For the second time this season, the Cowboys relied on an unlikely source to provide a spark to beat the New York Giants.
In October, that player was tight end Gavin Escobar, who caught two touchdown passes in the Cowboys’ 31-21 win.
On Sunday, that player was receiver Cole Beasley.
Dallas trailed 21-10 at halftime and was having all sort of problems stopping the Giants. This was especially true on third down. During the game, New York converted 11 of 16 third downs.
With the score still 21-10 with about seven minutes left in the third, Dallas finally forced a punt. Dallas moved the ball to the Giant 45 before Tony Romo found Beasley on a short route. Beasley did the rest of the work, weaving through four defenders and racing for the touchdown to cut the New York lead to 21-17.
Following a key interception by Barry Church deep in Dallas territory, the Cowboys regained the lead at the end of the third quarter on a touchdown from Romo to Dez Bryant. It looked as if the Cowboys could take control of the game in the fourth quarter, but with Dallas leading 24-21, a Cowboys drive stalled, forcing a punt. The Giants then took the ball 93 yards for a score to regain the lead at 28-24.
Dallas had exactly three minutes to score. Romo used Bryant, DeMarco Murray, and Jason Witten to move the ball near midfield. But it was another pass play to Beasley that pushed the Cowboys into Giant territory. Beasley’s 21-yard reception gave the Cowboys the ball at the Giant 36.
Two passes to Bryant covered those 36 yards. The offensive line gave Romo more protection than he has ever had as a starting quarterback. On two plays, Romo had more than seven sections to find Bryant. The second play was a 13-yard touchdown to give Dallas the lead.
The Giants had one more chance with a minute left, but Dallas forced a fourth down. It appeared that the Giants had converted the 4th-and-2, but a replay showed that Eli Manning’s pass to Rashad Jennings had not covered the distance. Dallas killed the clock to secure the team’s eighth win of the season.
Dallas remains tied with the Eagles at 8-3. The teams face one another on Thanksgiving Day.
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A huge part of the Cowboys’ problems tonight was receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. Among his amazing catches was a one-handed grab on a bomb early in the second quarter. No matter if we hate the Giants or not, that was worth a standing ovation, as I doubt any of us will see too many catches as impressive.
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Only some children of the 1960s/1970s might know this reference:
Cole Beasley’s hair is what I might have expected on Mrs. Beasley. But as it turns out, Cole has more hair than Mrs. Beasley.