Post game review, position by position

QUARTERBACKS Eli Manning made a terrible throw toward Plaxico Burress, who was double covered as he entered the end zone early in the third quarter. With the Giants down 7-6 and headed at least for what could've been a go-ahead field goal, RCB Anthony Henry intercepted Manning's throw at Dallas' 1 and returned it 43 yards. Bottom Line: This performance resembled some of Manning's 2004 outings.


Rookie Brandon Jacobs didn't get his pad level low enough and didn't use both arms to protect the ball, which helped SS Roy Williams force a fumble near Dallas' goal line with 1:18 left in the game. With around four minutes left and the Giants down seven, Tiki Barber showed determination in plowing for a five-yard gain on third-and-two from Dallas' 48. Bottom Line: The aforementioned fumble shouldn't have marked Jacobs' first carry of the game.


TE Jeremy Shockey beat SS Roy Williams badly on a crossing route, for a 24-yard touchdown that helped the Giants tie the game (13-13) with just 19 seconds left. On the Giants' previous drive, Shockey lost Williams with relative ease across the middle for a 14-yard gain on a pivotal fourth-and-10 play from Dallas' 26 with two minutes remaining. While trying to gain additional yardage on a second-and-15 play from their own 10, flanker Plaxico Burress unwisely extended the ball with his hands as he fell toward the turf. Henry promptly stripped it and DT Jason Ferguson recovered it at the Giants' 19, but the Cowboys couldn't convert the turnover into points. Bottom Line: Shockey was great, especially late.


NT La'Roi Glover drove right through LG David Diehl to blindside Manning, who fumbled at Dallas' 30 to halt the Giants' threat with around nine minutes left in the game. RDE Greg Ellis returned the fumble 37 yards, to the Giants' 33, which set up a 28-yard FG by Jose Cortez. Two plays earlier, WLB DeMarcus Ware blew by LT Luke Petitgout to dump Manning for a 10-yard sack. But the entire offensive front couldn't have protected Manning more on his 59-yard connection with Shockey early in the fourth quarter. RT Kareem McKenzie allowed Ellis to use a swim move to get inside and sack Manning for a 10-yard loss on a third-and-seven play from Dallas' 19 midway through the second quarter. Bottom Line: The Cowboys sacked, hurried and hit Manning entirely too often.


RDT William Joseph tipped a Drew Bledsoe pass at the line of scrimmage on a third-and-goal play from the Giants' 10, which made Dallas settle for a 28-yard FG by Cortez with 4:40 left in the game. RDE Osi Umenyiora ran right around LT Flozell Adams and showed agility by reaching back as he was falling in the opposite direction to strip Bledsoe. SLB Reggie Torbor recovered at Dallas' 31, just 1:12 into the second half. LDE Michael Strahan ran untouched around RT Rob Petitti and blasted Bledsoe for a six-yard sack early in the second quarter. Reserve DT Fred Robbins overpowered RG Marco Rivera, hit Bledsoe as he was throwing and forced a short toss that resulted in an interception by RCB Curtis Deloatch at the Giants' 27 late in the first quarter. Bottom Line: They pressured Bledsoe into multiple mistakes.


WLB Nick Greisen blew threw the gap and dropped RB Marion Barber for a seven-yard loss in overtime, which created a much more difficult 45-yard FG attempt for Cortez. MLB Antonio Pierce's pass interference penalty earlier in that game-winning drive was costly, as it granted Dallas an automatic first down for a pass TE Jason Witten would not have caught anyway. WLB Carlos Emmons was slow getting over to cover a wide-open Witten, who caught a two-yard touchdown from Bledsoe with 40 seconds left in the first half. Bottom Line: Greisen was all over the field (10 tackles, fumble recovery).


FS Brent Alexander looked lost in coverage, allowing a wide-open Witten a crucial 26-yard reception on the game-winning drive in overtime. LCB Will Allen's failure to secure an interception, despite that he had both hands on the ball, enabled WR Keyshawn Johnson to make a spectacular catch off the tip for a 24-yard gain on the last play of the third quarter. The second-and-14 conversion moved Dallas to the Giants' 31 and eventually a FG. Bottom Line: They're still playing way too soft in coverage.


Though the play would've been called back for an illegal block in the back, P Jeff Feagles threw his shoulder into PR Patrick Crayton near Dallas' sideline and prevented him from returning a punt for a touchdown midway through the third quarter. Rookie DE Justin Tuck got great penetration, leaped high and used his right arm to block a 49-yard FG attempt by Cortez on the last play of the first half. Bottom Line: The kicks were good; the returns were not.


Throwing twice on three plays during a drive that began at the Giants' own 7 with just 40 ticks left in the first half didn't make any sense. Running only once allowed Dallas to preserve its two timeouts and allowed them to get into field goal range after forcing a Feagles punt. The Cowboys didn't score, though. Tom Coughlin was wise to challenge a Manning-to-Tim Carter incompletion with 5:04 left in the first quarter, despite that it wasn't overturned and cost the Giants a timeout. Carter got both feet in and appeared to have possession as he fell out of bounds. Bottom Line: The Giants' post-bye blues continued.

The Giants Beat Top Stories