Romo threw four touchdown passes, including a pair of second-half strikes to Owens, as the Cowboys snapped the New York Giants' six-game winning streak with a 31-20 victory Sunday.
The Giants (6-3) were out to prove that their six-game winning
streak was not simply the result of a favorable schedule and
that they were legitimate contenders in the NFC East.
Romo showed that the road to the division title still goes
through Dallas, throwing TD passes to Tony Curtis and Patrick
Crayton in the first half and two more to Owens in the second
"I'm not into statement games. We're into winning football
games," said Romo, who finished 20-of-28 for 247 yards with one
interception. "We're into moving toward the fun stuff in
The Cowboys (8-1) completed a series sweep of the Giants and
opened a two-game lead in the NFC East. It is the first time
Dallas opened the season 8-1 since 1995.
"It was a big win. I wouldn't say it was a Giant win," Cowboys
coach Wade Phillips said. "It puts us up on the Giants, but the
season isn't over."
Romo completed third-down passes of 15 and 13 yards to Crayton
on the Cowboys' opening drive of the second half and capped the
drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Owens, who ran past
cornerback Sam Madison into the right corner of the end zone to
give Dallas a 24-17 lead.
The Giants appeared to answer with a 6-yard TD run by Brandon
Jacobs, but the score was nullified by a holding call on guard
"We made a lot of costly mistakes that prevented us from having
a big game," Giants quarterback Eli Manning said.
New York settled for a 26-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes, who
capped a drive which began after an 83-yard kickoff return by
Ahmad Bradshaw was called back by a holding penalty.
Owens also ran under a 50-yard pass from Romo for a touchdown,
increasing the lead to 31-20 with 10:43 left. The outspoken
wide receiver caught six passes for 125 yards, his third
straight game with 100 or more yards.
"This is why I felt Jerry (Cowboys owner Jerry Jones) brought me
here," Owens said. "I want to be the playmaker for this team."
The Giants answered repeated questions during the week of how
Sunday's game was a litmus test for a club that has faltered in
the second of recent seasons.
Some Cowboys might have used that as extra motivation for
Sunday's game, and Giants coach Tom Coughlin was among those
upset with the "statement" talk.
"That's your verbiage," Coughlin responded to one question. "I
am disappointed. We were our own worst enemy."
Manning finished 23-of-33 for 236 yards with two interceptions,
but the Giants' offense was rarely in sync, getting called for
three delay of game penalties. Manning also was sacked five
One of the sacks was by Tank Johnson, who was making his Cowboys
debut following completion of an NFL suspension.
"We added that middle rush and we were pushing the pocket," said
linebacker DeMarcus Ware, who had 10 tackles and one of the
sacks. "Tank's been waiting a long time for that. You could
tell." The Cowboys took a 17-14 lead with 1:21 left in the first
half when Romo completed all six of his passes on a 68-yard
drive that was capped with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Crayton.
The momentum was in Dallas' favor, but a 15-yard taunting
penalty on Kevin Burnett gave the Giants the ball near midfield,
and Eli Manning threw a 29-yard pass to tight end Jeremy
Shockey, setting up a 40-yard field goal by Tynes that tied it,
17-17, at halftime.
Shockey finished with a career-high 12 catches for 129 yards.
The Cowboys easily marched 65 yards downfield in seven plays on
the opening possession of the game. Julius Jones rushed for 20
yards on the first play and Romo later found Curtis in the left
corner of the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
The Giants answered on their first drive when Manning threw an
8-yard touchdown pass to Shockey to cap an eight-play drive. The
67-yard march featured back-to-back encroachment penalties on
Dallas and a personal foul on Cowboys linebacker Bradie James.
Interceptions led to the next two scores.
Safety Ken Hamlin returned an interception of Manning 26 yards,
leading to a 44-yard field goal by Nick Folk on the opening play
of the second quarter.
The Giants soon capitalized on an interception when safety
Gibril Wilson picked off an underthrown ball by Romo at the
New York marched 60 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 1-yard run by
Reuben Droughns that gave the Giants their only lead at 14-10.
Statement Game for Dallas
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