Fresh off the bye week with a new backup quarterback at the helm, the Dallas Cowboys were still unable to scratch out a victory in the absence of Tony Romo on Sunday, as they suffered a rough-to-watch road loss at the hands of the New York Giants, 27-20.
Dan Bailey opened up the scoring on the day with a 30-yard field goal to punctuate the Cowboys’ first drive and give the Cowboys an early 3-0 lead. He added a 48-yarder in the second quarter, and went 2-for-2 on Sunday.
After Bailey’s first field goal, Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense responded by driving 79 yards in just seven plays, capped with a 15-yard run by Orleans Darkwa to take a 7-3 lead. Darkwa, an undrafted free agent out of Tulane, finished with 48 yards on eight carries.
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Bailey’s second field goal drew the Cowboys to within one of the Giants at 7-6, and they took the lead at the end of their next drive, a six-play, 72-yard march, on a one-yard touchdown run from Darren McFadden. With Joseph Randle out most of the game with a hurt back, McFadden went for 152 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, and in doing so became the first Cowboy to post a 100-yard rushing performance on the season.
With a little over a minute left in the first half, the Giants’ Josh Brown nailed a 47-yard field goal to close the gap to 13-10 going into the break.
In his first start as a Cowboy, Matt Cassel went 11-of-27 for 227 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. His first interception was a pick-six to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (though it’s certainly arguable that the blame for the pick belonged more on receiver Terrance Williams than Cassel) to give the Giants the lead on the first drive of the second half, 17-13.
Brown added a field goal late in the third to extend the Giants lead to a touchdown before the Cowboys responded with a 9-play, 80-yard drive, capped with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Cassel to Devin Street to tie the game at 20-apiece--but the stalemate didn’t last long.
Former Cowboy Dwayne Harris took the ensuing kickoff back 100 yards for a touchdown to give the Giants a 27-20 lead, which would stand as the final.
At 2-4, the Cowboys will host the Seahawks next week at AT&T Stadium.