ARLINGTON, Texas – Any game that involves a quarterback change in the second quarter has drama. Throw in last-minute field goals by both teams and this one had its share of fireworks.
But like all games, there were a handful of plays that could go unnoticed, but yet changed the outcome. Let's take a closer look at five that affected this one.
Martin's penalty – The Cowboys already led 3-0 in the first quarter, and after a defensive stop, got the ball back again at the Jets' 43-yard line to start their next drive. On second down, Cassel hit Darren McFadden for what appeared to be a 30-yard gain to the New York 15, but Zack Martin was flagged for a questionable block in the back. It negated the gain and pushed the ball back to the 50, and on the next play, Cassel was picked off by Darrelle Revis when he was attempting to throw it out of bounds. The Cowboys might not have scored a touchdown, but a 6-0 lead certainly would've been better than losing the ball and field position.
Fumble not rewarded – Late in the first quarter, the Jets were driving when on a third-down pass over the middle, Eric Decker converted a first down, but lost the ball right when his knee touched the ground. Initially, the side official ruled it a fumble and pointed toward the Cowboys for possession. However, another referee came in and ruled it down. The official ruling was down by contact, so when the Cowboys had to challenge, the initial ruling stood. Had the first official been able to keep his call, the play still would've been reviewed, but likely would've stayed as called on the field. The Jets kept the ball and took the lead on a touchdown run a few plays later.
Beasley's drop over the middle – After Kellen Moore threw a costly pick in the end zone, he had a chance to redeem himself after the Cowboys returned the favor with an interception by Terrance Mitchell. But on third-and-8 from the Jets' 19-yard line, Moore's slant pass to Cole Beasley went through the receiver's hands for a drop. It appeared Beasley had enough room to convert a first down and extend the drive for a possible first-and-goal. The Cowboys had to settle for a field goal instead, extending the lead to just 13-9.
Fitzpatrick extends drive – On third-and-14 from the Cowboys' 27-yard line early in the fourth quarter, Ryan Fitzpatrick stepped up in the pocket and found receiver Quincy Enunwa for 24 yards to the 3-yard line. Had the Cowboys held, the Jets would've at least tied the game with a field goal, even though kicker Randy Bullock had already missed an extra point earlier in the game. The Jets eventually scored to take the lead, 16-13.
Incomplete to Beasley – Just before the 2-minute warning, the Cowboys were driving, looking for the game-tying field goal. After a no-gain run by Robert Turbin on first down from the Jets' 37, Moore's second-down pass was incomplete over the middle to Beasley. That stopped the clock at 2:47. It appeared Beasley had a shot to make the play and get a first down, but by stopping the clock, it meant the Cowboys couldn't get under the 2-minute warning without giving the ball back to the Jets. Even if they didn't get more than a field goal, it would still drain more time off the clock and perhaps the Jets would've been less aggressive to go for the win.