N.Y. Giants 10, Dallas 7: Opportunities, but No Magic
In 12 previous games in 2016, the Dallas Cowboys had forced two or more turnovers only twice—two against the Chicago Bears and four against the Green Bay Packers.
So if we knew that the Cowboys would force three against the New York Giants, we would probably have some confidence that the Cowboys would win pretty easily at New York on Sunday night.
Instead, the Dallas offense could not take advantage of many opportunities, while the Giants did just enough to eek out a 10-7 win.
In the first half, the game looked promising. Dallas capped off a 10-play, 67-yard drive with a great 31-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Terrance Williams after a great play fake.
Eight plays later, Dallas recovered an Eli Manning fumble, and the Dallas offense moved to near midfield.
But the offense did what did for most of the evening and self-destructed. Dez Bryant slipped on a pass play, and Janoris Jenkins stepped up to intercept the pass.
Dallas managed to recover yet another fumble by Manning in the second quarter, but the offense could do nothing with it.
Dallas moved into field goal position late in the first half, but Dan Bailey’s attempt hit the crossbar.
After the Giants kicked a field goal in the third quarter, Prescott tried to go deep to Bryant, but Leon Hall picked off the pass and returned it to the Giant 39.
Two plays later, Odell Beckham Jr. caught a slant and raced 61 yards for a touchdown.
Sadly, the game was all but over after that because the Cowboys offense looked a bit like the 2015 version.
The next three Dallas drives ended in punts. Even an interception by Anthony Brown failed to spark anything.
When Dallas had a chance to drive with less than three minutes left, Prescott went back to Bryant, who had not caught a pass all game. Bryant caught a slant on third down and promptly fumbled it.
The last chance for the Cowboys came with just over a minute left. Needing to go the length of the field, Dallas failed to make a single yard. The final offensive play was a pass attempt to Bryant. Although officials first ruled that he caught the pass for a first down, replays showed that he dropped the ball.
At 11-2, Dallas still has a two-game lead in the NFC East and a two-game lead for home-field advantage. But the team certainly cannot afford any more games like this one.