Sunday, September 20, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Giants 33, Cowboys 31
By Dan Graziano
Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Cowboys opened their brand new stadium with a bang Sunday night -- but it's not the kind they wanted. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo put his team in a hole with three interceptions, but it appeared he had helped bail them out by engineering a late drive. But on this night, the Cowboys left the Giants way too much time on the clock.
The Cowboys gashed the Giants on the ground, with Marion Barber and Felix Jones combining for 220 yards. But it was the Giants' young receivers -- namely Steve Smith and Mario Manningham -- who upstaged the Cowboys on opening night at the stadium.
A crowd of 105,121 -- the biggest in NFL history -- witnessed a back and forth game that came down to the final drive. Forced into a first-and-20 hole at his 15-yard line, Eli Manning calmly led his team down the field. And like they had all evening, Smith and Manningham made play after play.
The Giants played most of the game without Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Tuck, and the Cowboys noticed. They repeatedly ran behind left tackle Flozell Adams against Tuck's replacement, Dave Tollefson. It truly was a game where the last team with the ball was going to win -- and the Giants had the last crack at it.
OK, I'm racing down to visit with both teams. I'll have a full column on the game in about two hours. An amazing way to open Cowboys Stadium -- especially if you're the Giants.