Giants 29, Cowboys 24: Dallas Maximizes its Charitable Deductions, Gives Another Away
This year for Halloween, instead of playing on current trends like the Presidential race or zombies, the Cowboys decided to dress up like something tried and true: the Dallas Cowboys. In a game that bordered on parody, the Cowboys went to their old bag of fail and pulled out a gut-melter. It wasn't enough to be knocked completely through the mat early on; they had to come back to within a literal fingertip of a miraculous victory, only to be overruled back to reality.
If you want to pour a little optimism into the glass, you can look at the fact that the Cowboys didn't fold up shop once they were down 23-0. They continued to battle, even though their ineptitude proved to be their undoing in the end. Another bright spot was the dearth of penalties, as Dallas only had three yellow flags thrown on them for ten yards.
Six turnovers should never have a team even close to a win, and that's really the main issue. The Cowboys can't ever get out of their own way, even in victory. This team's identity is to play like they don't know how to win, and they executed it perfectly on Sunday. Let's delicately delve into the belly of this beast.
Where were the scorecards and the run-laughing? Once it became clear to Fox that the Cowboys likely had no shot in the game, they decided to turn the broadcast into a dunk contest. Jason Pierre-Paul's post pick-six celebration got more airtime than Felix Baumgartner. Sure it was an impressive capper to an amazing display of athleticism, but it's not like guys haven't dunked on uprights before. Maybe next time Fox should just roll out a tiny sedan and let JPP go ham.
This Defensive Performance Was a Wasted Masterpiece: Rob Ryan's crew put on one of the finest displays by a Cowboys defense in a long time. Holding Eli Manning and company to under 300 yards was an impressive feat, but to hold them to 22 points (not counting the Pierre-Paul pre-dunk touchdown) was dominant, considering the injury Sean Lee. It's even more amazing considering the five other turnovers gifted by the Cowboys, a couple of which setup the Giants on the doorstep of the end zone.
Bruce Carter looks to be a real stud in the middle, filling in capably as field general for the absent Lee. The Cowboys corners played nice, tight coverage for the most part, limiting the Giants to only a couple explosive plays. This defense, despite all the injuries, has fought back to establish itself as a championship-caliber unit. If only they weren't pushed to the edge of the cliff so often by their teammates, they would get more public adoration.
Somebody's been checking their email: Looks like someone in the promotions department may have stumbled on to something. Prior to this week's tilt, the team sent out an email to season ticket holders instructing them to get up and cheer on defensive third downs. Apparently, not everyone dragged that message to the trash bin, as there was a distinct clamor on the money downs. Who would have thought that mid-air go-go dancers and biblically huge video boards weren't the way to get fans involved in the game? After this week's performance, the Cowboys will be sending an email to Romo asking him to quit throwing interceptions, we'll see if that takes hold.
Let's hand out some bittersweet awards.