Cowboys Win on the Last Play – © USA TODAY Sports Images
Giants Fall Short in Game, and Season: The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants 24-21 on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fall to 4-7 on the season (1-3 in the division). The Giants now trail both the 6-5 Cowboys (4-0 in the division) and 6-5 Eagles (3-2 in the division) with five games to play. In a nutshell, unless the Giants win their remaining games and the Cowboys and Eagles both collapse, the Giants are not going to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The game started off slowly for both teams as the Cowboys and Giants exchanged punts twice. On the second play of Dallas’ third possession, S Antrel Rolle intercepted QB Tony Romo at the Giants’ 21-yard line. However, three plays later, WR Victor Cruz fumbled the football after a short catch at midfield, and the loose ball was returned 50 yards for a touchdown by S Jeff Heath of the Cowboys. Dallas 7 – New York 0.
On New York’s fourth possession, the Giants drove the ball 74 yards in 10 plays, but were forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal after facing a 1st-and-goal situation at the 9-yard line. The Cowboys responded with a 5-play, 80-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown pass from Romo to TE Jason Witten. Cowboys 14 – Giants 3.
The Giants’ offense moved the football well again, driving 65 yards in eight plays. But again, the drive stalled in the red zone. After facing a 1st-and-goal from the 4-yard line, the Giants had to settle for yet another short field goal, this time from 23 yards out.
Neither team threatened in the last four possessions of the second quarter. At the half, Dallas led 14-6.
New York received the football to start the second half and drove from their own 34-yard line to the Dallas 35. However, QB Eli Manning’s pass to Cruz on 4th-and-6 ended the drive and the Giants turned the football over on downs. Dallas then took a commanding lead by drive 65 yards in 10 plays as Romo hit Witten again, this time from two yards out. Midway through the third quarter, the Cowboys led 21-6. That drive was kept alive when a roughing-the-passer penalty on DE Mathias Kiwanuka erased a fumble that was forced by CB Terrell Thomas and recovered by S Will Hill.
The Giants immediately cut into that 15-point advantage by driving 67 yards in six plays. On 4th-and-3 from the Cowboys’ 27-yard line, Manning for TE Brandon Myers for the score. Cowboys 21 – Giants 13.
On the Cowboys’ second possession of the half, they were forced to punt the ball away after crossing midfield near the end of the third quarter. The Giants then went three-and-out, the Cowboys punted after gaining one first down, the Giants went three-and-out again, and Dallas punted the ball away again.
With just under nine minutes to play, and trailing by eight points, New York drove 58 yards in eight plays, with Manning finding WR Louis Murphy for a 4-yard touchdown with just under five minutes to go. RB Andre Brown scored on the 2-point conversion and the game was tied at 21-21.
However, the dramatic comeback was ruined when the Cowboys ended the game with a 14-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a walk-off 35-yard field goal by Dallas with no time left on the clock. The Cowboys converted on three third-down situations on the drive.
Offensively, Manning finished the game 16-of-30 for 174 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. His leading receivers were RB Andre Brown (4 catches for 11 yards), WR Rueben Randle (3 catches for 64 yards), and TE Brandon Myers (three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown). The Giants rushed for 202 yards. Brown carried the ball 21 times for 127 yards and RB Brandon Jacobs carried the ball nine times for 75 yards.
Defensively, the Giants allowed 220 net yards passing and 107 net yards rushing. The Giants sacked Romo four times with sacks by DT Cullen Jenkins (twice), DE Justin Tuck (once), and a shared sack by DT Linval Joseph and DE Mathias Kiwanuka. The only forced turnover was Rolle’s interception.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at NFL.com.
Post-Game Injury Report: OC Jim Cordle injured his knee and left the game in the first half. It is not believed to be an ACL tear, but he will undergo an MRI exam. CB Trumaine McBride was forced to leave the game with a groin injury. DE Jason Pierre-Paul had x-rays taken on his injured shoulder after the game.
Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s Post-Game Press Conference: The transcript and video of Head Coach Tom Coughlin’s post-game press conference are available at Giants.com.
Player Post-Game Media Sessions: Transcripts and video of post-game media sessions with the following players are available at Giants.com:
New York Giants Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were QB Ryan Nassib, RB Peyton Hillis, WR Hakeem Nicks (abdomen), TE Adrien Robinson, OC Dallas Reynolds, DT Markus Kuhn, and CB Corey Webster (groin/ankle).
Both teams were flagged 11 time.
Dallas was 4-of-11 on third down, but three of those conversions came on their game-winning field goal drive.