5 plays that shaped the Cowboys' win

September, 6, 2012

Play: Tyron Smith's takedown after Tony Romo INT
Situation: Third-and-8 from Dallas 40
Score: Tied, 0-0
Time: 10:46 third quarter
Taylor's Take: New York linebacker Michael Boley was streaking down the sideline toward the end zone after intercepting a Romo pass at Giants 47. It would've been easy for the 310-pound Tyron Smith to quit on the play. Instead he chased Boley and used a horse collar tackle to bring him down at the Dallas 2. The defense held New York to a field goal, giving the Cowboys an emotional boost.


Which play had the biggest impact on the game?


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Play: Dez Bryant 38-yard reception
Situation: Third-and-1 from Dallas 47
Score: New York, 3-0
Time: 2:04 2nd quarter
Taylor's Take: The Cowboys had been stagnant much of the first half, totaling just 80 yards on 19 plays on their first four possessions. Instead of punting and likely ending the first half with no points, Romo found Bryant free down the right sideline and delivered a perfect pass that hit him in stride and set up the Cowboys' first touchdown.

Play: Sean Lee forces fumble
Situation: Second-and-8 from Dallas 29
Score: Tied, 0-0
Time: 6:43 first quarter
Taylor's Take: The Giants had moved from their 13 to the Dallas 31 in nine plays with little resistance and seemed ready to score their first touchdown of the season. But Lee burst through a hole with the speed of a running back and launched himself at rookie David Wilson, jarring the ball loose. Barry Church recovered to keep the game scoreless.

Play: Jason Hatcher sack
Situation: Third-and-4 at NY 44
Score: Dallas, 17-10
Time: 13:28 fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: After a roughing the passer penalty negated a third-down sack by Hatcher earlier in the drive, he redeemed with another big play on third down. The Giants punted and the Cowboys drove for the clinching touchdown.

Play: Kevin Ogletree deflecting Romo incompletion
Situation: Third-and-15 at NY 15
Score: Dallas, 14-10
Time: :53 3rd quarter
Taylor's Take: Romo made few poor throws in the opener but this was one of them. Romo, rolling right away from blitz pressure, actually had Ogletree open for a touchdown if he could've led him with the pass. Instead, he threw off-balance and behind him. If Ogletree doesn't reach back with his left hand and deflect the pass Michael Coe could've intercepted it and Dan Bailey wouldn't have kicked the 33-yard field goal that gave Dallas a 17-10 lead.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.



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