EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Cowboys had plenty of highlights in their 36-31 win over the Giants, thanks in large part to six turnovers Sunday night at AT&T Stadium.
Like always, there are some hidden plays that will get overlooked, but yet played a big part in the final outcome. And you know you've had a lot of turnovers when some of them might get lost in the shuffle. Here are a handful of plays that changed this game.
1. Church's Strip – Most of the turnovers were memorable, but David Wilson's first fumble cost the Giants some points. Trailing 3-0, a 57-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks had New York in a great position score, but Wilson was stripped by Barry Church at the Cowboys' 8-yard line. The ball was recovered by George Selvie. It was the first of two fumbles by Wilson, the second of which was returned by Church for a score and resulted in a new tailback in the lineup for the Giants.
2. Romo's Pick/ Murray's Hustle – Somehow, this play changed the game. You can focus on the interception part, which likely prevented at least three points and maybe seven for the Cowboys when Romo threw a pick to Ryan Munday, who raced 91 yards down the sideline. But DeMarco Murray's tackle at the 1-yard line proved to be huge as well. The Cowboys were able to push back the Giants on two straight plays and force a field goal. In one frame, it's looking like 10-0 Cowboys or even 6-0, and suddenly it looks like the Giants will be up 7-3. Instead, it was 3-3. Who knows how the second half plays out if the Giants had four more points?
3. Escobar's Recovery – This is a play that is easily forgotten. Phillip Tanner had just one carry in the game and fumbled backward. The ball rolled between two Giants defenders before Gavin Escobar jumped on it to keep the drive alive. On the next play, a third-and-4 from the Cowboys' 47-yard line, Romo hit Witten for 5 yards to move the sticks. Four plays later, Witten found the end zone, giving the Cowboys a 13-3 lead. But without the alert rookie tight end, the Giants would've had the ball down 6-3 inside Dallas territory. [embedded_ad]
4. Giants RB Stuffed For No Gain – On a third-and-1 at the Cowboys' 47, Da'Rel Scott was stopped short of the sticks by Will Allen and Bruce Carter. Trailing 20-10, the Giants had to punt it away to the Cowboys, who scored a touchdown about three minutes later, thanks in large part to a muffed punt that led to a Witten touchdown.
5. Scott Drop/Hatcher Sack – Here's a two-for-one but the Cowboys had to punt the ball back to the Giants with a 30-24 lead with 5:49 to play. New York started with the ball at its own 45. But on first down, it looked like the Giants caught the defense on a blitz, but Manning's pass to Scott bounced off his hands when it looked like he had plenty of room to run. Two plays later, Manning was sacked by Jason Hatcher on third down. While the Giants did get the ball back again, nearly three minutes were shaved off the clock.