In the second quarter of a scoreless game, Giants linebacker Michael Boley intercepts a Tony Romo pass and returns it 51 yards to the Dallas two yard line after a touchdown saving tackle by Tyron Smith to keep him out of the end zone. A penalty on Smith moves the ball to the one where the Giants set up shop at the Cowboys’ 1.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan sends his goal line personnel into the game to try and manage the sudden change in procession.
1st and 1 from the 1
As Manning brings the Giants to the line they go with Bear Pascoe, Martellus Bennett and Adrien Robinson at the tight ends. Fullback Henry Hynoski and Ahmad Bradshaw in the backfield. Pascoe is lined up at right wind on the outside of Bennett with Robinson in line to the left. Manning sends Pascoe in motion going from his right to his left and back right, Gerald Sensabaugh goes in motion with Pascoe telling Manning the Cowboys are in man coverage.
At the snap of the ball, Josh Brent explodes up the field and pushes center David Baas into the backfield. Marcus Spears with the same charge is able to get rid of guard Chris Snee. At the point of attack coming right, Bennett cannot handle Coleman who sheds his block, Anthony Spencer extends on Pascoe then fight hard to his left as the ball comes to his side. From the inside Sean Lee and Bruce Carter are running hard to the edge. Sensabaugh and Spencer are there as Bradshaw is unable to turn his shoulders up the field and the play loses two yards.
2nd and 3 from the 3
Giants stay in their three tight end package. This time Manning puts Bennett in line left with Pascoe to the wing to that side. Pascoe goes in motion from his left to his right. At the snap, DeMarcus Ware extends on Bennett stoning him at the line of scrimmage. Left guard Kevin Boothe pulls to his left but loses his balance and is tripped up along the way. Hynoski the fullback tries to clean up the edge but can’t.
Bradshaw takes the ball and starts to his left but sees Ware and Spencer on the outside and tries to cut it back inside. Standing in the hole is Spears who is able to beat Snee again and Lissemore who is plays the cut block of tackle Sean Locklear. Lee is also there to fill and Bradshaw gets thrown back for another loss on the play.
3rd and 4 from the 4
Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride tries to spread the Cowboys defense out by bringing three receivers into the game. Ryan counters with his dime package to match. Manning is in the gun with Bradshaw to his left. Hakeem Nicks is wide left with Bennett and Cruz are tight to the right, with Rueban Randle far outside right.
At the snap of the ball, Manning looks to his left at the match up with Nicks on Claiborne with Mario Butler as a safety to that side. Butler and Claiborne have in and out coverage on Nicks keeping him from running the slant. Manning then looks back to his right, where Scandrick has picked up Cruz out of the slot. Scandrick has his back to Manning but is able to quickly flip around to get in position on Cruz. Anthony Spencer is coming off the edge to Manning’s right works tackle David Diehl inside than quickly outside which causes him problems. Sean Lee also attacks the middle of the pocket trying to free Spears inside but it doesn’t get him home. Manning feels Spencer in his face and has to unload the ball to Cruz wide right with Scandrick in good shape to defend the ball.
The Giants now have to settle for a field goal which all started by a defensive play by one of the Cowboys best offensive players.