ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys needed to somehow find a way to win, and avoid an 0-2 start. From start to finish, they were able to do it, dominating the Giants for a 20-10 win at AT&T Stadium with some big plays on offense and defensive players flying around the field on the other side.
Throughout every game, there are several moments or plays that go unnoticed, or could be overlooked. Still, they play a huge role in the eventual outcome.
Let's look at five plays that changed the direction of this game.
Dak's first throw of the night – Yeah, it might have been a nine-yard completion on a simple slant to Allen Hurns. But that play did wonders for the offense, especially when it struggled so much on first down last week in Carolina. By completing the throw on first down, it showed the Giants the Cowboys weren't afraid to be aggressive and just rely on Zeke. For the entire first half, the Cowboys racked up 151 yards on 13 first-down plays, averaging 11.6 yards on first down, aided by a 64-yard bomb to Tavon Austin. But on the second drive, the Cowboys ran five straight first-down plays, leading to a field goal.
D-Law joins sack party – After watching three of his teammates drop Eli Manning already, DeMarcus Lawrence got into the action in a big way before halftime. The Cowboys led 10-0 but the Giants were on the move with a first down at the NYG 49 with :58 seconds left. But Lawrence was able to get to Manning and take him down for a seven-yard loss. That put the Giants behind the chains enough where they couldn't get a first, and the half ran out with the Giants still scoreless.
Wilson forces a key fumble – This one might not be forgotten by most, but the play was so important considering the Giants showed a little life out of halftime. Down 10-0, the Giants were on their 40 when linebacker Damien Wilson darted through the line to strip Manning of the ball, recovered by Taco Charlton. Instead of the Giants making it a one-score game, the Cowboys came back with a field goal to extend the lead to 13-0.
Giants' first-and-goal hold – After an 18-yard completion to Giants rookie back Saquan Barkley, it seemed they were ready to cut into the Cowboys' 13-point lead with a touchdown. However, on first down, not only was Barkley stuffed for a five-yard loss, but the Giants were flagged for holding on tight end Rhett Ellison, pushing the ball back to the 13. From there, the Giants couldn't find the end zone and had to settle for a field goal, keeping it a two-score game at 13-3 with 4:34 to play in the third.
Beasley's catch leads to final score – With the Cowboys leading 13-3 early in the fourth, but pinned back to their own 18, the offense needed to get a few first downs to keep the field position manageable. Instead, they were able to find the end zone, thanks to some clutch plays earlier in the drive. One of them was a third-and-8 completion to Cole Beasley, who caught Dak's pass of 10 yards in between two defenders. That was followed by a Tavon Austin catch and a few more sizable plays that led to Zeke's 6-yard TD run for a 20-3 lead.