There was a sense of hope for the Dallas Cowboys, coming off of three straight losses to travel to MetLife Stadium Sunday and play the Giants. A win would put them at 3-0 in the division, and the match-up seemed favorable.
After forcing a punt on the opening possession, the Cowboys first drive stalled in the red zone. Dan Bailey gave them a 3-0 lead with a field goal.
The Giants would take the lead in the second quarter after Cassel was nearly intercepted on a pass intended for Terrance Williams by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Orleans Darkwa (who?) went for 41 yards on 4 carries during the ensuing drive, capping it off with a 15-yard score to give the Giants a 7-3 lead.
The Giants’ kickoff would go out of bounds, setting the Cowboys up in good field position. Darren McFadden appeared to find the end zone on a screen pass, but the play was called back by a very questionable offensive pass interference call on Devon Street.
Bailey was once again called on to kick a field goal and cut the score to 7-6. However, they would quickly regain the lead.
A Greg Hardy sack on third down would give Dallas a three and out, and three New York penalties on the next drive allowed Darren McFadden to score a touchdown. Jason Witten had a 35-yard reception on the drive, and Dallas led 13-7.
The Giants would cut into the lead after a Byron Jones interception was ruled incomplete. The drive was extended by a Rolando McClain penalty and highlighted by a 38-yard reception by Dwayne Harris.
New York settled for a field goal, making the score 13-10.
That would be the score going into the locker room, with the Cowboys feeling good about themselves. This momentum would quickly be given right back to the Giants however, as Rodgers-Cromartie got his hands on an interception for a touchdown to open the half.
Joseph Randle also did not play in the second half.
Cassel would throw his second straight interception on the very next drive, hanging a ball in the air for what felt like a full minute before having it picked by Brandon Meriweather at the one-yard line.
Eli Manning would be forced into a third and 5, and complete a pass for 45 yards to Rueben Randle – who made the catch with one hand. Shane Vereen went 34 yards on the very next play, setting up a field goal.
Cromartie would get another interception, the third straight for Cassel, before the defense forced a timely punt.
The offense finally redeemed themselves, marching 80 yards in nine plays. Terrance Williams made a tiptoe catch on a third down play, and Devon Street followed with a similar catch in the back of the end zone. Just like that the game was tied at 20…
…and just like that the Giants took the lead. Dwayne Harris returned the kickoff 100 yards to the house, giving New York the decisive score.
The Cowboys would try to answer on the next drive, but turn it over on downs at the 30. Giants’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo dialed up blitzes on third and fourth down to get after Cassel.
The defense made one final stand, forcing a punt from Brad Wing. On the other end of it was Cole Beasley, who let the ball go through his arms and be recovered by the Giants – ending the game.
Christine Michael did not get the workload we all expected, but Darren McFadden stepped up in a huge way with 152 yards on 29 carries. This allowed the Cowboys to dominate time of possession, but the Giants defense and special teams made enough plays to win.
The loss sends the Cowboys home to face the Seahawks at 2-4. New York travels to the Superdome to face the Saints.