The Cowboys Beat Giants in Last-Minute Comeback
The Dallas Cowboys overcame three turnovers to win 27 -26 against the NY Giants in the waning moments of the first Sunday night football game of the 2015 season.
It was an entertaining matchup that felt like a gut-wrenching Cowboys loss from the end of the second quarter until about seven seconds left in the game.
The Cowboys opened the game with a long and methodical 17-play, 10-minute drive that stalled in the red zone and netted a field goal for the hometown team. The Giants matched the field goal on their opening drive.
After a punt by each team, the Cowboys were stopped again in the red zone and got another field goal to make it 6-3. That's when it began to unravel for the team.
After a punt by the Giants, the Cowboys were driving again when Cole Beasley caught a pass. Instead of getting out of bounds, Beasley fumbled it into the hands of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who returned it to the end zone to take the lead. The Giants would keep this lead until only a few seconds remained in the 4th quarter.
The very next play of the game, Romo threw behind Jason Witten, who tipped the ball to the nearest defender. This set up a Giants field goal to make the game 13-6 at halftime.
After a 3rd quarter that featured another Giants field goal (16-6) and a solid drive for the cowboys that saw Gavin Escobar catch a touchdown pass in the back of the endzone (16-13), the Cowboys looked like they were coming out of the hole they had dug themselves into.
With about eight minutes left in the game, Devin Street caught a pass, got hit, then dropped the pass into the hands of a willing defender who, after a review, ran it back to the 1-yard line. The Giants scored on the next play to extend the lead back to 10 points.
Tony Romo was not phased, leading a three-minute drive the length of the field to find Jason Witten in the end zone to crawl back within three points. At 23-20, the Giants got the ball. With a single touchdown, they could have put the game out of reach.
The Giants used 13 plays to go 79 yards and kick another field goal. The drive included a seemingly back-breaking personal foul call on Jeremy Mincey and a 3rd down passing play with 1:40 left on the clock. Instead of taking a sack, Eli Manning threw the ball out of the back of the endzone, essentially giving the Cowboys a 4th timeout and saving 40 seconds for the Cowboys on the final drive.
The pass play on 3rd down was a terrible call, but the decision by Manning was to not just lay down...or audible, or check down, or run around until he was hit, or slide, or literally anything else besides throwing an incomplete pass. They could have taken a knee on 3rd down and been in a better position to win. This is a coach and quarterback combination that has two Super Bowl rings. Awful football by the Giants.
In 2014, there were 44 games in which there was a -3 turnover margin. Those teams went 1-43.
Yet here were the Cowboys with 1:40 left. And Tony Romo, who had 23 4th quarter game-winning drives when he took the field, would make it 24 when he left it.
With completions to Lance Dunbar, Witten and Terrance Williams, the Cowboys drove down the field easily before Romo found his old buddy Witten sitting matched up with a rookie line backer who was clearly out matched. The score was 27 -26 with the clock at seven seconds.
The Giants had no chance and ran two plays before the clock expired.
The Cowboys defense stood tall the whole game, limiting the Giants to 193 yards passing and just 44 yards rushing. The only offensive touchdown for the Giants came when they took over possession on the Cowboy 1-yard line.
There were an overwhelming amount of positives to take away from the game, including Anthony Hitchens and Sean Lee at linebacker.
The positives and the elation of the win were quickly tamped down by the post-game revelation that both Dez Bryant and rookie phenom Randy Gregory would both be out for 4-6 weeks, with a broken foot and ankle sprain (respectively). Those injuries come at positions of depth for the Cowboys, but you lose a lot of big play ability with them going down.