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Eatman: After Quick Catnap, Cowboys Fight Back


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ­– Nine years ago it was a brief power-outage blackout that seemed to turn the tide for the Cowboys in a crazy game against the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

This time it was a black cat that ran around for a while, briefly delaying play and somehow flipping the script on a game that certainly wasn't going the Cowboys' way.

The puns and jokes are endless.

Our editorial team at came up with some good ones. But whether the Cowboys finally woke up from their "catnap," or put on their "rally cats," or stopped "kitten around," or simply "scratched and clawed" their way back, maybe they just finally started to play "fur real."

Whatever way you put it, the Cowboys found a way to come alive and get a much-needed win over a Giants team that really had no business beating them. But then again, that doesn't always mean anything, especially at this stadium. The Jets might be the worst team in football, but yet they found a way to get their lone win against the Cowboys.

And for a while here Monday night, it seemed like the Cowboys might be headed down another embarrassing trail.

Dak Prescott throws a pick on the first play of the game. Randall Cobb fumbles the ball away in the open field. Brett Maher hooks a field goal no good. The Cowboys were doing everything in their power to make Daniel Jones and his Giants team believe they could win.

Then the black cat mysteriously ran onto the field, darting all over the place. Who knew some unnamed cat would actually be more elusive than Saquon Barkley, who did have a big pass play in the fourth quarter, but was corralled by the Cowboys for most of the night.

Do I really think the cat had anything to do with the turnaround? Not really, but maybe it was the small break the Cowboys needed to get back to the basics. You can't help but laugh or even chuckle when something like that happens on a football field. I'm thinking that helped relax the team just enough to finally get things going.

And they certainly did. The Cowboys went down 12-3, but outscored the Giants 34-6 to close out the game.

The defense was relentless, and it started up front. In fact, it started on the first drive of the game. To hold the Giants to only a field goal after the early turnover was a huge sign of what was to come.

Hey, you can be upset the Cowboys didn't get Jamal Adams in the trade from the Jets this week, but please don't overlook the guy they did acquire. Michael Bennett was a huge player in Monday's win. He lined up all over the defensive line and was a constant force, recording a sack, two tackles for loss and three hits on the quarterback. Yes, he had a pair of penalties, but you'll take that if he's going to be that disruptive. And don't forget that DeMarcus Lawrence might've had his best game, and I don't think it was a coincidence.

Just like the defense won up front, the offense did as well. The line dominated the Giants, paving the way for Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard to run all night. They struggled to capitalize early, but after they got in rhythm, the Giants really had no answer.

Honestly, I don't think we have to call this a great win. It was a good win, against one of the bottom teams in the league. But it was much-needed victory – as they all are from now on – to get to 5-3 and remain in first place in the NFC East.

Momentum is a weird thing. It took a terrible loss to the Jets to get the Cowboys to turn it around and now win two straight.

And what about Monday night? It took a four-legged creature to create some momentum in this game.

I guess you never know what the cat is going to drag in.