Giants Cash In on Early Errors, Hold on for Win as Cowboys Rally

The New York Giants cashed in on early errors by the Cowboys and held on for a 29-24 win in Dallas that extends their lead atop the National Football Conference East Division.

The Giants led 23-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, yesterday, scoring 20 points after a series of botched plays by the Cowboys. The home team then scored 24 unanswered points to seize the lead before a pair of field goals secured victory for the visitors, who have now won four straight in Dallas.

“It shouldn’t have been as close as it was,” Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora told reporters. “We let them come back into the game and we shouldn’t have.”

After limiting Dallas quarterback Tony Romo to 37 passing yards and the Cowboys to 48 yards of total offense in the first quarter, Romo threw for 400 yards the remainder of the game.

By contrast, New York quarterback Eli Manning amassed 79 passing yards in the first quarter before being limited to 45 in the second and third quarters. The Giants gained 103 yards of total offense in the first quarter and then slumped to 53 and 32 yards in the second and third, respectively, before recovering to 105 yards in the fourth.

New York leads the NFC East with a 6-2 record over the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, who both have 3-4 marks. The Washington Redskins are last, at 3-5. The Eagles lost 30-17 to the Atlanta Falcons and the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Redskins 27-12 yesterday in the National Football League.

Trailing 3-0 after New York’s opening possession, Dallas’ first drive ended with Stevie Brown intercepting Romo and returning the ball 37 yards. Tynes converted the turnover into another three points with a 37-yard field goal.

Romo Interception

On the home team’s second drive, Romo’s deep pass intended for Miles Austin was picked off by Corey Webster and returned 38 yards to the Cowboys’ 31-yard line. Four plays later, Andre Brown scored on a 1-yard run for New York.

Dallas’ third drive ended in a punt following a fumble by Ryan Cook that Romo recovered before throwing an incomplete pass. On the next possession, New York got the ball at the Dallas 15-yard line after Dez Bryant fumbled a punt and Michael Coe recovered the ball. The error led to another three points as Tynes made a 26-yard field goal to make it 16-0.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin told reporters he was frustrated his team couldn’t convert the turnovers into more touchdowns.

“I kept calculating in the first half if those field goals had been touchdowns,” Coughlin said. “The touchdowns certainly would have made a big difference.”

Turnover Touchdown

New York did succeed in getting seven points from Romo’s next interception, which Jason Pierre-Paul returned 28 yards for his first career touchdown.

“I was supposed to rush on that play,” Pierre-Paul told reporters. “I was kind of patient on my rush. It looked like he was going to throw it that way, so I just jumped up and caught the ball and ran it.”

Romo ended the game with four interceptions to take his total for the season to an NFL-high 13.

“The early turnovers were too difficult to overcome,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told reporters. “We simply have to do a better job of taking care of the ball and going to get the ball from them. That was the difference in the ballgame.”

During a first-half break in play, loud jeers engulfed the stadium as the image of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appeared on the television screen above the field in an appeal for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure cancer charity.

Cowboys’ Comeback

Dallas kept New York at bay on its last four possessions of the first half and began its comeback when Felix Jones rounded out an eight play, 72-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. Dan Bailey added a field goal from 51 yards to make it 23-10 at halftime.

Romo continued the recovery in the third quarter when he scrambled for a 1-yard score and found John Phillips with a 1- yard touchdown pass to give his team a 24-23 lead.

“We did a great job of coming back into this game,” Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne told reporters. “Our offense did a tremendous job of fighting and we tried to hold up our end of the bargain.”

After failing to score on six straight possessions, New York retook the lead for good on a pair of field goals by Tynes from 43 and 37 yards. The second field goal came after Jones fumbled at the Cowboys’ 45-yard line with 6:40 left.

Romo’s final interception came on an attempted fourth-down conversion with 1:14 to play, sending Cowboys fans streaming toward the exits. Those who left missed the game’s final twist.

With 10 seconds to play, Romo hit a leaping Dez Bryant in the back of the end zone from 37 yards. Following a review, Bryant was ruled to have touched the back line of the end zone with his right hand before his body hit the turf inbounds.

“Tremendous play,” Garrett said. “Tony made a great throw, Dez made a great catch and apparently missed it by an inch or so.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Dex McLuskey at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, atdmcluskey@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net.

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