Cowboys regained the lead 6-3. The Giants’ offense went three-and-out and the Cowboys then followed that up with a 9-play, 71-yard drive that resulted in a 15-yard touchdown pass to TE Jason Witten for a 13-3 advantage with just three minutes to play before halftime.
The Giants quickly tightened the game up again on 70-yard touchdown from Manning to WR Victor Cruz.
At the half, the Cowboys led 13-10.
The Giants’ defense forced a three-and-out on the Cowboys’ first possession of the second half. After a sack, on 2nd-and-15, Wilson fumbled the ball away again with Cowboys’ safety Barry Church returning the fumble 27 yard for a touchdown and a 20-10 Cowboys’ lead. The Giants gained one first down on their next possession and punted. The Cowboys also picked up one first down and punted, but the Dallas punt touched CB Trumaine McBride who was blocking a Cowboy. Dallas recovered the “fumble” at the Giants’ 16-yard line. Two plays later, Romo hit Witten again for a 27-10 Cowboys’ advantage.
The Giants then responded with a 8-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Cruz near the end of the third quarter. Cowboys 27 – Giants 17. Dallas then drove 53 yards in eight plays to set up a 45-yard field goal. Cowboys 30 – Giants 17.
The Giants quickly made a game of it again as Manning and the Giants went 90 yards in seven plays, and Cruz caught his third touchdown of the night from Manning, this one from 10 yards out. Cowboys 30 – Giants 24 with less than nine minutes to go in the game.
The Cowboys picked up one first down and then punted. The Giants went three-and-out. The Cowboys picked up one first down and punted again. With 2:41 left in the game, the Giants moved from their 17-yard line to their own 48 with two minutes to go. But on 1st-and-10, Manning dump-off to RB Da’Rel Scott was batted into the air and CB Brandon Carr returned the interception 49 yards for the score and a 36-24 lead.
“We had a chance to win and I choked,” said Scott after the game.
The Giants did drive 80 yards in nine plays to make the score look more respectable – 36-31 – with 11 seconds left, but the Cowboys recovered the onsides kick to win the game.
Manning finished the game 27-of-42 for 450 yards, four touchdowns, and three interceptions. Running backs David Wilson and Da’Rel Scott only managed 42 yards rushing on 12 carries. Cruz caught five passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns, Nicks caught five passes for 114 yards, and WR Rueben Randle also caught five passes for 101 yards.
Defensively, the Giants gave up 87 net yards rushing and 244 net yards passing. The Giants lost the turnover battle 6-1.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at NFL.com.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference is available at Giants.com.
Injury Report: CB Prince Amukamara was forced to leave the game late in the first half with a concussion and did not return. LB Dan Connor aggravated a burner and left the game and did not return.
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, TE Adrien Robinson (foot), OC David Baas (knee), OT David Diehl (thumb), DE Damontre Moore (shoulder), DE Adewale Ojomo, and DT Johnathan Hankins.