EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – We knew all week long the outcome of this game wouldn't matter in the playoff picture.
However, it still proved to be one of the more entertaining games of the season. The Cowboys and Giants went back and forth in the second half, ending with a dramatic touchdown and two-point conversion.
Like all games, there are several 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.
Chido stalls drive with a pick – Remember way back in the first quarter? How about the Giants driving the length of the field to open the game and have third-and-goal from the Cowboys' 6-yard line. Eli Manning was picked off by Chido Awuzie, who recorded his first interception of the season. While 71 points were scored after that, that interception at least saved a field goal by the Giants.
Beasley's fourth-down catch – No, not the one that won the game in the fourth quarter. Go back to the third quarter with the Cowboys leading 14-10 and driving to near midfield. On fourth-and-2 from their own 43, the Cowboys never hesitated to leave the offense out on the field. Dak Prescott hit Cole Beasley over the middle for an 11-yard gain to the Giants' 46. Just three plays later, Blake Jarwin was walking in for a third touchdown to give Dallas the 21-10 lead.
Cowboys respond with Gallup – After seeing the Giants take their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys never blinked. On first down from the 25-yard line, Dak hit Michael Gallup over the middle for a 24-yard gain out to near midfield. That seemed to get the Cowboys right back in the mode to score. Three plays later, Prescott found Allen Hurns for a 47-yard gain that led to a go-ahead touchdown.
Giants flagged for holding after fumble – When Amari Cooper lost a fumble late in the game, it appeared the Giants were in position to put the game away. But on second-and-1 from the Cowboys' 9-yard line, the Giants were called for holding, pushing the ball back to the 18. From there, the Cowboys defense actually pushed the Giants back more and forced a field goal, keeping them down by a touchdown and still in the game.
Beasley's TD reviewed by the booth – Obviously no one is forgetting the game-winning touchdown by Beasley, but the actual video review proved to be important as the Cowboys were discussing going for two to win the game. While replay officials were noticing that Beasley got his knee down in bounds, it allowed the Cowboys to discuss which two-point play to run. Remember, the Cowboys were out of timeouts because of the Giants' previous possession. So that extra time gave the Cowboys a chance to find the right play to run for the win.