Almost exactly seven years ago, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings to improve to 6-1. No Dallas team since then has recorded that record.
After that game seven years ago, I wrote:
The Cowboys did everything they could to give Minnesota a chance to win today, but the Dallas efforts weren’t enough. All joking aside, today’s heroes included one likely source– Marion Barber– and a couple of the least likely sources, including Chris Canty and Patrick Watkins.
In beating the Giants on Sunday in 2014, Dallas did what it could to give New York the edge. However, at least one unlikely source came through to help Dallas to a 31-21 win.
With the game tied at 7 in the second quarter, Dez Bryant fell down on a route. Tony Romo’s pass fell into the hands of Prince Amukamara, who returned the ball to the Dallas 27. One play later, a touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Daniel Fell gave the Giants a 14-7 lead.
But Dallas marched right back to score a game-tying touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the half. Once again, Romo’s target on the game-tying touchdown was Terrance Williams, who now has six scores on the year.
But Williams was not the unlikely source. That would be tight end Gavin Escobar. After catching his first touchdown against the Seahawks last week, Escobar grabbed two TD receptions against the Giants. His second touchdown of the day —a great grab up the seam in the middle of the field—gave Dallas a 21-14 lead.
The Cowboys took advantage of a New York fumble in the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 28-14.
Of course, Manning has a way of bringing the Giants from behind against Dallas, and the Cowboys did little to prevent New York from cutting the Dallas lead to 28-21.
But as the Cowboys keep proving, this is just a different year. The Cowboys responded to the Giant touchdown by driving 49 yards in 10 plays to set up Dan Bailey’s field goal, which secured the win for the Cowboys.
DeMarco Murray became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 100 yards in each of his first seven games of the season. The only player who had rushed for 100 yards in six games to open a season was the great Jim Brown.
With the Eagles on a bye this week, Dallas has a half-game lead in the NFC East.