Giants Blow Huge Early Lead, Then Rally To Beat Cowboys 29-24
It took six turnovers, a 23 point lead and Dez Bryant’s fingers landing out of bounds, but the New York Giants avenged an Opening Night home loss with a wild 29-24 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Trailing by five in the final minute, Tony Romo drove the Cowboys down field and hit a leaping Bryant between two defenders for a 37-yard bomb in the back of the end zone with :10 seconds left in regulation (video below). But instant replayed showed the receiver’s hand landed out of bounds, negating what would have been a devastating loss for Tom Coughlin’s team and pushing the Giants to 4-0 at the new Cowboys Stadium.
New York built its early lead by intercepting Romo three times on Dallas’s first four possessions, including Jason Pierre Paul’s snatch of a screen pass which he returned 28 years to the end zone to make it 23-0 just one minute into second quarter.
Sandwiched into Romo’s miscues was a fumbled punt by Bryant which setup one of Lawrence Tynes’ five field goals on the day (41, 37, 26, 43, 37).
The Cowboys stormed back to score the final 10 points of the half, and punched in back-to-back touchdowns to open the third quarter to take a 24-23 lead.
Tynes hit a 43-yard field goal to re-take the lead early in the fourth, then put through a 37-yarder after a Felix Jones fumble, for the final scoring play of the game.
The Giants offense was unable to get on track the entire game with a combination of missed receivers and dropped passes.
Eli Manning finished 15 for 29 with 192 yards and an interception that bounced out of the hands of Victor Cruz and off the back of a defender before it was corralled by Danny .
Ahmad Bradshaw had 78 of New York 103 rushing yards and a fumble. Andre Brown scored the team’s only offensive touchdown with a one-yard run.
Despite his awful start, Romo finished with 437 yards and a touchdown in the air, and a fourth and one scramble into the end zone on his team’s opening drive in the third quarter, as well, to go along with a total of four picks.
Three Cowboys receivers had over 100 yards receiving: 167 for Jason Witten, 133 for Miles Austin, and 110 for Bryant. Witten’s 18 catches set a new single-game franchise record.
Stevie Brown had two interceptions and fumble recovery. Cory Webster and Pierre Paul each had one pick.
Despite opening the year with two division losses in the first four weeks, New York has won four straight to take a 2.5 games lead. Philadelphia lost at home to Atlanta putting them in a tie for second with Dallas at 3-4, while Washington fell in Pittsburgh – dropping the ‘Skins to 3-5.