Sunday, December 6, 2009
Rapid Reaction: Giants 31, Cowboys 24
By Dan Graziano
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants were the only team on the field whose entire season was hanging in the balance -- and they played like it. New York overcame a 10-0 deficit in the first half and jumped right back in the race for the NFC East title in the process with a huge win.
Clinging to a 24-17 lead with just over six minutes left in the game, the Giants' Domenik Hixon broke free for a 79-yard punt return for a touchdown that effectively put the Cowboys away. The Cowboys had leaned on their defense to stack up wins throughout October and November, but Wade Phillips' unit gave up too many big plays against the Giants. The Cowboys led briefly in the third quarter, but Brandon Jacobs responded with a 74-yard touchdown catch.
He beat Cowboys linebacker Anthony Spencer along the sideline and then ran through a Gerald Sensabaugh tackle attempt on his way to the end zone. It was a huge play for the Giants and it stole any momentum the Cowboys had been able to generate.
The Cowboys and Eagles are now tied atop the NFC East at 8-4 and the Giants are a game back at 7-5. And the Eagles are coming to the Meadowlands next Sunday. For the Cowboys, Sunday was a reminder of painful Decembers of the past. Tony Romo threw for over 300 yards, but it took him 49 attempts to do it.
It was a fumble by Marion Barber late in the first half that set up the Giants' go-ahead touchdown drive. The Giants are right back in the playoff race -- and the Cowboys missed a golden opportunity.