- The Cowboys now lead the overall series 59-42-1.
- The Giants’ four-game winning streak at Cowboys Stadium was the longest for New York at Dallas. The Giants had won three straight at Texas Stadium between 1988 and 1990.
- This was the first time the Cowboys had ever played in a game with a final score of 36-31.
- The game marked the seventh time in the series where the Cowboys scored 36 or more points. The most points scored by the Cowboys against the Giants was 52 in 1966.
- The Cowboys trailed in every game in 2012. The Cowboys did not trail at all on Sunday night.
- The Cowboys recorded 6 or more turnovers in 23 previous games.
- The Giants have turned the ball over six or more times against the Cowboys in 4 previous games.
- The most turnovers committed by the Giants against the Cowboys was 7 in 1961. Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle threw four interceptions on October 15, 1961, but the Giants still won 31-10 at the Cotton Bowl.
- Sunday night’s game marked the 7th time where the Cowboys have given up 400 or more passing yards.
- The Giants have thrown for 400 or more yards against the Cowboys three times: twice by Eli Manning (2011 and 2013) and once by Phil Simms (1985).
During the first quarter of last year’s 24-17 win by the Cowboys over the New York Giants in the season opener, the Dallas Cowboys forced running back David Wilson to fumble the ball. The Cowboys’ offense turned around and did next to nothing.
That was a key pattern of 2012. For the season, the Cowboys only forced 16 turnovers and only managed 52 points off turnovers to rank 27th in the league.
During the first half of tonight’s game, the Cowboys managed to force three turnovers. Points off those turnovers?
Then came the second half. On the Giants’ first offensive drive of the second half, Wilson fumbled, and Barry Church returned a fumble recovery 27 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the quarter, the Giants’ Trumaine McBride touched the ball on a punt return, resulting in a muff. DeVonte Holloman recovered the ball, and the Cowboys managed to score another touchdown later in the drive.
Finally, with the Giants trailing 30-24 with two minutes remaining, Eli Manning tried to throw a screen pass to running back Da’Rel Scott, but Scott did not turn around in time. Brandon Carr picked off the pass after the ball bounced off Scott’s shoulder, and Carr returned the pick 49 yards for the Cowboys’ final score.
Three turnovers and 21 points off those turnovers (6 turnovers for 24 points for the game). Quite a difference from 2012.
The team’s 36-31 win certainly wasn’t perfect. The Cowboys took a 13-point lead with 12 minutes remaining, but no lead in the former Cowboys Stadium is safe when the Giants are in town.
A short summary of the Giants’ wins at Dallas since 2009:
2009: The Giants trailed 31-30 but drove the length of the field in the final seconds for the game-winning field goal.
2010: The Cowboys saw a 20-7 first-half lead dissolve into a 38-20 deficit in what turned out to be a 41-35 Dallas loss.
2011: The Cowboys took a 34-22 lead in the fourth quarter, but the Giants managed to score twice in just over three minutes to pull out a 37-34 win for New York.
Dallas should have been able to put this game away much earlier, but the secondary could not avoid major breakdowns. Hakeem Nicks had a 57-yard reception in the first quarter, and Victor Cruz had a 70-yard touchdown in the second quarter to keep the game close.
The Cowboys led 13-10 at the half thanks to two field goals and a touchdown pass from Tony Romo to Jason Witten.
Following Church’s touchdown in the third quarter, the Cowboys extended the lead when Romo hit Witten again on a four-yard touchdown. The second score gave Dallas a 27-10 lead.
Dallas once again could not stop Cruz, who ended up scoring three touchdowns. His last touchdown came after the Cowboys had kicked a field goal and cut the Dallas lead to 30-24.
For part of the final nine minutes, it felt as if the Cowboys would let the win slip through their fingers. However, the Cowboys held the Giants to a three-and-out with just over five minutes left, and then Carr’s interception sealed the win for Dallas.
Below is my Facebook thought near the end of the game. Please note that I backed off my “solid defense” reference in the comments:
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