Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Giants [Print without images]

Thursday, September 6, 2012
Five Plays That Shaped The Game: Week 1

By Kieran Darcy

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Each week this season, we'll take a look back at the five key plays in each and every Giants game.

So, without further ado, here are the five from the Giants' 24-17 loss to the Cowboys in the regular season opener Wednesday night:

1. The fumble. After both teams had a three-and-out to start the game, the Giants started their second possession on their own 13-yard line. Eli Manning got the offense in rhythm, driving the team all the way down to the Dallas 29 -- that's when rookie running back David Wilson coughed up the ball, on just his second NFL carry. The Cowboys recovered -- a major momentum shift early in the game.

2. The goal-line stand. Early in the second quarter, the Giants had the ball, first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, following a Michael Boley interception return. But Ahmad Bradshaw lost yardage on both first and second down, and Manning threw incomplete to Victor Cruz on third-and-goal from the 4. The Giants wanted a pass interference penalty called, but it never should have come to that. They had to settle for a field goal and just a 3-0 lead.

3. The double move. The Cowboys led 7-3 at intermission, and got the ball to start the second half. That's when Tony Romo & Co. took control of the game. Romo finished off the drive with a 40-yard touchdown strike to Kevin Ogletree -- Ogletree's second TD of the game. Giants cornerback Corey Webster was the culprit, biting badly on a double move. Dallas led 14-3.

4. The giant leap. Romo wasn't done picking apart the Giants' secondary. Early in the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys leading 14-10, they mounted another lengthy drive. Dallas got all the way down to the New York 14-yard line, before back-to-back offensive penalties gave them a 1st-and-30 at the Giants' 34-yard line. On that very play, Romo connected with Miles Austin -- who out-leaped Giants cornerback Justin Tryon -- for a 34-yard touchdown that gave the Cowboys a 24-10 lead with a little more than six minutes remaining.

5. The finishing touch. Trailing 24-17, the Giants had one last chance to get the ball back, with a little more than two minutes remaining. But they needed to stop the Cowboys on a 3rd-and-10 at the Dallas 26-yard line, to force a punt. Instead, Romo picked on Tryon again, connecting with Ogletree for a 13-yard gain. Dallas ran out the clock from there, sending the Super Bowl champs home with an 0-1 record.