Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones is a true visionary, but could never see his beloved team losing in the first-ever game played at the $1.1 billion Cowboys Stadium.
A regular-season record crowd of 105,121 fans were on hand to watch the Cowboys host NFC East rival New York.
A back-and-forth affair was finally put to rest when Lawrence Tynes kicked a 37-yard, game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock for a 33-31 comeback victory last Sunday night.
New York quarterback Eli Manning was terrific, completing 25 of 38 passes for 330 yards and two scoring tosses.
Down by one point and 3:40 showing, Manning hit seven of nine attempts for 64 yards, driving the Giants (2-0) into position.
“We had a lot of good drives, but we need to score more touchdowns,’’ said Manning, who joined brother Peyton, and father Archie with at least 100 touchdown passes.
The Giants settled for four Tynes field goals. His first came in the opening quarter and covered 30 yards.
The second was a 28-yard boot, came with 13:32 left in the second quarter, and saw the Giants take a 13-7 edge.
When Tynes added a 36-yard field goal about midway through the final stanza, New York pulled in front 30-24.
Manning wasn’t alone, and had significant help in the form of former USC wide receiver Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, as each grabbed 10 catches.
Smith accounted for 134 yards, and one scoring reception, while Manningham, who played at Michigan, added 150 yards, and one touchdown catch.
Smith’s 22-yard grab early in the fourth quarter gave the Giants a 27-24 lead, and Manningham’s 22-yard snare came in the second quarter, pushing the New York lead to 20-14, and was Manning’s 100th scoring pass.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo wasn’t nearly as efficient, throwing three interceptions. Romo, for all his fanfare, still hasn’t won a playoff game, and connected on 13 of 29 passes for 127 yards with one touchdown -that going to tight end Jason Witten.
The one-yard scoring pass capped an eight-play, 73-yard march, and afforded the Cowboys (1-1) a 14-13 lead with just over nine minutes left in the second quarter.
Employing a four wide receiver set, and Dallas at the New York three-yard line, Romo ran it in for the score late in the third quarter, giving the Cowboys a 24-20 lead.
The Giants are a solid ground-gaining machine, but were put in reverse in the opening half by the stubborn Dallas defense.
New York running back Brandon Jacobs finally broke loose in the second half, finishing with 58 yards on 16 rushes, while Ahmad Bradshaw added 37 yards on nine carries.
With Marion Barber rushing for a game-high 124 yards on 18 carries, and Felix Jones accounting for 96 yards on seven carries, the Cowboys totaled 251 yards on the ground.
Dallas moved in front 31-30 when Jones scored from seven yards out, highlighting a 71-yard, seven-play excursion.
Barber’s two-yard scoring run with 4:11 left in the first quarter gave the Cowboys a 7-3 lead, but Bruce Johnson’s 34-yard interception and return for a score with just under two minutes left in the same quarter saw the Giants take a 10-7 lead.
Rick Assad has been a sportswriter for more than two decades. He has a political science degree from UCLA, a journalism degree from CSUN, and is a staff writer for diamondboxing.com, and is a contributor to trufanboxing.com. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.