Don't Forget About These Five Plays: Key Third-Down Conversions; McClain's Big Hit

Here are a handful of plays that changed this game

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys improved to 6-1 Sunday with a strong second-half performance to outlast the Giants for their first division win.

DeMarco Murray had a record-breaking day, Dez Bryant had clutch catches and Gavin Escobar even had two touchdown grabs.

But all games have those hidden plays that can be forgotten, but ended up playing a huge factor in the outcome. And here are a handful of plays that changed this game:

Esocobar's first reception – The two touchdowns by Gavin Escobar will be remembered most on Sunday, but it was his first catch that led to the first score. On a third-and-five from the Giants' 39, Escobar got open for Tony Romo over the middle. After the catch, the second-year tight end darted up the field for first-down yardage and more, totaling 24 yards to the Giants' 15. Three plays later, Escobar finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown catch for a 7-0 lead.

Third-down slant to Dez – The Giants had just scored two touchdowns in less than four minutes, turning a 7-0 deficit into a 14-7 lead. And with the Cowboys reeling and facing third-and-6 at their 24, Romo hit Dez Bryant on an 8-yard slant for a crucial first down. That kept the drive alive and the offense did the rest, driving the rest of the way for a touchdown, capped off by Romo's 18-yard pass to Terrance Williams to tie the game.

T. McClain with near fumble – Aside from the fact Terrell McClain likely should've been credited with a forced fumble on a third-quarter tackle for loss, it still proved to be a huge play in the game. The Giants took the second-half kickoff and marched to the Cowboys' 35. On first down and all the momentum with them, Andre Williams was met behind the line by McClain, who appeared to get the ball out before his progress was stopped. Either way, the Giants' drive was halted and eventually had to punt. That tackle for loss changed the flow, and direction of New York's drive.

Randle's offensive holding– With the Cowboys leading 21-14, the Giants drove to the Dallas' 40 with a shot to tie the game late in the third quarter. On a first down receiver screen, NYG's Ruben Randle was flagged for holding Orlando Scandrick in the flat. Instead of second-and-8 at the Cowboys' 38, it was first-and-20 back at midfield. The Giants couldn't overcome the yardage and had to punt.[embeddedad0]

Jones pins Giants back - There was a groan from the AT&T crowd when the Cowboys decided not to go for the first down early in the fourth quarter, facing a fourth-and-1 at the Giants' 40. But the punt by Chris Jones was his best of the day, pinning the Giants back to their 11. Playing the field-position game worked and the Cowboys eventually got a turnover and then scored to take a 14-point lead.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising