EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Dez Bryant's 13-yard touchdown with 1:01 to play was the difference as the Cowboys rallied from 11 down to knock off the Giants 31-28 at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.
Bryant ended with seven catches, 86 yards and two touchdowns after a monster second half. Tony Romo was masterful on the night, completing 18 of 26 for 275 yards, four touchdowns and his game-winning drive was a thing of beauty.
Dallas improved to 8-3 after and 2-1 in the division after sweeping the season series against New York.
The season starts now. This was a massive win for the Cowboys as they now set their sights on an NFC East showdown with the Eagles Thanksgiving Day. The Giants may have a horrible record, but they gave the Cowboys all they could handle in front of a national audience on Sunday Night Football.
Rod Marinelli's defense struggled mightily in the first half, however a couple sacks of Eli Manning just before halftime seemed to give the unit confidence for the second half. They'll need a much improved performance when the Eagles come to town later this week.
The Cowboys trailed the Giants 21-17 in the 3rd quarter when Barry Church intercepted Eli Manning and returned it 45 yards. Church's third career pick was perfectly timed and made Eli pay for a throw back across his body. Tony Romo then immediately turned it into points when he hooked up with Dez Bryant for a 31-yard touchdown that gave Dallas the 24-21 lead.
Third down wasn't the Cowboys friend in this game on either side of the ball and it needs to improve moving through the final five-game stretch.
The offense converted just four out of ten third downs, an area the team has been almost automatic this year. Controlling the clock is the part of the formula this team has seen so much success.
On the flip side the defense allowed eleven of sixteen third down conversions and seven in a row to start the game. This should be a major point of emphasis as the Cowboys gear up for Philadelphia.
Cole Beasley had his season coming out party against the Giants and he did it with two huge catches. The first was a 45 yard touchdown jaunt that really sparked the team and pulled them within four points. The second catch Beasley hauled in was on the game-winning drive. First and five, Romo found Beasley sitting behind the linebackers, made one guy miss and was pulled down after a 21 yard gain. Two huge catches that really helped the Cowboys pick up their 8th victory of the season.
Don't Forget About…
As much as Dez Bryant's touchdown winning catch was needed, it won't be the catch everyone is talking about when it comes to this game. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr's 43-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was a thing of beauty. Literally the best I've ever seen. The internet almost broke with photoshopped pictures of what Beckham did to the Cowboys. Spectacular. That will be hard to top. But even that great catch wasn't enough to lead the Giants to victory.