Oct 282012
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Giants Win Wild Game in Dallas, 29-24: It wasn’t pretty. And they almost let it slip away. But the New York Giants won a critical game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas earlier today 29-24. The win improved the Giants’ overall record to 6-2, and 2-2 in the NFC East. The Cowboys dropped to 3-4 on the season.

In many areas, Dallas dominated statistically. The Cowboys held advantages in first downs (28 to 11), third-down efficiency (50% to 20%), total net yards (434 to 293), net yards passing (415 to 190), and time of possession (32:18 to 27:42). But the Giants held a big advantage in net yards rushing (103 to 19) and turnovers. Dallas turned the football over six times while the Giants turned the football over twice.

At one point in the game, it looked like it would be a cakewalk for the Giants. Early in the second quarter, the Giants had taken a 23-0 lead, largely because of three interceptions by QB Tony Romo.

The Giants received the football to start the game. A 56-yard pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Rueben Randle set up a 41-yard field goal by the Giants. On the seventh play of the Cowboys’ first possession, Romo was intercepted by S Stevie Brown at the Giants’ 36-yard line. Brown returned the ball 37 yards to the Dallas 27-yard line. However, the Giants could not pick up a first down and were forced to settle for a 37-yard field goal by PK Lawrence Tynes. Giants 6 – Cowboys 0.

On the Cowboys’ second possession, Romo was intercepted again as CB Corey Webster picked off the pass at the Giants’ 31-yard line and returned it 38 yards to the Dallas 31-yard line. Four plays later, HB Andre Brown scored from one yard out to give the Giants a 13-0 lead.

The Cowboys and Giants then each went three-and-out and punted. However, LB Mark Herzlich forced WR Dez Bryant to fumble on the punt return. The loose ball was recovered by CB Michael Coe at the Dallas 15-yard line. But the Giants once again were forced to settle for a field goal rather than a touchdown as Tynes connected from 26 yards out. Giants 16 – Cowboys 0.

Early in the second quarter, it looked like the game was virtually over when DE Jason Pierre-Paul intercepted Romo’s pass at the Cowboys’ 28-yard line and returned it for a touchdown that gave the Giants a commanding 23-0 advantage.

On Dallas’ fifth possession of the half, they went three-and-out again. But momentum started to shift after HB Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled the ball away on the first play of the Giants’ sixth possession. However, the Giants’ defense forced another three-and-out. At this point in the game, the Cowboys had been held to four first downs in six possessions and having turned the football over four times.

The Giants gained one first down and then punted. The Cowboys then put together an 8-play, 72-yard drive that resulted in a 4-yard touchdown run by HB Felix Jones. Giants 23 – Cowboys 7.

The Giants punted again on the ensuing drive after picking up one first down. The Cowboys then moved 55 yards in six plays to set up a 51-yard field goal. The Giants could not move the ball on their last possession of the half and punted.

At the half, the Giants led 23-10.

The Cowboys overtook the Giants by dominating the third quarter. The Cowboys drove 86 yards in 11 plays to start the half. The Cowboys were held on three straight plays from the 1-yard line, but on 4th-and-goal, Romo scored from one yard out. Giants 23 – Cowboys 17.

The Giants went three-and-out on their first possession of the second half. The Cowboys then drove 59 yards in eight plays and went ahead 24-23 when Romo hit TE John Phillips for a 1-yard score.

Matters got worse for the Giants as Manning was intercepted by S Danny McCray at the Cowboys’ 35-yard line late in the third quarter. But the Giants defense forced a three-and-out with DT Chris Canty sacking Romo for a 12-yard loss on first down. The Giants then regained the lead for good when they drove 60 yards in eight plays to set up a 43-yard field goal by Tynes. Giants 26 – Cowboys 24.

Dallas drove from their own 22 to the Giants’ 48-yard line on their fourth possession of the half. But Felix Jones fumbled the ball away and Stevie Brown recovered at the Cowboys’ 45-yard line. The Giants were able to move the football 26 yards in six plays to set up another Tynes’ field goal – his fifth of the game – this one from 37 yards out. Giants 29 – Cowboys 24 with 3:31 to play.

The Cowboys then drove from their own 22-yard line to the Giants’ 19-yard line with 1:14 to play. But on 4th-and-1, Stevie Brown intercepted Romo again, this time at the Giants’ 17-yard line. With a little over a minute to play, it looked like the Giants had the game locked up. However, the Giants only gained nine yards on the next three carries by Bradshaw. And with Dallas using up all of their timeouts, the Cowboys got the ball back at their own 30-yard line with 44 seconds in the game.

After an incomplete pass, Romo completed passes of 13, 16, and 4 yards. On 2nd-and-6, from the Giants’ 37-yard line, it looked like the Cowboys won the game when Romo hit Dez Bryant behind Michael Coe for the apparent game-winner with 10 seconds left. However, instant replay overturned the touchdown, showing that Bryant was out-of-bounds on the catch.

With 10 seconds to go, Romo hit TE Jason Witten for 10 yards down to the 27-yard line with six seconds to go. It was Witten’s 18th catch of the game. The Cowboys had two more shots, but both fell incomplete and the Giants won the game.

Manning finished the game 15-of-29 for 192 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception. WR Victor Cruz only caught two passes for 23 yards while WR Hakeem Nicks was limited to four catches for 46 yards. Bradshaw rushed for 78 yards on 22 carries.

Defensively, Stevie Brown accrued six tackles, two interceptions, and one fumble recovery. Jason Pierre-Paul had four tackles, one sack, and one interception for a touchdown. Corey Webster also had an interception. DT Linval Joseph had two sacks and Chris Canty had one.

Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Injury Update: S Antrel Rolle left the game in the fourth quarter. He is being evaluated for a possible concussion. “I think he hit his head hard on the ground, so we’ll have to see,” said Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

LB Chase Blackburn left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury.

LB Keith Rivers left the game with a calf strain.

Bear Pascoe left the game in the first half with an ankle sprain. X-rays taken on his ankle were negative.

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.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of the following player media Q&As after the game are available at Giants.com:

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Jerrel Jernigan, TE Adrien Robinson, OT James Brewer, DE Adewale Ojomo, DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), LB Jacquian Williams (knee), and S Kenny Phillips (knee).

Article on TE Martellus Bennett: Giants’ Martellus Bennett Aspires to Be the Best Tight End in the League by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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