N.Y. Giants 41, Dallas 35: Six Feet Under
Here’s a trivia question: when was the last time the Dallas Cowboys started at 1-5?
Anyway, the Cowboys pretended to play like a football team with some fight in it. Terence Newman and Gerald Sensabaugh both picked of Eli Manning early in the first quarter, and the picks set up 10 Dallas points.
The real Dallas defense then showed up. Newman couldn’t bring down Hakeem Nicks, who moved the ball from the Dallas 33 to the Dallas 9. Two plays later, the Cowboys secondary became confused, and Sensabaugh was lined up on Nicks. Manning just tossed up up an easy pass to Nicks, who cut the Dallas lead to 10-7.
The Cowboys showed more life by recovering a fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw. But with 12:07 left in the second quarter, Michael Boley came in untouched on a blitz and put Tony Romo into the ground. The impact broke Romo’s clavicle and may have ended the quarterback’s season. Fortunately, Romo completed his last pass to Miles Austin, putting Dallas into field goal range. David Buehler’s kick extended the Dallas lead to 13-7.
After forcing a three-and-out, Dez Bryant took a punt return 93 yards for a touchdown to increase the lead to 20-7.
From there, Wade Phillips’ defense was virtually invisible. The Giants scored 17 points in the final 4:22 to take a 24-20 lead. Complete incompetence is the only way to describe it, as Dallas couldn’t generate a pass rush, couldn’t tackle, and couldn’t cover. Meanwhile, Kitna couldn’t complete a pass, and the Dallas rushing game could barely get back to the line of scrimmage.
Dallas cut the lead to six late in the fourth quarter, allowing Dallas to avoid complete humiliation. Of course, starting this season 1-5 is complete humiliation, so it was hard to get too excited.
Incidentally, the last time the Cowboys started at 1-5 was 1963 during a season in which the team was supposed to compete for the Eastern Conference title. The team that gave the Cowboys their fifth loss? The Giants, led by 37-year-old Y.A. Tittle, who threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-21 New York win.