(Sunday, September 20th)
Final Score: NY Giants 33, Dallas 31
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Lawrence Tynes' 37-yard field goal as time expired ended a back-and-forth NFC East battle, as the Giants went into brand- new Cowboys Stadium and left with a 33-31 victory over arch-rival Dallas.
The Cowboys went ahead, 31-30, on Felix Jones' seven-yard touchdown run with 3:40 remaining in the game, leaving plenty of time for Eli Manning to bring the Giants into field goal range.
Aided by a pair of third-down completions during the final drive -- the last off a tipped ball to Mario Manningham -- Manning set up Tynes for the game- winner with the clock showing four seconds. The score came despite the Giants starting the march with a 1st-and-20 at their own 15.
The Cowboys tried to freeze Tynes with a late timeout, but the kicker split the uprights after the first quick stoppage to spoil Dallas' historic home opener.
The palatial new home for the Cowboys, which cost $1.15 billion to construct, is already part of NFL history, setting a regular-season attendance record in the first meaningful game played there. The 105,121 tickets distributed on Sunday eclipsed the 103,467 sold in a game between Arizona and San Francisco in Mexico City in 2005.
Manning ended with 330 yards on 25-of-38 attempts with two touchdowns, while Manningham and Steve Smith had their way with the Dallas secondary. Each receiver hauled in a touchdown during 10-catch efforts, as Manningham went for 150 yards and Smith for 134 for New York (2-0), which bested another divisional opponent, Washington, in Week 1.
"It wasn't always pretty. We did have errors, we do have things to clean up, but we played hard, we created opportunities for ourselves," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
Tony Romo, fresh off a career-high 353-yard effort in a season-opening win against Tampa Bay last week, was picked off three times for Dallas (1-1). The QB connected on just 13-of-29 throws for 127 yards, adding a touchdown toss to Jason Witten.
Marion Barber ended with 124 yards and a score on 18 carries, while Jones chipped in 96 rushing yards and a TD on seven carries but fumbled away a kickoff return.
"We had too many turnovers, obviously, and that got us in trouble," said Cowboys coach Wade Phillips. "Any time you don't have any turnovers and the other team gets four, it's hard to overcome."
Tynes booted a 36-yard field goal midway through the final stanza to put New York in front by a 30-24 margin.
Dallas responded on its next touch. Barber broke free off the left side and appeared poised to score before coming up lame and falling under his own power at Giants' seven-yard line following a 35-yard gain. Jones finished off Barber's work on the next play, busting through the middle for a TD.
The extra point gave the hosts the lead but too much time remained. After a holding penalty on the first play of the final drive, Manning went 7-for-9 through the air for 64 yards down the stretch to pull out the win.
Smith's 32-yard reception on the Giants' first offensive play set up Tynes' 30-yard field goal six minutes into the game.
The hosts regrouped and went 62 yards in nine plays, capped by Barber's two- yard touchdown run.
Two turnovers on consecutive plays cost the Cowboys a little later. Romo gift- wrapped an interception to Bruce Johnson, who returned it 34 yards to paydirt untouched. Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Tynes's 28-yarder following the change of possession made it 13-7 early in the second.
Dallas took its first lead a little later, as Romo hit Witten in the end zone on a delayed out route on 3rd-and-goal from the one yard-line.
As the half was winding down, Dallas started a drive deep in its own end zone, but another turnover proved costly. Romo threw behind Witten near the left sideline and the ball caromed off his hand and then unknowingly off the back of his left heel. The pigskin landed directly into the hands of Kenny Phillips and the Giants defensive back returned it for an apparent TD.
However, an official blew his whistle for an incomplete pass, thinking the ball hit the ground. After it was reviewed, the call was reversed and the Giants took over at the Cowboys' 28 yard-line due to the blown whistle.
Nevertheless, the Giants scored three plays later, as Manningham made a diving, juggling catch in the end zone from 22 yards out.
The TD came with 46 seconds left, and Romo brought the Cowboys down the field in time for Nick Folk to hit a 47-yard field goal before halftime.
The Giants needed just four plays to get into the red zone to open the second half. The drive stalled, though, and Tynes missed a 29-yard chip shot.
A 56-yard run by Jones and a pair of first-down runs by Barber set up the Cowboys inside the Giants' five later in the third. On 3rd-and-goal from the three, Romo crossed the goal line on a well-designed draw, giving Dallas a 24-20 lead late in the stanza.
On Dallas' next possession, Romo went for the home-run toss but badly overthrew Sam Hurd. Phillips was in the right place for his second pick of the game, returning it 22 yards to his own 27.
"It's frustrating. I'm really disappointed in myself right now," said Romo. "I'm really not okay with it right now and that's something I'll try to rectify, get better and improve."
On the next play, Manningham hauled in a well-thrown deep ball from Manning for 49 yards. On the third play of the fourth quarter, Smith found himself wide open in the middle of the field for a 22-yard, go-ahead touchdown grab.
These teams played to a conventional home-and-home split last season. Dallas sacked Manning eight times in the previous meeting but did not record a sack on Sunday...Giants defensive end Justin Tuck injured his shoulder in the first half. X-rays came back negative, but Tuck did not return to the game and was on the sideline with his shoulder in a sling. Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon also injured his knee in the game...Brandon Jacobs had 58 yards on 16 carries for the Giants, who were outgained on the ground, 251-97...Witten ended with a team-high five grabs for 33 yards.
09/21 00:49:31 ET
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