Choice’s Late Touchdown Run Seals Crucial Victory For Cowboys
Tashard Choice ran the ball for a 38-yard touchdown with 2:24 left in the game as the Cowboys got a huge win to keep their playoff hopes alive, vaulting to the #5 seed in the NFC for the moment. They are currently tied with Atlanta and Tampa Bay at 9-5 but hold the tiebreakers over both due to conference record and head-to-head, respectively.
This was a huge first step to get to the playoffs, but it is by no means guaranteed. The Cowboys still have two tough games against the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles, and even one slip-up in those two games could mean their demise. Wins in both games guarantees them a spot in the playoffs though.
The game was primarily dominated by the two defenses with flashes of offense every now and then both both teams. In the end, the Cowboys were able to get the running game going with Tashard Choice and score three touchdowns compared to the Giants’ two field goals and a safety, and that was the difference.
Tony Romo was a warrior in this game. He repeatedly took shot after shot from the Giants defense, and suffered a lower-back contusion late in the first quarter and was questionable to return. He fought through the pain, and just four plays later, he hit Partick Crayton in stride for a 34-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead.
The Giants tacked on a field goal to make it 7-3 at halftime. It would stay that way until early in the fourth quarter when fullback deon Anderson caught a 1-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-3 Cowboys.
Things looked good for the Cowboys until a premature snap that neither Romo nor the offensive line looked ready for resulted in a safety to cut it to 14-5. The New York Giants made it 14-8 on a long field goal on the ensuing free kick after the safety.
The Cowboys then proceeded to close out the Giants. Jason Witten stetched out to pick up a huge first down on 3rd & 9 with just over three minutes left in the game, setting up Tashard Choice’s 38-yard sprint for a touchdown to secure the win.
Tony Romo was battered and bruised throughout the game, but he was still quite effective. He completed 20/30 passes for 244 yards with 2 touchdowns, and more importantly, no interceptions or turnovers. We haven’t been able to say that very often with Romo this year. He also rushed the ball 4 times for 7 yards.
Marion Barber was rendered useless running the ball. The Giants held him to just 2 yards on 8 carries. He did have 2 receptions for 24 yards. Tashard Choice ran all over the Giants’ defense when he touched the ball though. He ran it 9 times for 91 yards with a touchdown. He also hauled in 4 passes for 52 yards.
The ball was spread out very well by Tony Romo, as nine different Cowboys caught at least one pass from him. Jason Witten caught 5 passes for 44 yards while Terrell Owens reeled in 3 for 38 yards, and both seemed to be happy after the game, a very good sign. Patrick Crayton caught 2 balls for 49 yards and a touchdown, while fullback Deon Anderson caught 1 for a yard and a score. Miles Austin, Martellus Bennett, and Roy E. Williams each caught a pass too, for 23, 8, and 5 yards, respectively.
Nick Folk did not attempt any field goals and made both of his extra points.
The Dallas defense ate Eli Manning alive on Sunday night. They accumulated 8 total sacks in the game. The Cowboys got 3 from Demarcus Ware, 2 from Greg Ellis, 1.5 from Chris Canty, 1 from Bradie James, and 0.5 from Anthony Spencer. Terence Newman also intercepted two passes from Eli Manning, including Eli Manning’s final pass of the game.
If there were two blemishes on the Cowboys’ performance, it was the offensive line and the penalties. Tony Romo was feeling the heat for the entire game, seemingly being knocked down on what seemed like every other play. The Cowboys also commited 11 penalties for 108 yards, something that is inexcusable and a trend that the Cowboys cannot afford to continue.
The Cowboys now face another must-win against the Ravens next Saturday at 7:15 PM in what will likely be the final game ever played at Texas Stadium.