AP Photo - Donna McWilliam
Here are a bunch of tidbits, news and notes about the Giants big win over the Cowboys, which was sealed when R.W. McQuarters intercepted Tony Romo's last ditch effort in the Endzone.
Stat worth noting: There was only one turnover all game – R.W. McQuarters’ pick with nine seconds left that sealed the deal.
Stat worth noting II: The Cowboys connected on 10-of-16 third downs – and eight of their first nine – but couldn’t convert when it really mattered.
Turning point: Late in the third quarter with the Cowboys leading 17-14, Dallas faced a third-and-13 from its own 17-yard line. Tony Romo scrambled until he found a wide-open Patrick Crayton. But the oh-so-talkative one dropped the pass, which would have gone for a sure first down, if not a touchdown. New York’s ensuing drive produced the game-winning points.
Play to remember: The Giants got things started quickly when Amani Toomer turned in a huge personal effort on New York’s opening drive. Toomer ran Cowboys CB Anthony Henry off on a stop route, collected Eli Manning’s pass and then ducked under tackle attempts from Cowboys LB Greg Ellis and then Henry before sprinting the remaining 39 yards down the sidelines for a 52-yard TD to open the game.
Play to forget: With the Cowboys in the middle of a monumental second-quarter drive that chewed up 20 plays and led to a 14-7 lead, Giants CB Corey Webster blew a huge opportunity to turn the tide. Cowboys WR Terry Glenn slipped on his pass pattern and Tony Romo’s throw went right to Webster, who would have been able to go the distance about 75 yards in the opposite direction had he held on. However, he twice bobbled the potential INT before it fell to the turf, carrying the Giants’ hopes of holding Dallas down before halftime with it.
By the Numbers
0 – Amount of turnovers by New York
7 – Years since the Giants last played in the NFC Championship Game
8 – Tackles by Michael Strahan in his second consecutive outstanding effort
“This is pretty sweet to beat this team in this building.” – Giants President/CEO John Mara
“We have a special team but someone else has a more special team.” – Cowboys CB Terence Newman
What went right
The Giants defense played outstanding all game long. Despite giving up 129 rushing yards to Marion Barber, New York’s ‘D’ kept Tony Romo in check for most of the afternoon. Romo only completed 50 percent of his passes for 201 yards.
Eli Manning played a flawless game, most importantly leading New York down the field in the final minute of the first half on a drive that drew Big Blue even going into halftime. Manning posted a 132.4 QB rating. Not a bad afternoon at all.
Not only did Terrell Owens cry after the game, but he only caught four passes for 49 yards during it. New York’s secondary played very well in keeping the dangerous Owens in check.
The Giants were very disciplined, being flagged only three times for 25 yards. On the other hand, Dallas continued to hurt themselves with foolish infraction. The Boys were nabbed 11 times for 84 yards in losses.
Ahmad Bradshaw continued to chip in with a huge effort. Bradshaw only touched the ball six times, but he gained 34 yards, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
What went wrong
The Giants offense was unable to salt the clock away. With a four-point lead and 3:46 to play, Big Blue went three-and-out, giving the Cowboys one more try to pull out the game. Two Bradshaw runs were followed by a sack of Manning, leaving Dallas 1:50 with which to work.
Dallas controlled possession of the ball and the tempo of the game. The final time-of-possession figures favored Dallas 36:30-23:30. During the first half, Dallas was able to pull off two monumental TD drives, one for 96 yards and another for 90.
The Giants were out-gained in yardage for the game, 336-230. While they pulled it out, they still left themselves a little room to work.
Michael Strahan tweaked his groin late in the game and had to be replaced by Dave Tollefson, who did an admirable job. However, it’s needless to say that you need and want Strahan in the game during the final quarter of a close game.
Plaxico Burress was invisible, catching only one pass for five yards.
The Giants lost Aaron Ross to a shoulder injury. After the game, it was uncertain whether or not he’d be able to play in Green Bay.