Cowboys Stomp Giants 31-20; Take 3 Game Lead in NFC East
The Dallas Cowboys toppled the New York Giants 31-20 on Sunday at the Meadowlands to improve to 8-1 on the season. The win meant much more than that though, as the Cowboys now have a 3-game lead in the NFc East with 7 games left to play and have put a stranglehold on the division. This game was exactly what most expected, a back-and-forth affair that stayed competitive right to the end, and this game definitely lived up to it’s hype.
"It’s another step along the journey that we’re trying to go through to get where we want to go," said Romo. "A win like tonight just adds to your confidence. When you do something like this, you have a chance to do something special."
The Cowboys drew first blood early, scoring on their opening drive for the 3rd straight game, as Tony Romo led a 7 play drive for 65 yards that ended in a 15-yard pass to tight end Tony Curtis to give Dallas an early 7-0 lead.
It was very short-lived though, as Eli Manning fought back, finding Jeremy Shockey in the end zone from 8 yards out to square the game at 7. It was an 8-play 67-yard drive.
After Nick Folk drilled a 44-yard FG to give the Cowboys a 10-7 lead in the beginning of the 2nd quarter, the Cowboys got the stop that they were looking for. However, deep in his own territory, Romo threw an interception to Gebril Wilson, and Ruben Droughns capitalized, scoring on a 1-yard TD run to cap off an 11-play 60-yard drive to give New York a 14-10 lead.
Late in the 1st half, Tony Romo mastered the two-minute drill, leading the Cowboys down the field in 7 plays for 68 yards, that ended with a 20-yard pass to Patrick Crayton to give the Cowboys a 17-14 lead. It looked like it would go into halftime that way, as the Giants were content with heading to the locker room, but linebacker Kevin Burnett committed a bad taunting penalty that gave the Giants life, and Justin Tynes kicked a 40 yard FG to tie the game at 17 with :01 left in the 1st half.
After stopping the Giants on their 1st possession of the 3rd quarter, the Tony Romo to Terrell Owens connection hooked up again, striking on a 25 yard pass play to give Dallasa 24-17 lead, ending a long 12-play 86-yard drive.
Penalties would then begin to kill the Giants. They had an 83-yard kickoff return called back because of a hold, three separate delay of game penalties on offense, and a touchdown called back because of a hold. New York would settle for a FG to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 24-20.
The Cowboys added another TD, again it was Terrell Owens, this time catching a 50-yard bomb to make it 31-20, which would prove to be the final nail in the coffin, as Dallas cruised from there.
"If he gets moving, he’s tough to catch up to," Romo said. "I just tried to give him some air and let him go get it."
Tony Romo shined once again, showing that he is worth every penny of his new contract. He completed 20/28 passes for 247 yards with 4 TD’s and an INT.
Julius Jones carried the ball 11 times for 48 yards while Marion Barber III rushed 12 times for 34 yards. It was a relatively quiet day for the Dallas running game.
Terrell Owens once again came up big in a giant game, catching 6 passes for 125 yards with 2 TD’s. Patrick Crayton had 5 receptions for 66 yards and also caught a touchdown pass. Sam Hurd hauled in 2 balls for 21 yards while Tony Curtis’ only catch of the game was a 15-yard TD. Jason Witten was held in check and only grabbed 2 balls for 12 yards. It didn’t seem to matter though, as Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton helped enormously to pick up the slack.
Nick Folk made his only FG attempt, nailing a 44 yarder right down the pipe.
The Cowboys’ defense came up with 5 sacks on the day, with DeMarcus Ware, Chris Canty, Tank Johnson, Greg Ellis, and Anthony Spencer getting 1 sack each. Tank Johnson looked very impressive in his first game as a Dallas Cowboy. Look to see good things from him for the rest of the season.
The Cowboys did commit 10 penalties for 84 yards, and that is something that will need to be limited in future games.
"Obviously today, we had more penalties than we would like and we have to eliminate those," T.O. added. "That was everybody’s emotions running high. There was a little trash-talking by them. We came here. The game was played and I feel like we made a statement."
Overall it was a great effort and we got done what we needed to accomplish. The Dallas Cowboys finally return home to Texas Stadium next Sunday to conclude their stretch of three straight divisional games against the Washington Redskins. It will be Dallas’ first home game in almost a month since they played the Vikings in Week 7. Now lets finish this stretch strong, so that we go into Thanksgiving on a really high note.
HOW ‘BOUT DEM COWBOYS!!!