The New York Giants suffered their fifth loss of the season. This time against their rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. This game was the first match between both of the new head coaches for their respective football teams.
The Giants made multiple errors shooting themselves in the foot as they did in the games prior to this week. The Cowboys came back from a 14-point deficit and won it for their injured quarterback.
The Dallas Cowboys worked their way down the field on their first drive of the game. Something the team failed to do most of the season. Receptions by Ceedee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and a penalty on Adrian Colbert for unnecessary roughness led Dallas to the red zone. A pass breakup by Darnay Holmes held Dallas to a Greg Zuerlein field goal. Unfortunately on that drive, linebacker Lorenzo Carter suffered a ruptured Achilles. He is now done for the season.
On the ensuing drive by the Giants, Devonta Freeman struck first with a nine-yard run. On a 2nd and inches, Daniel Jones found his main target, Darius Slayton for a 12-yard hookup. A Nick Gates penalty did not stop Big Blue as the offense propelled downfield with some short-yardage plays. One of those not including a roughing the passer penalty on linebacker Joe Thomas. Evan Engram ended the drive with a three-yard end-around rushing touchdown.
On the third play of the next drive, Dak Prescott overthrew running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott tipped the pass into the hands of Giants’ linebacker Kyler Fackrell. Fackrell returned the pick into the end zone for a Big Blue score. The Giants at that point, led the Cowboys, 14-3.
The defense made another impact play as Darnay Holmes and Markus Golden sacked Prescott on the first play of the drive. Dallas punted the ball away after a three and out.
The Giants had a head start in the 2nd quarter, propelled from the yards they took before the first quarter ended. Big Blue made it down to the Cowboys’ 37 yard-line as Graham Gano knocked in three points on a field goal from 55 yards away. The Giants extended their lead over Dallas, 17-3.
Looking to get revenge on the ensuing drive, the Cowboys’ running back powered through the defense for over 40 yards on the ground. The running attack got Dallas in the red zone and Ezekiel Elliott scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the game on the ground. The Cowboys cut the lead to 17-10.
After an 11-yard pass to Golden Tate, Demarcus Lawrence stripped Daniel Jones of the football after beating left tackle Andrew Thomas around the edge. Cowboys’ cornerback Anthony Brown recovered the fumble and took it back for a defensive touchdown, tying the game at 17.
Daniel Jones took his determination of revenge down the field on the next drive. A 21-yard pass to Golden Tate and a 16-yard run-pass option slant propelled the Giants into field goal territory.
Trickery Under Two
On a fourth down and four to go, the Giants attempted to pull some trickery with less than two minutes in the half. Casey Kreiter snapped the football into punter Riley Dixon‘s hands and threw it downfield to tight end Evan Engram for a touchdown. The Cowboys were caught sleeping.
Unfortunately, tackle Cameron Fleming was not set at the line of scrimmage, prompting an illegal shift penalty. The penalty nullified the touchdown. Instead, Graham Gano kicked a 50-yard field goal to make the score 20-17.
CeeDee Lamb would be the main man for the Cowboys on the next drive, catching three passes for 55 yards. Another unnecessary roughness penalty from Adrian Colbert put the Cowboys at the goal line again. Dallas decided to do their own trickery and pulled a Philly Special like play. Dak Prescott handed the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott and Elliott flipped the ball to wide receiver Cedrick Wilson and Wilson threw it to Prescott in the endzone for a Cowboys’ touchdown, altering the score 24-20 at the end of the half.
Three plays into the first drive in the third quarter, Jones connected with Slayton once again for 12 yards. A holding penalty on Jourdan Lewis nullified an incomplete pass from Jones to Golden Tate. Four plays later, Jones found Slayton on a 31-yard deep pass, only to be nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty on Damion Ratley. The drive ended on a Graham Gano field goal, making the score, 24-24 Dallas.
The Cowboys’ running game and CeeDee Lamb came back to haunt the Giants’ defense on the next drive. However, tragedy struck as Dak Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle on a nine-yard run. The training staff carted him off. Andy Dalton replaced him as the starting quarterback in the game and will for the rest of the season. Dalvin Tomlinson sacked Dalton on his first play under center. On the next play, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a 12-yard touchdown, making the score 31-23.
The next two drives for both squads ended in punts.
Wayne Gallman assisted Daniel Jones in getting downfield the next drive as Gallman caught one pass for three yards and rushed three times for 20 yards. Much like the other drives, this one ended in a Graham Gano field goal.
A fumbled snap by Andy Dalton on the next drive, recovered by Blake Martinez, pushed the Giants back into the red zone. They could not accept only a field goal on this drive, having not scored a touchdown since the first quarter.
Devonta Freeman rushed for his first rushing touchdown of the season and his Giants’ tenure to cap off the drive. Jason Garrett got creative this time around, as the Giants opted to go for two points on the point after attempt. Daniel Jones threw a pass to rookie left tackle Andrew Thomas, making the score 34-31.
The defense did not start off on the right foot the next drive, as linebacker Markus Golden grasped the facemask of Ezekiel Elliott, prompting a 15-yard penalty. Cowboys Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore utilized the run game again, draining the energy of the Giants’ defense. However, the Giants’ defense held their offense once again to a field goal. The score was tied at 34.
The Final Two Minutes
Many expected Daniel Jones to be the Eli Manning of a game-winning drive. The only impact play was a 14-yard pass to Darius Slayton. He fell short of that expectation on the ensuing drive with little time left, resulting in a Riley Dixon punt.
With the ambition to win the game for Dak Prescott, Dalton led the Dallas Cowboys down the field. A 15-yard pass play to Amari Cooper and a 19-yard pass to Michael Gallup put the Cowboys closer to a game-winning score. The play that put the nail in the coffin was a 38-yard pass to Gallup. Ryan Lewis failed to cover Gallup and got beat downfield. Greg Zuerlein made his second game-winning field goal of the season from 34 yards out.
The Dallas Cowboys (2-3) move into first place in the NFC East with two wins, as the Giants (0-5) are in last looking for a win. The Giants face Kyle Allen and the Washington Football Team next week, as the Cowboys face Arizona Cardinals at home. Andy Dalton will be the starting quarterback for Dallas for the remainder of the 2020 season.