EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –The Cowboys weren't getting many breaks early on and even trailed by 11 at the half before a big second-half comeback gave the Cowboys a dramatic 31-28 win.
There were some big plays by both teams, but all games have those hidden plays that can be forgotten, but ended up playing a huge factor in the outcome. Here are five that changed this game:
Dez goes for 12 - While it might not have been one of the highlight catches of the game, Dez Bryant had a big 12-yard grab on first down that helped calm down a stadium that was about to explode. Odell Beckham had just pulled off an amazing catch to give NYG a 14-3 lead and a possible blowout was forming. But a catch by Dez on first down started the drive that included a third-down catch by Witten and a 26-yard gain by Dunbar that led to a Witten's score, cutting the lead to 14-10. It was still early but that drive helped slow down the buzz and get Dallas some much-needed confidence.
The failed review – The Cowboys clearly caused and recovered a fumble before halftime. The officials failed to overturn the call. The Giants scored on the next play. Simple as that. And the lost challenge wiped out a much-needed timeout that could've been useful on the Cowboys' final drive of the half. Instead the Cowboys were limited in their play-calling and eventually lost a fumble.
Flag picked up, Church picks it off –Barry Church nearly had a costly penalty when he bumped Beckham out of bounds. But the rookie receiver clearly flopped out of bounds, visual to the two refs eyeing the play. The back judge, 25 yards away decided to throw his flag but he was overruled and the officials even announced the word "flop" in his announcement. Two plays later, Church picked off Eli Manning and returned it to near midfield.
Mincey gets pressure, Eli penalty –After the Giants forced a fumble and recovered it before halftime, Ron Leary was flagged for a 15-yard penalty that gave New York a legit chance to score again. But Jeremy Mincey's near-sack forced an intentional grounding penalty on Manning that also wiped out their last timeout to avoid 10-second runoff. That kept the Cowboys down only 21-10 at the half.
Jennings drops first down pass - The Giants needed a field goal to tie the game in the final minute but on first down, Eli's pass to Rashaud Jennings was simply dropped over the middle. That wasn't going to be a first down pickup but maybe 5-6 yards. Instead, it got the Giants out of rhythm and they never picked up a first down, thanks in large part to Rolando McClain's huge tackle on fourth down.