Giants fall to Cowboys

Fast Facts Stat worth noting: The Cowboys averaged a gaudy 6.0 yards per offensive play.

Stat worth noting II: Obviously, controlling the ball wasn't enough during this game. New York had a 34:48-25:12 edge in this usually all-important category.

Turning point: In a seesaw game that basically everyone expected, things finally swung for good with 10:43 to play. That's when Terrell Owens broke free in the Giants secondary for the second time and, of course, Tony Romo threw a perfect pass for the score that gave Dallas a 31-20 lead, which proved insurmountable. Somehow Owens was being covered by Gibril Wilson and the mismatch led to a 50-yard TD. Owens earlier burned Sam Madison down the sideline for a 25-yard score.

Plays to remember: In the first quarter, Jeremy Shockey started the Giants' scoring with an eight-yard TD catch during which he broke free from Cowboys S Roy Williams. Then, on New York's next drive, Eli Manning threw as good a pass as you're ever going to see when he fired a perfect strike to Shockey at the sideline for a 22-yard gain. Shockey was blanketed by two defenders who were unable to get to Manning's pass.

Play to forget: It took nine games, but rookie Kevin Boss finally made an impact. Unfortunately for the Giants, it was of the negative variety. During a kickoff midway through the third quarter, Boss was flagged for offensive holding. That infraction, which negated Ahmad Bradshaw's kickoff return that moved the ball all the way inside the Dallas five-yard line, cost the Giants almost the whole field in field position.

By the Numbers

3 – 15-yard penalties committed by the Cowboys, who did their undisciplined best to keep New York in the game.

4 – Number of TD passes by Dallas QB Tony Romo

12 – Number of catches for Jeremy Shockey, who set a career high against Dallas.

Quotebook

"We didn't play well enough to win. We were our own worst enemy." – Giants coach Tom Coughlin

"Tony (Romo) made a lot of really big plays on third down. He was running around and throwing it and playing in his backyard like he always does. He made a lot of big plays. That is why we won, because we were able to convert on third down and they weren't." – Cowboys TE Jason Witten

What went right

Jeremy Shockey was unstoppable. He was, by far, the game's leading receiver through the first two quarters with eight catches for 86 yards and the Giants' first TD. Shockey finished with 12 grabs for 129 yards.

Eli Manning was on fire early and threw a bunch of nice passes during the game. Manning finished the key contest completing 23-of-34 passes. However, at the end of the day, it just wasn't enough.

The Cowboys practically gave New York three free points right before the half. Big Blue was surprisingly content to run out the clock and go in down 17-14, but a 15-yard penalty on Cowboys LB Kevin Burnett gave the Giants new life. A 29-yard Manning to Shockey pass set up Lawrence Tynes for a 40-yarder that tied the score at the break.

What went wrong

The Cowboys did a much better job of pressuring the passer, harassing Eli Manning all game long and sacking him five times. The Giants only got to Tony Romo twice.

Right guard Chris Snee was penalized for holding early in the fourth quarter on a play that Brandon Jacobs scored to tie the game. The Giants couldn't overcome the very questionable call and never got things even again.

The Cowboys took the ball and stormed right down the field to open the game. Tony Romo led the Cowboys 65 yards in only seven plays to give Dallas a 7-0 lead. Romo capped the march with a 15-yard strike to tight end Tony Curtis.

Patrick Crayton had no problem losing Aaron Ross on a quick slant right before halftime. The 20-yard catch-and-run gave Dallas a 17-14 lead right before halftime.

In the first quarter, Eli Manning had his arm hit by a Dallas defensive linemen as he attempted to connect with Amani Toomer. As a result, the ball floated right to Cowboys safety Ken Hamlin, who gladly picked it off at the Dallas 39-yard line.

Late in the second quarter, the Giants gave up two sacks on three plays, leaving Big Blue in a fourth-and-32 hole. Chris Canty and Anthony Spencer both dropped Manning.

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