The Giants failed to score on the opening possession of the game as their drive stalled on the Dallas 44. Matt Cassel and the Cowboys took over at their own 20 and compiled a 11 play, 68 yard drive behind some strong running from Darren McFadden and Joseph Randle. McFadden rushed for 16 and Randle for 24 as Dallas attacked New York’s 10th ranked run defense.
Neither offense did much to speak of on the next two possessions as Dallas went 18 yards on six plays before punting and New York went four plays and 18 yards before Brad Wing booted it deep to the Cowboys.
Finally Big Blue’s offense showed signs of life and it came from an unlikely source. Fourth string running back Orleans Darkwa carried the ball four times for 41 yards including a 15-yard touchdown to give the Giants their first lead of the afternoon.
Unfortunately for the G-men, their lead would be short-lived.
With 5:36 remaining in the half, Cassel commandeered a 6 play, 72 yard drive highlighted by a 35 yard pass to tight end Jason Witten to bring the ball inside the Giants 5. On 2nd-and-goal, McFadden scored from 1-yard out to put the Cowboys back in front 13-7.
The Giants responded to the go-ahead score in convincing fashion, but it didn’t come without any drama.
On 1st-and-10 from his own 33, Eli Manning slung a pass intended for Shane Vereen, but the ball bounced off a Dallas defender and into the hands of cornerback Byron Jones for the interception. Upon replay review, the ball was ruled to have hit the ground and the Giants averted a potentially disastrous turnover.
On the next play, Manning found former Cowboy Dwayne Harris for a 38-yard reception down to the Dallas 33.
Manning threw three straight incompletions and Josh Brown booted through a 47-yard field goal to narrow the score to 13-10. With the successful field goal Brown eclipsed his own franchise mark with his 18th straight field goal made.
The Cowboys opened the second half with a promising drive that saw them face a 2-and-9 from midfield. Cassel dropped back and errantly heaved a pass downfield that was intercepted by Dominique Rogers-Cromartie who returned it 58 yards and high-stepped into the end zone.
The Giants captured a 17-13 lead off the turnover from Cassel.
Dallas’ gunslinger would make another fatal error, this time inside the red zone. Cassel moved the offense to the Giants 40 and launched a throw intended for Terrance Williams, but safety Brandon Meriweather flew in to intercept the pass at the 1.
In the shadow of their own goal post, New York faced a 3rd-and-5 from its own 6 and Manning unleashed a bomb down the right sideline as Rueben Randle snagged the ball out of midair for an incredible 44-yard reception.
On the next play, Shane Vereen carried the ball 39 yards down to the Cowboys 11.
The Giants were forced to settle for a field goal when Manning was sack at the 18.
Reeling after two consecutive turnovers, Dallas was looking to get back on track and drove deep into Giants territory.
Cassel found Brice Butler for a 15-yard reception on 3rd-and-4 to extend the Cowboys drive move to the edge of Dan Bailey’s field goal range at New York’s 34.
Following a false start, Cassel looked for Butler again, but Rogers-Cromartie snared the interception to the bring the drive to a grinding halt.
Cassel threw three interceptions on three straight offensive possessions, including two to Rogers-Cromartie to end Dallas’ potential scoring threat.
The Giants would punt on the ensuing possession and the Cassel and company’s time was running out to get redemption.
Dallas methodically moved the ball downfield with McFadden, Lucky Whitehead and Christine Michael combining for 43 yards on six carries down to the New York 46.
On 3rd-and-9, Cassel found Williams for a 21 yard completion to move inside the red zone. On the next play Devin Street made a miraculous toe-tap catch the back of end zone for the 25-yard score.
Bailey converted the extra point to tie the game at 20.
On the ensuing kickoff former Dallas special team returner extraordinaire Harris burned his former club with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to put New York in front 27-20.
The Cowboys stayed with the running game on their next offensive possession as the combination of McFadden, Whitehead and Michael moved the ball down to the Giants 30 at the two minute warning. Dallas rushed for 233 yards in Week 7.
Cassel threw two consecutive incompletions to turn the ball over on downs and New York took over.
In need of a first down to run out the clock and seal the victory, the Giants offense failed to move the chains and punted the ball back to Cassel with one last chance to try and force overtime.
One the ensuing punt, return man Cole Beasley muffed the catch and Myles White recovered the ball to end the game.
The Giants improved to 4-3 to take over first place in the NFC East and the Cowboys dropped to 2-4 on the season with their fourth straight loss