The defense collectively had a rough day, as they allowed Tony Romo to make big plays all over the field, throwing for 437 yards. Three Dallas receivers – Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant – each had over 100 yards receiving on the day.
But Stevie Brown’s effort helped the Giants preserve the victory. Brown picked off two passes and recovered a fumble. He’s now second in the NFL in interceptions with five.
The three-caused turnovers by Brown coupled with a Corey Webster interception, a Jason Pierre-Paul interception return for a touchdown and a Michael Coe fumble recovery sealed the Cowboys fate. Not many teams that commit six turnovers win the game.
Romo was off from the beginning and threw two interceptions in a span of four passes at one point. The Giants’ defense was really just the beneficiary of poor offensive play from Dallas.
Once Romo started heating up, the Giants’ defense had no answer. Prince Amukamara looked completely lost against Austin, and it seemed that Romo hit Witten on every Dallas’ first-down play.
For the most part, the Giants’ defensive front didn’t put too much pressure on Romo. They did make a few big plays, especially Chris Canty and JPP’s first career interception and touchdown, but really it was an ineffective performance from a pass-rudh standpoint.
The D-line redeemed themselves though in defending the run. Without DeMarco Murray out, the Cowboys had no rushing attack with Felix Jones. In total, Dallas rushed for just 19 yards, so credit the Giants defensively for that. But towards the end of the game, the Cowboys were playing catch-up, so naturally they weren’t running the ball.
The Cowboys scored 24 unanswered points spanning the second through fourth quarters. After the slow start, the Dallas offense couldn’t be stopped.
The Giants got beat all over the field in man coverage and then couldn’t stop the underneath routes when converting to zone coverage. Rookie Jayron Hosley looked like a rookie, with poor coverage and some bad penalties.
Brown’s second interception should have iced the game, but the Giants’ offense was forced to punt. Dallas drove right down the field led once again by Witten, who recorded a career-high with 18 catches.
In the end, the Giants’ defense really got lucky on the Bryant out-of-bounds catch. The referees made the right call, but there is no reason why Bryant should even be getting behind the coverage and coming down with that ball.
It was certainly a wild game, but the defense has instant replay to thank. Otherwise, this would have gone down as one of the worst performances in Giants’ history.
But a win is a win in the NFL, and the Giants are now 4-0 in the new Cowboys Stadium.