History does not repeat itself as Giants edge Cowboys 20-19
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[September 12, 2016]
(The Sports Xchange) - Eli
Manning remembered all too well what happened a year ago in the
season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.
When history didn't repeat itself, the significance wasn't lost on
the New York Giants quarterback.
"This is a big win for this team and for the guys who were here last
year," he said.
Manning threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner to a
returning Victor Cruz, and the Giants slipped past the Cowboys 20-19
Sunday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
A year ago, it was Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo who authored a
last-second, 27-26 win that helped send the Giants on their way to a
4-12 season. This time Romo was missing and Cruz, who missed nearly
two years due to injuries, was back.
The 3-yard scoring pass to Cruz with 6:13 remaining proved to be the
difference in the first of two meetings between the NFC East rivals.
"To catch a pass in end zone in the fourth quarter to put us ahead
is always a beautiful thing," said Cruz, who had four receptions for
The Giants also made a winner of first-year head coach Ben McAdoo --
the former offensive coordinator under previous coach Tom Coughlin
-- in his debut.
Dallas had won five consecutive games over the Giants, including
that nail-biter in the opening game of the 2015 season. The Cowboys
have lost 15 of the past 16 games in which Romo was not available.
Manning shook off a third-quarter interception that led to Dallas'
only touchdown. He completed 19 of 28 attempts for 207 yards, using
Rashad Jennings had 75 yards on 18 carries for the Giants. Odell
Beckham Jr. caught four passes for 73 yards.
New York's comeback spoiled an impressive introduction to pro
football for Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott and running back
Ezekiel Elliott. The rookies were given the keys to the Cowboys'
offense, and they didn't disappoint.
Prescott, a fourth-round pick, was pressed into action earlier than
expected with the preseason injuries to Romo and backup Kellen
The former Mississippi State star completed 25 of 45 passes for 227
yards, and he led the Cowboys to scores on their first three
possessions. Each of the first two drives spanned 15 plays. Those
drives ended in field goals, which would come back to haunt Dallas.
"There are some plays things that I want back, some plays that I
want to re-do, but for the most part I felt like I prepared,"
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Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) reacts after catching a
touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at
AT&T Stadium. New York won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA
Elliott was expected to be a big cog in the attack as the fourth
overall pick out of Ohio State. He carried the ball 20 times for 51
yards. The 2.5 average per rush wasn't special, but Elliott had the
team's lone touchdown on an 8-yard run in the third quarter.
Jason Witten had nine catches for 66 yards for Dallas, with Cole
Beasley snagging eight balls for 65 yards. Dez Bryant had only one
catch for 8 yards.
The game's only turnover proved costly for the Giants, as Dallas
cornerback Brandon Carr easily picked off Manning on the first
possession of the third quarter.
Set up deep in New York territory, the Cowboys marched in for
Elliott's score that gave them a 16-13 edge.
New York's Dan Bailey kicked a 54-yard field goal early in the
fourth quarter, but Cruz came through for the decisive score.
Prescott and the Cowboys got the ball back at their own 20-yard line
with 1:05 remaining. The game ended on a completion to Terrance
Williams, who cut back toward the middle of the field at the Giants
"In my mind I was just trying to get a first down and then dive out
of bounds, but it just didn't go as planned," Williams said.
The Cowboys had the ball twice after New York took the lead but
couldn't come up with points.
"It was great to see the defense come up with a stop there at the
end," McAdoo said. "They battled all night."
(Editing by Andrew Both)
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