The Dallas Cowboys lost a heart breaking game to the New York Giants on Sunday night, 37-34. But for fans of football, it was an aerial display that showcased two of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. Unfortunately for Dallas, it appears they not only lost the critical game, but they also lost their starting running back, DeMarco Murray, for the season due to an ankle injury. Here are the highlights from the game:
First Quarter: Dallas’ offense started the game going three and out. The Giant’s starting running back, Ahmad Bradshaw, was held out the entire first half due to violating team curfew rules. Early in the first, Dallas corner back Terence Newman dropped a sure pick six interception. The Giants got on the board first when Tony Romo scrambled away from Jason Pierre-Paul and ended up landing on the ball in the endzone, causing a safety. Hakeem Nicks would then burn Alan Ball for a 64 yard pass play to gave the Giants first and goal on the Dallas 4 yard line.
But the Dallas defense was able to hold the Giants to a 23 yard field goal. With 4:54 on the clock, Murray left the game with an ankle injury. It was later reported that he broke his right ankle along with a high ankle sprain. Murray is expected to out for the season. A long Felix Jones run led to a John Phillips touchdown off a screen play. At the end of the 1st quarter, Dallas had the lead 7-5.
Second Quarter: Mike Jenkins injured his shoulder on a crucial third down play where Gerald Sensabaugh was called for pass interference in the endzone. That led to a easy walk-in touchdown by Brandon Jacobs. Jenkins would return to the game after putting on what appeared to be a shoulder brace. The Dallas offense continued to roll on the back of some great runs by Felix Jones. That opened up the passing game and a 9 yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Laurent Robinson. Mid-way through the second quarter, center Phil Costa left the game with a concussion. He was replaced by rookie Kevin Kolwalski. Later in the quarter, Pierre-Paul would cause Felix Jones to fumble the ball deep in Dallas territory. But the Dallas defense was able to hold the Giants to a field goal once again. With less than a minute left in the first half, Romo would find Robinson for a huge 40 yard pass play. That set up a 49 yard Dan Bailey field goal. Dallas maintained the lead going into halftime, 17-15.
Third Quarter: Both teams had trouble offensively coming out of halftime. Dallas was the first to shrug off the rust with a another 49 yard field goal from Bailey mid-way through the third. But near the end of the quarter Eli Manning would find a wide-open Mario Manningham for a 47 yard busted coverage touchdown. The Giants would take the lead into the final quarter, 22-20.
Fourth Quarter: Dallas would respond early in the fourth. After a monster 74 yard pass play to Laurent Robinson, Romo would find Miles Austin for a 6 yard touchdown. On the Giant’s next offensive possession, Manning’s pass would be tipped by Victor Butler and picked off beautifully by Sean Lee. The Cowboys would then cushion their lead when Romo found Dez Bryant on a busted coverage play. Bryant’s touchdown would give Dallas the 34-22 lead with just over five minutes left in the game. Manning and the Giants would strike back quickly with an 8 yard Jake Ballard touchdown. After the Cowboys went three and out on their next offensive possession, the Giants marched down the field once again. Bruising back Brandon Jacobs would score a the go-ahead touchdown with just :46 left. And D.J. Ware would convert the two point try to give the Giants the 37-34 lead.
Despite the comeback, Dallas would put themselves in position to tie the game. Two great pass plays from Romo to Austin set up the game tying 47 yard field goal. Bailey would make his first attempt only to be “iced” by the Giants, who called a timeout just before the kick. On his second attempt, Bailey’s kick was blocked by Pierre-Paul to essentially end the game.
Stats: Romo went 21 of 31 for 321 passing yards and four touchdowns. Manning went 27 of 47 for 400 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Brandon Jacobs ran for 101 yards and two scores. Felix Jones had an impressive 106 rushing yards. Hakeem Nicks had 7 receptions for 154 yards. Laurent Robinson had 4 catches for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Dallas had a 34-22 lead with 5:41 to play and lost the game. It was another fourth quarter meltdown by both the offense and defense.
The loss of DeMarco Murray could be the end of Dallas’ season. I’m still weary of Felix Jones as the starter, despite his good game on Sunday.
Sean Lee should be a Pro Bowl candidate.
Terence Newman got picked on all game. His dropped pick-six interception early in the first quarter would have changed the course of the game early. Newman’s age is really starting to show.
Is Alan Ball still here? Really? Why???
I think announcer Cris Collingsworth and Jason Pierre-Paul should get a room together and finally admit to their secret intimate relationship. But I have to admit, Pierre-Paul came through at the end.
Although some of his throws seemed a bit off and that dumb safety to start the game, you can not ask much more from Tony Romo.
The Dallas defense lost this game in the fourth. (Especially penalties) Their cutesy schemes and blitzes back-fired too. Dallas did not record a sack in the entire game.
I can’t believe that “icing the kicker” crap worked again. Bailey’s going to need therapy after this. I think I am too.
What did you think???