A great start turned ugly for the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night. Then, it got uglier --then a little better -- but then it got ugly again.
Now, your Dallas Cowboys are 1-5 and without their starting quarterback, Tony Romo, who suffered a fractured collarbone in the first half of a 41-35 loss to the New York Giants and may be done for the season.
The game started surprisingly well for the Cowboys, as the team’s defense recorded two interceptions on the Giants’ first two drives, resulting in an early 10-0 lead for Dallas.
Only three plays into the game, Terence Newman intercepted Eli Manning to give Dallas the ball at the New York 5-yard line. A play later, Romo hit Jason Witten for a touchdown to give the Cowboys a 7-0 lead. Safety Gerald Sensabaugh picked off Manning on the team’s second defensive series, but this time, the team was unable to cash in on the short field. Instead, they had to settle for a David Buehler field goal, which extended the lead to 10.
The Giants finally got on the board late in the first quarter, when Eli Manning found Hakeem Nicks for a 7-yard touchdown to cap an 11-play, 79-yard drive and cut the lead to 10-7.
In the second quarter, Dallas would extend and then quickly surrender their lead, greatly the result of injuries to Mike Jenkins and Romo. Jenkins would return to the game later in the half. Obviously, Romo would not.
The second quarter did have a few bright spots for Dallas: Buehler hit on a 46-yard field goal attempt, and Dez Bryant brought a punt back 93 yards for a touchdown to bring the Cowboys’ lead to 20-7. The lead, like the Cowboys’ luck, was to be short-lived Monday night.
Touchdown passes to Nicks and Steve Smith, respectively, gave New York the 21-20 lead before half -- each of these touchdown passes were thrown in the direction of Orlando Scandrick, who replaced the injured Jenkins. The team would add a 53-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal to extend their lead to 24-20 before the half.
Things didn’t get much better in the second half.
Manning hit Mario Manningham for a touchdown on the team’s first drive of the new half. After yet another three-and-out by the Cowboys’ Jon Kitna-led offense, the Giants took over and quickly scored once more, this time on a 30-yard run by Brandon Jacobs, to extend the lead to 38-20.
At this point, it seemed as though Dallas was done. Surprisingly, they weren’t -- not quite anyway.
After a Keith Brooking interception set Dallas up deep in Giants’ territory, Bryant caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kitna to close the gap to 38-26 and, after a successful two-point conversion, 38-28. Lawrence Tynes hit on a 26-yard field goal with around two minutes left on the clock to extend the Giants’ lead to 13.
The Cowboys answered with Bryant’s second receiving touchdown (third total) on the night with just 45 seconds left to close the gap to six. But after a failed onside kick attempt, the Giants’ win was finally a done deal, at 41-35, sending Dallas to 1-5.
The Kitna-led Cowboys will host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Sunday at Cowboys Stadium.
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