Eli Manning knew how much was at steak for this game against the Dallas Cowboys. It was win or nothing for the Giants, and taking advantage of their home advantage, Eli Manning and Victor Cruz put on one heck of a performance to assure the Giants fans at least one more game of football for the season. Manning guided his team with 24 of 33 passing for 346 yards with 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a clean and merciless 31-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys at the Meadowlands.
For the highlights reel, Victor Cruz out powered cornerback Orlando Scandrick on 44-yard third-down jump-ball catch and a couple plays later he caught another pass for 20 yards to set up a 28-yard Lawrence Tynes’ field goal. Just to finish it of, Eli Manning tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Hakeem Nicks with 3:41 to play to finish off the Cowboys’ playoffs dreams.
The New York Giants struggled in the middle of the regular season, but with under the guidance of the 65-year-old Tom Coughlin, the Giants were able to finish the season strong winning three of it’s final four games to earn the last wild-card and record a 9-7 for the regular season. Now, the Giants are going to have only one week to get ready to play against the Atlanta Falcons, who finished with a 10-6 record for the season, on Sunday on the 2011-12 Wild Card Round of the NFL Playoffs.
The Dallas Cowboys on the other hand, suffered a very painful end of season. It’s certainly not the finish that their first-year coach, Jason Garret, would have loved to have for his team. As a matter of fact, at 8-7 for the season, the Cowboys were in a good position to finish the regular season on a strong note, but it seems that they just ran out of gas in the final five games of the season. The Cowboys lost 4 of their last 5 games, including this decisive match against New York. The season was on the line, and the sad part here is that the Cowboys, once again, had no one but themselves to blame this one on.
It’s just hard to point out exactly where it all went south for the Cowboys. I guess you would need more fingers in your hands to find the culprits. On defense, the Cowboys missed tackles on all of the Giants’ three first-half touchdowns. As if that was not enough, they then failed to recover two fumbles within its grasp in the second half and failed to convert on a Tony Romo sneak on fourth-and-1 at the Giants 10 while trailing 21-7. It seems that after that play it was all done and said. The Cowboys had no comeback, and now they have no postseason.
On the one hand, we have to say that the Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Tony Romo, was playing with an injured right hand, had to take a pain killing shot before the game, and finished the game with 29 of 37 passing for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. Not bad numbers, but on the second half, despite moving things around in his playbook he was only able to complete 34 and 6 yard passes to Laurent Robinson, but not much else.