Week 13 Game Recap: Dallas Cowboys 10, New York Giants 17
What you need to know
In an NFC East showdown and a chance to take control of the division lead, Dallas’ ineffective offense could not overcome a 17 point deficit and costly turnovers and came up short in their fourth quarter comeback efforts. Four turnovers by Drew Bledsoe, the most costly a fumble returned for a touchdown, sealed the fate of the Cowboys in this contest.
Drew Bledsoe looked terrible in the first half and seemed confused by the Giants’ defensive schemes and unyielding pass rush. Bledsoe was constantly hurried forcing errant passes that bounced at the receiver’s feet or sailed over their heads. In the second half, he improved slightly and was able to cash in on a Giants’ turnover and bring the Cowboys to within a touchdown when he connected with Terry Glenn for a seven yard score.
Julius Jones was the lone bright spot on offense for Dallas with 162 combined yards. The Cowboys stuck with the running game despite just 33 rushing yards in the first half and a mere 17 passing yards from Bledsoe. Jones was the featured back with 23 carries and contributed to the passing game with nine receptions for 88 yards.
Veteran cornerback Aaron Glenn came up big on the defensive side for Dallas with two interceptions. Glenn robbed the Giants when he intercepted Eli Manning’s end zone pass attempt to Plaxico Burress thus keeping the lead to 7-0. His second interception, in the third quarter, put Dallas in excellent field position at the Giants’ seven yard line. Bledsoe hit Terry Glenn on the next play.
Despite a poor offense performance by Eli Manning and another missed field goal by Jay Feely, the Giants came out victorious and sit atop the NFC East. The defense led the way in this game and held off the Cowboys’ comeback late in the fourth quarter.
Eli Manning struggled throughout most of the game and was pressured and hurried by a tenacious Dallas pass rush. Manning’s timing appeared to be off with his receivers, throwing pass after pass either behind, over or in front of his intended target. He added to the Giants’ NFL leading seventh turnover in the red zone with his interception in the second quarter. He finished the game with two interceptions and no touchdowns. The game marked the first in 12 games that Manning did not throw at least one touchdown.
Tiki Barber was a workhorse for the Giants with 30 carries in the game for 115 yards. For the third straight game Barber has broken the century mark on the ground but also has not found the end zone in as many games. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Barber again was pulled at the goal line for Brandon Jacobs who scored the Giants’ lone offensive touchdown.
Phenomenal defensive play is what the Giants needed and what they got as they shutdown the Cowboys offense in the first half and maintained their aggressive approach in the second half. The Giants’ pass rush from the defensive line was fantastic as they recorded four sacks in the game and forced two fumbles. Michael Strahan led the way with two sacks with Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck each registering a sack. Defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy forced fumble on the first play of the second half was significant as Antonio Pierce recovered the turnover and rumbled 12 yards into the end zone.
What you ought to know
|QB Drew Bledsoe, Pass: 15 - 39 - 146 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0|
Bledsoe played his worst game of the season, looking confused and frustrated in the pocket under constant pressure from the Giants’ defensive line. He ended the game completing 15 of 39 attempts for 146 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Bledsoe had a horrific first half completing just four passes for 17 yards and was sacked twice. Bledsoe also added two lost fumbles in the game accounting for all four turnovers for Dallas. He fumbled on the first play of the second half as his left arm was hit by Giants’ Kendrick Clancy while attempting to hand off to Jones. The ball was recovered by Antonio Pierce and returning for a touchdown leaving Dallas with a 17 point deficit. Bledsoe also throw two interceptions in the second half including an under thrown pass intended for Glenn with about two minutes left in the game. With the loss, Bledsoe fell to 4-1 lifetime against the Giants.
|RB Julius Jones, Rush: 23 - 74 - 0, Rec: 9 - 88 - 0 (9 targets)|
Jones was the lone bright spot on offense for the Cowboys’ both rushing and receiving. He recorded 162 all purpose yards in the game with 74 rushing and 88 receiving. He carried the ball 23 times for 74 yards against a stingy New York defense. Jones ran hard, fighting for extra yardage in the running game and eluded several tackles with shifty moves as a receiver gaining plenty of yards after the catch. Jones did make a couple of mistakes on the Cowboys’ final drive by not getting out of bounds to stop the clock, forcing Dallas to use their final timeout. He tallied 48 receiving yards on the Cowboys’ final drive. His nine receptions for 88 yards were both career highs.
Barber gained just eight yards on two carries and saw one target that fell incomplete. Barber saw limited playing time as Julius Jones was the featured back for Dallas.
Glenn was the Cowboys’ most targeted receiver and caught a seven yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. On the touchdown, Glenn ran a simple corner route to the pylon and Bledsoe lofted the pass into the end zone perfectly. He finished the game with three catches for 37 yards and a score. The touchdown was the first for Glenn since week ten against Philadelphia.
Johnson caught just two passes for 16 yards and was an intended target on one of Bledsoe’s interceptions.
Crayton was a target on three occasions but did not catch a pass in the game.
Witten was well short of last week’s performance catching just one pass for five yards in the first quarter. His one reception brought his season total to 50, making him the first Dallas tight end since Jay Novacek to have back to back seasons with 50 or more receptions.
Cundiff was successful on his only field goal attempt from 34 yards away. He was also good on his only extra point attempt.
The Cowboys allowed Tiki Barber to rush for 115 yards in the game on 30 carries. They allowed a one yard rushing touchdown to Brandon Jacobs in the second quarter. Linebacker Bradie James led the Cowboys with nine tackles.
The Cowboys’ secondary played a terrific second half holding Manning to just four completions for 49 yards. For the game, Manning managed just 152 passing yards and no touchdowns. Although Dallas recorded just one sack, they pressured Manning throughout the game forcing him to hurry his passes attempts which often fell incomplete. Veteran cornerback Aaron Glenn registered two interceptions in the game including one in the Giants’ end zone.
Manning had a dreadful game completing just 12 of 31 pass attempts for 152 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. He finished the game with a passer rating of 27.9, his worst of the season. Fortunately, he had a third interception nullified due to a pass interference call against Dallas. Both of his interceptions were costly as the first came in the red zone halting the Giants’ chances to extend their lead, the second was deep in New York territory that Dallas took advantage of and scored a touchdown on the next play. Manning did not look sharp, throwing several passes over receiver’s heads, several behind his target and a handful of attempts into the turf. With no touchdown passes, Manning saw his 12 game streak with at least one touchdown come to an end.
|RB Tiki Barber, Rush: 30 - 115 - 0, Rec: 1 - 9 - 0 (4 targets)|
Barber was the workhorse for New York with 30 carries for 115 yards but failed to score for the third straight week. His longest run of the game was an explosive 27 yard run that he managed a spin move and somehow kept his balance before being hauled down in Dallas territory. Barber’s rushing performance marked the third straight week with over 100 yards rushing and brought his season rushing total to over 1,200 yards. Barber helped setup Jacob’s touchdown with a three yard carry and nine yard reception taking New York to the one yard line.
Jacobs came in on a first a goal from the one and bulled his way straight up the middle for a touchdown. He had just two carries in the game for two yards and a score. The touchdown was the sixth on the season for Jacobs.
After Barber had scampered for a 27 yard run, Ward came in for one play and carried the ball for a four yard gain.
Fullback Jim Finn caught two passes, both in the second half, including a 15 yard gain that put the Giants in the red zone.
Burress was the leading target for the Manning with ten but finished the game with only four catches for 47 yards. Early in the game it appeared Manning would use Burress’ height advantage against cornerback Aaron Glenn connecting for an 18 yard gain. He did have an end zone target in the second quarter but the pass was under thrown and intercepted by Glenn. Burress was also the intended receiver on what would have been Manning’s third interception of the game but the turnover was nullified by a Cowboy’s pass interference call.
|WR Tim Carter, Rush: 1 - 6 - 0, Rec: 2 - 48 - 0 (5 targets)|
Carter provided a deep threat for Manning hauling in two passes for 48 yards. He almost came up with a spectacular diving grab for 52 yards but was unable to maintain control as he hit the turf. Carter had another deep pass attempt but this time the pass was overthrown by Manning. He also had six yards rushing on an end around play in the first quarter.
Toomer caught his only pass of the game for an eight yard gain and a first down. He dropped one target, overthrown and under thrown on his other targets. Toomer had caught a touchdown in each of the last three games coming into this game.
After his 127 yard performance last week, Shockey caught just two passes in the game for 20 yards. Shockey did have an end zone target in the second quarter but the pass was well overthrown by Manning.
Feely made both extra point attempts. After missing three field goals last week, he missed another attempt this week when his 33 yard attempt hit the right upright. He connected on a 27 yard attempt that gave the Giants a 10-0 lead at halftime.
The Giants’ defense held Julius Jones in check for most of the game limiting Jones and the Cowboys to 81 rushing yards and not allowing a touchdown. Antonio Pierce and Michael Strahan led the Giants’ with seven tackles. Pierce also returned a fumble 12 yards for a touchdown which turned out to be the game winner for New York.
Defensive end Michael Strahan played a great game even though he was often double teamed by Dallas. Strahan recorded two sacks and several hits on Drew Bledsoe. Osi Umenyiora also tallied his team leading 11th sack of the season. The Giants’ defense held Bledsoe to 146 yards, posted two interceptions and sacked him four times. They did allow a seven yard touchdown after a turnover deep in New York territory.