Published October 28, 2012
| Sports Network
Arlington, TX – Behind five Lawrence Tynes field goals and a defense that forced six turnovers, the New York Giants continued their road success against the Dallas Cowboys by holding on for a wild 29-24 victory in a game that wasn't decided until the final seconds.
Jason Pierre-Paul returned a Tony Romo interception 28 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and Stevie Brown came up with two picks and a fumble recovery as New York (6-2) recorded its third consecutive win despite squandering a 23-0 halftime lead and nearly giving up a 37-yard touchdown catch to Dez Bryant with 10 seconds left.
The triumph also improved the defending Super Bowl champions to 4-0 all-time at Cowboys Stadium.
Bryant split two New York defenders and hauled in Romo's deep pass into the end zone, but his right hand touched the end line as he came to the ground and was ruled incomplete following a booth review.
Romo took two more shots at the end zone as the clock wound down, but overshot Miles Austin on the first and had a desperation heave go well out of bounds as time expired.
"Every time we come here it's a nail-biter in some way, shape or form," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We're happy to win."
Eli Manning threw for a season-low 192 yards with an interception on 15-of-29 passing, but led the Giants on a 60-yard drive early in the fourth quarter that culminated with Tynes' fourth field goal of the game, a 43-yarder with 10:20 remaining that gave New York a 24-23 edge.
Romo finished with a career-best 437 yards while completing 36-of-62 attempts with both a passing and rushing touchdown, but was intercepted four times in the third defeat in Dallas' (3-4) last four outings.
Three Dallas receivers accumulated over 100 yards in defeat, with Jason Witten making a franchise-record 18 catches totaling 167 yards. Austin amassed 133 yards on nine grabs, with Bryant ending with 110 yards on five receptions.
A rivalry that's produced plenty of nail-biting games and fantastic finishes delivered another one, with the Giants scoring the contest's first 23 points and the Cowboys overcoming a litany of early errors to put up 24 unanswered to forge ahead on Romo's 1-yard toss to John Phillips with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Manning had struggled for much of the day against Dallas' tight coverage schemes, but came through on New York's opening drive of the fourth quarter.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP connected on all five of his throws on the eight- play, 60-yard series, beginning with a 29-yard strike to Hakeem Nicks that moved the Giants near midfield. A holding penalty later would ultimately cause Tynes to come on for a 43-yard try, in which he split the uprights for a 26-24 advantage with 10:20 left.
Dallas then committed its fifth giveaway, a fumble by Felix Jones that Brown pounced on at the Cowboys' 45-yard line, and a pair of Ahmad Bradshaw runs totaling 19 yards set up Tynes' 37-yard kick that pushed the margin to five points with 3:31 still to go.
The Giants would get the ball back with 1:03 left when Brown intercepted Romo on a 4th-and-1 deep in New York territory, but had to punt it away after three Dallas stops and used its allotment of time outs.
Taking over at his own 30 with 44 seconds on the clock, Romo found Witten for a 13-yard gain and Bryant for 16 yards to put Dallas on the Giants' 41. After another short catch by Witten, Bryant flew past the New York secondary and came down with Romo's deep ball, but couldn't get his entire body in bounds as he reached the ground.
The near-touchdown almost capped a furious comeback from the Cowboys that began late in the first half.
Dallas' first six possessions ended in either a turnover or a three-and-out, resulting in the Giants building a lead of more than three touchdowns just two minutes into the second quarter. Romo would finally catch fire on two late drives in the period, however, enabling the Cowboys to cut the deficit to 13 points by the break.
He hit on 5-of-7 throws, including a 24-yard strike to Austin and a 20-yard delivery to Witten, in engineering an eight-play, 72-yard march capped by Jones' 4-yard touchdown run that got Dallas on the board. A 55-yard bomb to Bryant on the subsequent sequence was turned into Dan Bailey's 51-yard field goal in the final minute of the half that closed the Cowboys within 23-10 at intermission.
The Dallas offense would continue to click during a third quarter in which the Cowboys outscored New York by a 14-0 count to go ahead for the first time in the day.
Romo hit Bryant in stride for a 30-yard completion to the Giants' 28 on the third play of the period, and a 15-yard connection to Austin later on placed the ball at the 1-yard line. But New York stopped running back Phillip Tanner twice and Romo overthrew a wide-open James Hanna, forcing Dallas coach Jason Garrett to make a decision on fourth down.
The Cowboys would go for it, and the move paid off when Romo easily ran in on a well-executed bootleg to pull his team within 23-17.
Romo stayed hot after the Dallas defense forced a quick three-and-out, making good on all six of his pass attempts on an 8-play, 59-yard jaunt that he finished with a 1-yard hookup with Phillips. Bailey followed with a successful extra-point try to put the Cowboys ahead by a 24-23 score.
The Giants dominated their mistake-prone opponent early on, converting four Dallas giveaways into 20 points to build a seemingly comfortable lead.
Romo's turnover problems began early, with the struggling quarterback tossing interceptions on each of the Cowboys' initial two series.
"We put our defense in some really difficult situations," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "The early turnovers were too much to overcome."
The first came after New York had gone ahead 3-0 on a 41-yard field goal by Tynes, a score set up by a 56-yard catch-and-run by rookie receiver Rueben Randle. Romo threw downfield into double coverage and was picked off by Brown, who returned the miscue 37 yards before being brought down at the Dallas 27.
That led to a 37-yard Tynes field goal after the Giants failed to net a first down, but Romo's second mistake would prove to be more costly.
New York's Corey Webster won a jump-ball battle with Austin on Romo's deep sideline heave and raced 38 yards to give the Giants back the ball at the Cowboys' 31. A 12-yard pass from Manning to Martellus Bennett followed by Bradshaw's 12-yard run provided a 1st-and-goal, with Andre Brown crossing the goal line from a yard out two plays later for a 13-0 advantage with 3:41 left in the first quarter.
More disaster struck the Cowboys before the period would end, as Bryant mishandled a Steve Weatherford punt and the Giants' Michael Coe recovered at the Dallas 15. New York had to settle for another field goal, however, with Tynes knocking home a 26-yard chip shot to extend the margin to 16 points.
The lead swelled to 23-0 just over a minute afterward, when a leaping Pierre- Paul snared Romo's screen attempt and went untouched into the end zone with 13:05 left to play in the half.
Witten also held the Cowboys' previous record for receptions in a game, making 15 at Detroit on Dec. 9, 2007. His 167 receiving yards was also a career-high, surpassing a 156-yard effort against the Giants on Dec. 6, 2009 ... Romo's prior personal best for passing yards was 406, set against Tennessee on Oct. 10, 2010 ... The Cowboys have recorded a minus-11 turnover ratio over their last six games, with Romo throwing 12 interceptions against just six touchdown passes ... Brown, who's starting in place of the injured Kenny Phillips, has five interceptions in New York's last six outings ... With Sunday's result, eight of the 11 most recent meetings in the series have been decided by a touchdown or less.