On a cold evening in East Rutherford, The Dallas Cowboys defeated the New York Giants by a score of 37-18 on ESPN’s “Monday Night Football”.
The G-Men had a promising start to the primetime matchup, as Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was picked off by Giants Safety Antoine Bethea on the very first play from scrimmage of the game. However, the ‘Boys defense held Big Blue to a field goal after the Giants began their first offensive drive at the Dallas 8 Yard line.
Week 9’s finale began with a 3-0 lead for New York, before a long Dallas drive got themselves a field goal of their own after a Randall Cobb touchdown was wiped out with a penalty and the former Packer was denied.
Dallas had an opportunity to take the lead late in the first quarter, but Brett Maher pulled a kick wide and it remained tied at three.
Next, New York pulled off a dynamic drive that included a remarkable catch by WR Golden Tate, who pulled in a ball one handed to get the Giants to the 1 yard line, before Daniel Jones found Cody Latimer wide open in the endzone. The Giants scored in just over five minutes, but Aldrick Rosas missed the extra point and the score was 9-3.
Dallas responded to the Giants touchdown by driving into New York territory, but Jebrill Peppers made a perfectly timed hit, crashing his helmet into the ball after Randall Cobb had a first down catch, and forcing it away for a fumble, which was recovered by Bethea, making another big play on defense. The Giants moved the ball downfield but had to settle for a Rosas 25 yard field goal, extending the G-Men Lead to 12-3.
TURNING POINT: However, it was all cowboys from this point in the game, as the Giants suffered a massive meltdown to close out the first half. Leading 12-3, they kicked off with 2:50 left in the first half, and after a Cowboys touchdown drive that took just under two minutes, the Giants had the ball back with 52 seconds remaining in the half. From their own 26, with their lead now cut to 12-10, Jones threw two incompletions, before taking a deep shot that was intercepted. It was nearly an “arm punt”, however Xavier Woods was able to return it all the way back to the Giants 39. After two Prescott incompletions, he got 5 yards on third down which got Brett Maher just close enough to make a 52 yard field goal, and the Cowboys were able to steal the lead at halftime and make the score Dallas 13, New York 12.
In the second half, the Giants gained one first down before being forced to punt, but a good Riley Dixon punt pinned the Cowboys back at their own 11, and they went three-and-out. Middle of the third quarter now, the Giants have the ball back still trailing by one, 12-13, QB Daniel Jones ran for what would have been a first down, but fumbled the ball at the end of the play, and Dallas took over right at midfield. Following the Jones turnover, New York’s defense bent but didn't break, holding the ‘Boys to a Maher field goal, and kept the game close at 12-16.
The Giants looked poised to respond after a big kickoff return by Cody Latimer and started their drive at their own 48. Bennie Fowler was able to convert a third and ten after gaining nothing on the Giants' first two plays, then Golden Tate picked up another first down, it looked like the Giants offense was finally clicking as they got all the way to the Dallas 13, poised to take the lead with a touchdown. However, that touchdown never came, and Rosas made a 26 yard field goal to get it back to a one point game, 15-16.
A Sloppy defensive sequence with multiple penalties allowed Dallas to break the game open a little, and score a touchdown and build an eight point lead. But New York immediately responded, a screen pass to Saquon Barkley, who had been quiet all night, saw him break multiple tackles and go for 65 yards, and the Giants were immediately in the redzone, down to the Dallas 11. But again, they were held to a field goal, thanks to the consistently great pass rush of Demarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith. Make it 18-23, Dallas in front.
Middle of the fourth quarter, on one of the game’s most critical plays, with the Cowboys leading by 5, it was 3rd & 12 at the Giants 45, a chance for the Giants defense to get a stop and maybe not even give up a field goal. However, they finally broke as Dak Prescott connected with Amari Cooper on a deep crossing route which was run all the way for a 45 yard touchdown that put the Ballgame out of reach at 30-18. The Giants punted on their next drive, and in garbage time surrendered a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
The Cowboys defeated the Giants by a final score of 37-18 tonight, and improve their season record to 5-3, and remain in first place in the NFC East ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants fall to 2-7 and any hope of a playoff appearance for the season has been wiped away, despite just recently acquiring Leonard Williams from the Jets for draft picks.
Oh, and a black cat ran around the field that caused about a one minute delay.
That’s all from Metlife Stadium tonight in East Rutherford New Jersey.