It was an emotional game for both teams tonight as the New York Jets took on the Dallas Cowboys in East Rutherford, N.J. The Cowboys had a comfortable 14 point lead in the fourth quarter. But careless mistakes by Dallas and player injuries ultimately cost them the game.
The Cowboys struck gold early with Dez Bryant. In the first quarter, Bryant caught three receptions for 71 yards including a leaping three yard touchdown. Bryant struggle the rest of the game with cramps and didn’t make another catch all game. He just looked “spent”.
Rob Ryan’s Dallas defense was able to stop New York’s offense from scoring until the last minute of the second quarter. Quarterback Mark Sanchez found tight end Dustin Keller for a 4 yard touchdown at the back of the endzone. Dallas took a 10-7 lead into halftime.
The Dallas defense, already without corner back Terence Newman, also lost starting corner back Orlando Scandrick at halftime due to an ankle injury. The other starting corner back, Mike Jenkins struggled with a shoulder injury after an explosive Plaxico Burress block in the third quarter.
The Cowboys extended their lead to 17-7 after Miles Austin made a tremendous catch against Antonio Cromartie. The 36 yard touchdown throw was actually caught by both players, but Austin was able to pull the ball away from Cromartie once they both fell into the endzone. Find out where the tide turned, after the break:
After linebacker Sean Lee’s 37 yard interception return to the Jet’s 1-yard line, running back Felix Jones punched in an easy touchdown. This score gave Dallas the lead 24-10 in the fourth quarter.
A huge 64 yard passing play from Romo to Jason Witten gave Dallas the ball on the Jet’s 3-yard line. The catch by Witten was the longest of his career. Unfortunately, a huge turning point in the game would soon follow as Romo fumbled the ball back to the Jets as he tried to run in the touchdown himself.
The Jets then began to take advantage of Dallas’ weaken defensive backfield. At some points in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys’ defense was straight up confused. Sanchez was able to slice through the confused Dallas “D” and find newly acquired Plaxico Burress for a 26 yard touchdown. But the Cowboys still had the lead, 24-17.
That would change with less than six minutes left in the fourth quarter as Joe McKnight would block a Matt McBriar punt. Isaiah Trufant was able to return the blocked punt 18 yards for the game tying touchdown.
With the score 24-24, Darrelle Revis intercepted a Romo pass with 49 seconds left to play. That lead to the game winning kick. Ironically, it was a former Cowboy, Nick Folk, who pounded in the final nail in Dallas’ coffin with a 50 yard field goal. The Jets beat the Cowboys, 27-24.
Romo finished the game 23 of 36 passes for 352 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Sanchez matched Romo with 26 of 44 passes for 335 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception.
Both teams ground games stalled as Felix Jones rushed for only 44 yards. Greene had it worse with just 26 yards on the ground.
LaDainian Tomlinson became the Jets leading receiver with 6 receptions for 73 yards. Jason Witten was a monster for Dallas recording 6 receptions for 110 yards.
This is the first time in team history that Dallas has lost a game while having a 14 point lead or greater in the 4th quarter.
The obvious scape goat of this game will be Tony Romo. Despite his excellent first half play, his fumble near the end zone early in the 4th quarter cost us a potential 21 point lead. And his interception with less than a minute to go gave New York the chance to win the game.
This game was full of “what ifs”. What if Witten was able to get that ball in the endzone? What if Romo held on to that fumble? What if we were able to take it into overtime? What if Dez Bryant hadn’t run out of gas? What if Terence Newman was able to play? I believe any one of those changes leads to an amazing Cowboy victory.
No matter how many questions we ask or how many hairs we tear out of our heads, we still just started the season off with a loss. And the sad thing is we let them have it.
On the brighter side of things, we just had a team that has appeared in the AFC Championship game for the last two years straight, by the throat. And I think Dallas just sent a huge message, out all over the NFL, that this is not last year’s team. The Cowboys will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after this game. I expect them to start ripping up teams on their upcoming schedule.
Think about it. We could have just beat the New York Jets…at home…on a national stage…on the anniversary of 9/11, and with all the emotion that goes into that. The odds were stacked very much against us and we had them. We were one play, one injury, one mistake away from victory. This one is going to burn for a while. But I think that scar will lead to more victories. Keep your heads up Cowboy fans. The future is here…and it’s bright.
Topics: Dallas Cowboys, Darrelle Revis, Dez Bryant, Jason Garrett, Jets Beat Cowboys, Jets Defeat Cowboys, Mark Sanchez, Miles Austin, New York Beats Dallas, New York Defeats Dallas, New York Jets, New York Jets Beat The Dallas Cowboys, Rex Ryan, Ron Ryan, Shonn Greene, Tony Romo