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New York Giants Defeat Dallas Cowboys 29-24 in Thrilling, Yet Ugly Fashion

October 28th, 2012 at 9:04 PM
By Paul Tierney

The New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys played one for the ages down in Arlington today. After storming to a 23-0 lead midway through the second quarter off four Dallas turnovers, the Giants were unable to generate any offense as the Cowboys fought back to take a 24-23 lead into the fourth quarter. Although the Giants looked lifeless on both sides of the ball at times today, the defense made plays down the stretch and put the offense in a position to take back the lead.

'Chris Snee (76), D.J. Ware (28), Eli Manning (10), David Baas (64)' photo (c) 2012, Mike Morbeck - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
 

The Giants benefited from six Cowboys turnovers, including four Tony Romo interceptions. Despite excessive turnovers, Dallas' offense was able to move the ball down the field on the Giants seemingly at will. Jason Witten had 18 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown, while Miles Austin and Dez Bryant each had over 100 receiving yards themselves. However, Lawrence Tynes went 5 for 5 on field goals and the Giants defense held up despite two late fourth quarter Dallas drives that nearly yielded touchdowns.

As always, let's take a look at the good, the mixed, and the ugly from today's matchup.

The Good

Stevie Brown

Brown came up with two interceptions and a fumble recovery on the day. Furthermore, he tied for the team lead in tackles for the game, with six. Brown was around the ball throughout the entire day and came up big when the Giants needed him to. With that, he never tried to do to much. He played his run/pass keys well, read Tony Romo's eyes and was always where he was supposed to be on the field.

Brown now has five interceptions on the year and has filled in admirably for the injured Kenny Phillips. The Giants are going to have a tough time taking Brown out of the lineup when Phillips is healthy enough to play.

Lawrence Tynes

Tynes was 5 for 5 on field goals for the day. Although the Giants should have been able to get to the end zone more than twice, Tynes bailed out Big Blue and put 15 points on the board tonight . His two fourth quarter field goals regained the lead for the Giants and put Dallas in a hole that they could not climb back out of.

It's hard to put into words how impactful Tynes has been this season. He's been automatic from inside of 50-yards and has allowed the Giants to overcome their offensive issues in the red zone. While he is generally unreliable from longer distances, he is as accurate as any kicker in the league while kicking from inside the 35 yard line.

The Mixed

Eli Manning

This was not one of Eli Manning's signature fourth quarter comeback wins. Manning completed 15 of 29 passes for 192 yards on the day, which was just barely enough to generate enough offense to come away with the win. However, he was ineffective in the red zone and made a few poor decisions with the football. The only two touchdowns the Giants came away with today were on JPP's pick-six and a Corey Webster interception returned to the 31-yard line. Manning was unable to lead the Giants on a consistent, methodical touchdown drive today, which resulted in Big Blue punting the ball six times in this game.

Manning's receivers did not help him out much, so the lack of offense was not all on him. With that, Manning led the Giants into field goal range twice in the fourth quarter to come out with the win. 

The Defense

The Giants gave up 434 yards of offense today. Dallas had no issues moving the ball down the field and and there were three separate receivers who gained over 100 yards through the air on Big Blue. Unless the Giants came up with a turnover, it seemed like they were completely incapable of stopping Tony Romo and the Cowboys offense.

However, the Giants came up with six turnovers and four sacks. The defense, while they had their issues, were the only reason that the Giants were able to stay in this game. With the four first half turnovers, the Giants scored 23 points while generating little to no offense. The Giants made plays on the ball today and took advantage of nearly every mistake Tony Romo made. Although defensive coordinator Perry Fewell must find a way to stop allowing over 400 yards of offense on a weekly basis, Big Blue has developed in a turn over machine on defense.

Rushing Attack

The Giants ran the ball on first down on nearly every drive through the first three quarters. However, they still were unable to generate a consistent rushing attack with Ahmad Bradshaw. However, when it counted most, Bradshaw was able to help the Giants move down the field in the fourth quarter. With that, Andre Brown threw in 21 yards  and a touchdwon on three carries.

Big Blue put up 103 yards on the ground today on 28 carries. The rushing attack was not explosive as it was against San Francisco and Cleveland, but it was good enough to push the offense into field goal on several occasions position today.

The Bad

Whoever Tried To Cover Jason Witten

The Giants could not cover Jason Witten at all today. First Witten abused Michael Boley on underneath routes over the middle of the field, then Witten burned Michael Coe on several occasions in the fourth quarter. Dallas' star tight end caught 18 passes for 167 yards on the day.

At times, the Giants defense was willingly giving up the underneath routs to Witten. Instead of committing two players to a guy who was wasn't stretching the field, Perry Fewell was more concerned about Dez Bryant and Miles Austin making plays on deep throws. However, Boley and Coe were completely incapable to guarding Witten, no matter where he lined up.

Wide Receivers

The Giants wideouts were not on their game today. Not only were Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz not winning their individual matchups, but they dropped several balls early on in this game that could have extended drives and made the initial lead insurmountable.

With that, Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz failed to run their routes to the sticks on two crucial third downs. Both resulted in a stalled drive and helped the Cowboys get back into this game.

Red Zone Offense

The Giants kicked five field goals today. While that's a testament to Lawrence Tynes' effectiveness, the offense was not able to get it done when it got inside the 20-yard line today. Dallas' defense was able to minimize their early offensive mistakes and it allowed this game to see a heart stopping conclusion.

The Giants had an opportunity to put this game away early, and they didn't get it done. While it wound up not costing them the game it today, the inability to score a touchdown in the red zone will cause the Giants to lose a game down the stretch if this issue persists.

Overview

The Giants escaped with an ugly win in Dallas today. While it would have been nice to see Big Blue capitalize on their 23-0 lead, they eventually came out with a win. In the end, that's all that counts.

However, there were certainly aspects of today's contest that need serious improvement if Big Blue wants to contend with some of the more complete football teams they will play down the road. They can not give up over 400 yards of offense each week, the wide receivers can not drop the ball, and the offense must score when they get the opportunity to.

That said, the Giants are now 6-2 and have pulled another game ahead of each team in the NFC East today. It wasn't pretty, but today is a good day to be a Giants fan.

Also…

Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, Andre Brown, Cleveland, contest, Corey Webster, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Eli Manning, Football, Hakeem Nicks, Jason Witten, Kenny Phillips, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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85 Responses to “New York Giants Defeat Dallas Cowboys 29-24 in Thrilling, Yet Ugly Fashion”

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  1.  Dirt says:

    Stevie has 5 picks.

    •  Krow says:

      That last one shouldn’t count. If you intercept when knocking it down is better for the team then there should be an asterisk.

      •  Valid says:

        How would knocking it down have been better? The Cowboys then could have pinned the Giants down with a punt.

        •  Valid says:

          Never mind. Forgot that was a fourth down play. Sorry.

          •  Valid says:

            On that note though, I think you should ALWAYS try and make the catch. What if he bats it into the air and it lands in a receiver’s hands? You never wanna take that chance.

  2.  Krow says:

    ugly as a turd .. But another win in the type of game we used to lose.

  3.  TuckThis says:

    Paul, nice wrap up. If they play like this against PIT, GB, NO and ATL, they…and we are in for a lot of heartache.

    TC must have taken time management lessons from Herm Edwards. It’s the only thing I can figure.

  4.  Dirt says:

    I take offense to the rushing attack being mixed. You forgot the fumble, and 3.5/carry from the only guy allowed to carry the ball certainly isn’t good enough. Not when that puts your QB in 3rd-and-long all day, allowing the pass rush to tee off.

    •  Dirt says:

      Furthermore, when it counted most, Bradshaw was NOT able to move the ball downfield in the 4th quarter. Of course, when it counted most was when he was given 3 chances for 10 yards and handed the ball back to Dallas for final possession in a one-possession game. You would have taken his putrid 3.5 yard average on that drive. Sadly, when it counted most, he was below average.

      Bad, bad, bad.

  5.  TuckThis says:

    Here’s what I don’t get. They play the Boys/Skins/Eagles 6 times each season. Why is it so hard to devise a game plan for them? They see them often enough for cryin’ out loud! They just noticed Jason Witten for the first time today?

    •  jfunk says:

      Well, the same reason you think the Giants should have an excellent game plan is also the reason the Skins, Eagles, and Cowboys generally have a good game plan. Those guys get paid too.

      All that being said, Coughlin wins more division games than he loses.

      As far as Witten goes, for starters he’s a heck of a player (and he doesn’t ALWAYS have big games against the Giants…sometimes we win that battle). And second to that…Prince and Webster weren’t exactly instilling a lot of confidence that they could lock down the outside receivers without help, so what do you do?

      You concede the 9 yard routes instead of the 20 yard routes. And that’s what Perry did. He DID try several different coverages on him, but nobody could answer the bell. As painful as it was to watch Witten kill us slowly, I agree with Perry in not taking resources away from Austin & Bryant to try to shut him down. It was the lesser of two evils.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        Back in 2007 I was the lone voice supporting Corey Webster, and I proved right, even more right perhaps than the coaches who benched him.

        So let me be the first to say that eight games is not a “slump”, it’s a trend. If I’m Jerry Reese I’ve already decided that either Webster gets paid in 2013 like a #3 corner or he hits the road.

        The league has figured out that they can throw at him (and Nnmadi Asomugha, too, another guy with a bigger paycheck than he deserves) and beat him pretty consistently. Hosley is still learning, and getting beaten sometimes, but I have no doubt he’ll be better than Webster long before the season ends.

        My last point here is that the team is STILL evolving, so don’t reach too many conclusions yet, and that they ARE 6-2 and 2 1/2 games up in a division where that looks like a HUGE lead at this point.

  6.  jfunk says:

    As ugly as this game was….as unfortunately “believable” it all felt while watching it slip away…I’m still a little bit proud of the guys for hanging in there.

    That’s one thing you can’t take away from Coughlin’s teams, even when they do stupid things to dig themselves holes…there’s just no quit in them.

    There were a LOT of opportunities in the second half of that game for guys to pack it in and they never did.

  7.  TroyThorne says:

    About as sloppy and frustrating as it could possibly get in terms of pulling off a victory. That being said, it is a huge win that gives us a ton of head room in the division and conference.

    Some things are definitely concerning. Our red zone offense is the worst in the league, Eli hasn’t put together a good, complete game in a month, our time management has been consistently poor, Rolle getting injured at the end of this game, the coaches refusing to give anybody but Bradshaw carries even when he’s ineffective, and Nicks is clearly not even close to 100%. Also have to worry about coming out flat after such an emotionally draining game although that’s the least of my worries I think.

  8.  fanfor55years says:

    We all have to remember there was a good team on the other side of the field today. The Dallas defense has “beaten” our offense twice this season by playing seven men in the box, using two deep safeties, and having their corners go one-on-one with our wide receivers, and have succeeded admirably. That means they have good players on that side of the ball. We should be able to run better than we did today against a seven-man front, so what that means is that our O-line, tight end and Hynoski cannot generally beat their front seven. Once might have been a fluke. Twice is a trend. A very troublesome one since some of the better teams we’ll play have front sevens as good as that of the Cowboys.

    I am STILL really steamed that Perry Fewell plays a game that falls right into Romo’s hands when the entire league knows that Romo will make mistakes, or his receivers will (with the exception of Witten) when he has to throw the ball earlier than he’d like. We allowed them to consistently march downfield once we had a big lead by laying back and rarely blitzing him. When we did blitz, we succeeded. I don’t think we should overdo that, but we needed a lot more of it than we used today, and the lack of any blitz on that last series was criminal and came damned close to costing us the game and giving Dallas a HUGE momentum builder for the season and us a huge letdown that could have easily affected the next few games too. Just awful coaching.

    •  Krow says:

      We have this discussion a lot. But Fewell is not a blitzer. It’s just how he is, and it’s not changing.

    •  jfunk says:

      As Giants fans, I know we all find Perry’s style of defense tough to watch.

      That being said, I don’t know how you can say that Perry didn’t take advantage of Romo’s tendency to make mistakes in a game where we got FOUR interceptions off of him.

      There’s a lot of problems with this game today. Not forcing Romo into bad throws is is not one of them.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I’m talking second half when he played soft zone almost entirely, and when he didn’t we were way more successful.

    •  Valid says:

      The Giants also shredded the 49ers with the run game, and I think it’s safe to say that SF has one of the stronger front sevens in the league. I’m not ready to call the ground struggles a trend just yet.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I didn’t call it a trend. I just said it’s troubling. The Cowboys simply beat us in the trenches today when they were on defense.

  9.  tgowen says:

    It’s easy to nitpick a game like this but in the end remember that this was a division game that we won. Games in the East are never ever easy and considering this was a must win for the Cowboys I will take the bad with the good as long as the good equals a win.

    As for Eli, I think we tend to forget that for all the greatness that Eli has brought to the Giants he has never been one who lights it up on a regular basis. He is a QB who is clutch when it matters and does what it takes to win the game. Today we won, and that is all that matters. Sure there are things to fix, but at 6-2 I won’t be too negative like many are trying to be.

  10.  Valid says:

    I scattered some of my postgame thoughts throughout the game thread, so I’ll consolidate them here:

    - Eli did not have his best stuff today. HOWEVER, the dropped passes were absolutely ridiculous. I counted at least six, the biggest one being Bennett dropping what would have been a first down catch inside the 5 early on in the game. Fortunately, our receivers are pretty darn reliable, so hopefully we can just chalk this up to an “off” game for them.

    - The running game was meh. That being said, Brown still hits the holes with so much more authority than Bradshaw and he is worlds more patient. Bradshaw has been big for us the past several weeks, but it’s seriously time to start considering making Brown the feature back, as he is the better runner. At the very least, the two should be splitting carries.

    - The redzone offense continues to be abysmal, and a lot of that falls on the shoulders of Gilbride. His playcalling whenever the Giants were in position to score TDs today was something out of a horror movie. Also, as someone else (I believe it was Dirt) pointed out in the game thread, is it any coincidence that when the Giants gave the ball to Brown at the goal line, he scored? He needs to be getting the touches in short yardage/goal line situations.

    - As a whole, I thought the defensive line did a pretty good job today. They totaled four sacks, and it seemed like they were constantly in Romo’s face. Canty may have had his best game as a Giant. He knocked down Romo at LEAST four or five times and dominated the line of scrimmage. He was an incredibly disruptive force and demonstrated how much this defense missed him today. He is, without question, one of the best DTs in the NFL.

    - Good Lord did Boley get used today. That was easily one of his worst performances as a Giant in terms of pass coverage. I understand that Witten is one of the league’s best tight ends, but come on. 18 catches? I understand it wasn’t JUST Boley who was covering Witten, but he is supposed to be our best LB in coverage.

    - Stevie Brown is the best safety on this team. Better than Antrel Rolle. Better than Kenny Phillips. Go ahead. Rip me. I don’t care. The kid now has five picks this season which is second in the league. He is having a Pro Bowl caliber year, and while Phillips may end up being the more consistent player, Brown will undoubtedly be the bigger game-changer.

    - Say what you want about this defense, but it forced six turnovers today and pretty much won the game for the Giants. Yes, Romo may have thrown for over 400 yards, but it was on 62 passes. His completion percentage? 58 percent. Romo didn’t light up this D like some of you think.

    To conclude, yes, it was ugly, but hey, it was a divisional matchup, and if any of you thought this was going to be easy, then you were kidding yourself. The Giants beat a desperate Cowboys team in their own building and took a commanding lead in the NFC East. They have now positioned themselves where they can afford an extra loss down the stretch.

    This was a HUGE win and gave Big Blue a stranglehold on the division. I’ll actually be pretty surprised if the Giants don’t run away with it at this point, as I think this was Dallas’ last chance and I don’t see Philadelphia making any kind of a run.

    Also, the Giants have now started at least 6-2 for EIGHT straight seasons. That is pretty remarkable and is a testament to how great this franchise is.

    That’s why it bothers me so much when people b*tch and moan in game threads and rip the team to shreds even after a big win (and today was the worst yet). Be happy you’re a fan of the finest organization in the NFL. For God’s sake, imagine what Browns fans and Jaguars fans feel like? Heck, imagine what EAGLES fans feel like?

    It’s a GREAT day to be a fan of the New York Giants. Accept that.

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