he Dallas Cowboys squeaked by the New York Giants 24-21 on the clutch foot of Dez Bryant. They finally were able to come through in “nut-cutting time,” as head coach Jason Garrett called it, to sweep the New York Giants, the first time in Jason Garrett’s head coaching tenure.
“That’s when you separate yourself as a team, as an offense, and as a team when you go down and make those drives,” the Cowboys head coach said in his postgame press conference.
With 4:45 left in the game, after the New York Giants tied the ballgame with an Eli Manning touchdown to wide receiver Louis Murphy and a two-point conversion run by runningback Andre Brown, Dallas went on a 13-play drive that featured three monumental third down conversions for a team that was at one point 0/17 since the Minnesota Vikings game.
From their own 20 yard line, Dallas drove to the 28 for a 3rd and 2 when left tackle Tyron Smith false started, pushing them back to a 3rd and 7. Throwing against the swirling winds of MetLife Stadium, quarterback Tony Romo hit wide receiver Dez Bryant for a 19-yard pass near the left sideline.
On the next third down: Romo found Dez Bryant for 8 yards on a 3rd and 5.
There was a Miles Austin sighting today. The oft-injured wide receiver caught a 17-yard pass on 2nd down, his first catch since Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams at home.
Referee Walt Anderson and his crew have been part of controversial calls in the Tony Romo era, and their latest one was ruling Dez Bryant’s 13-yard catch at the New York 5 an incomplete pass. Jason Garrett even spent the Cowboys’ second timeout to give the Replay Assistant on Anderson’s crew time to review the call. Still, the Sugarland, Texas native didn’t receive a buzz from the replay booth. Start the clock; it’s 3rd and 10.
“You just have to stay calm and collected. And it’s just execution play after play,” Romo told NBC Sports about what he told his teammates on the final drive.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley is to undersized what Patrick Stewart is to male pattern baldness. Cole Beasley catches ran an out route to the left side made his defender slip to catch a 13-yard pass and get the first down. After two kneel downs to run down the clock to 4 seconds, Dan Bailey nailed a 35-yard field goal right down the uprights, improving the team to 6-5 and taking the Cowboys all-time lead for game-winning field goals with 9.
Tony Romo went 23/38 for 250 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and took 4 sacks. His counterpart, Eli Manning of the Giants, went 16/30 for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Cowboys runningback DeMarco Murray rushed 14 times for 86 yards. The Giants had two runningbacks go over 70 yards rushing. Andre Brown rushed 21 times for 127 yards, and Brandon Jacobs rushed 9 times for 75 yards.
Dez Bryant had 9 catches for 102 yards, leading Cowboys receivers and all receivers. DeMarco Murray had 3 catches for 40 yards. Jason Witten had both of Romo’s touchdown passes and also 4 catches for 37 yards.
The defense showed up today. Jason Hatcher had two sacks. The Giants sacked Romo four times with defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins getting two sacks, defensive end Justin Tuck getting one, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph and defensive end Mathias Kiwnuka splitting a sack.
with cornerback Orlando Scandrick stripping Victor Cruz and safety Jeff Heath catching the ball in midair for a 50-yard fumble recovery touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. The Giants would only add a 21-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.
Dallas, on the next drive, would score on a 20-yard Jason Witten touchdown catch to go up 14-3. The Giants would add a 23-yard field goal to narrow it to 14-6 Cowboys.
In the third quarter, Romo found Jason Witten again for a 2-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 21-6 Cowboys.
Giants tight end Brandon Myers would score an easy 27-yard touchdown. After catching it and falling down at the 7 yard line, Bruce Carter didn’t bother to down Myers, who jumped to his feet and crossed the goal line for the easiest touchdown one could get this blustery, freezing game to make it 21-13 Cowboys.
Louis Murphy later caught the touchdown that set up Andre Brown’s tying two-point conversion to make it 21-21. Dan Bailey saved the day with a 35-yard field goal with time expiring.
Dallas hosts the Oakland Raiders this Thursday at 3:30 PM on CBS, looking to improve to 7-5. The Raiders lost 19-23 to the Tennessee Titans in Oakland. For Dallas, they need to make it home safely; their charter flight may not leave until tomorrow morning due to wintery conditions in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. If that is the case, it negates all the advantage the Cowboys have of having an extra day to prepare and rest over the Raiders.
Nevertheless, at 6-5 and first place of the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys have a lot to give thanks heading into Thursday.