Found September 06, 2012 on
New York Giants
They won't be facing the defending Super Bowl champions in a revenge game every week.
They won't always be able to draw inspiration from a teammate who decided to play despite having suffered a serious spleen injury.
They can't commit 13 penalties and expect to win every week. Or allow an opponent on the ropes to mount a late comeback.
But what the Dallas Cowboys accomplished in Wednesday night's season opener against the New York Giants bodes well for the future.
To gain confidence this season can be different from the previous 16 that ended without a Lombardi Trophy, the Cowboys needed to avenge the devastating 17-point loss to New York that ended their 2011 campaign. Dallas did just that with a 24-17 road victory.
"We all knew we were the underdogs," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in his team's locker room afterward. "We certainly weren't proud of the last time we were up here seven months ago. I felt like I never left the halls of this stadium when we came back in here today.
"It is really special. Our team should really be able to build and be inspired to grab this win. They earned it."
New York parlayed its victory over Dallas in the 2011 regular-season finale into a Super Bowl run. By that point, the Cowboys roster was decimated by injuries and the pass defense was leaky.
Dallas is healthier now and has three new starters in the secondary. Both elements factored into Wednesday night's win.
Running back DeMarco Murray, who was on injured reserve the last time Dallas faced New York, gashed the Giants for 131 yards on 20 carries. Tony Romo, whose quarterbacking performance in the last Giants-Cowboys matchup was negatively affected by a badly bruised hand, lit up New York's secondary for 307 yards and three touchdowns on 22-of 29-passing.
Kevin Ogletree proved he could fill the void as Dallas' third wide receiver created by the free-agent departure of Laurent Robinson to Jacksonville. Ogletree had a career-best eight catches for 114 yards.
Romo's usual favorite target was a relative non-factor with two receptions, but tight end Jason Witten contributed just by being on the field. Although listed as doubtful entering the game because of the lacerated spleen suffered in the preseason opener, Witten gutted it out and started.
Jones compared Witten to the lead character in the classic movie "El Cid" -- "when they put him in the saddle and ran him down the beach." Defensive end Jason Hatcher said seeing Witten play "gave me extra juice."
"I knew he was in pain," Hatcher said. "But he loves his teammates and wanted to be out there with us."
Cameraderie goes a long way toward building a championship team. So do clutch plays during times of adversity.
When Giants linebacker Michael Boley was returning a second-quarter Romo interception toward the Cowboys' end zone, Dallas left tackle Tyron Smith saved the score by hustling to make a (illegal) horsecollar tackle. Motivated by the effort, Dallas held New York to a field goal despite facing first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
Hatcher described the stand as "taking the air" out of the Giants offense. By the time New York scored in the third quarter, the Cowboys had opened a 14-3 lead.
Manning had butchered the Cowboys' defense in their previous six meetings, but a revamped secondary featuring cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne and strong safety Barry Church helped prevent a repeat. Manning was held to a modest 213 yards on 21-of-32 passing and sacked three times.
Manning also didn't have the chance to work his customary fourth-quarter magic. Ogletree, matched against a reserve cornerback (Justin Tryon) forced onto the field because of an injury to stop-gap starter Michael Coe, caught a 13-yard pass on a third-and-10 just before the two-minute warning. That allowed Jones, who had promised during the preseason that Dallas would "beat the Giants' asses," to breathe a sigh of relief as the Cowboys ran out the clock.
"What I didn't say and didn't know is if this team would have the courage to play a quality team like that on the road and stay in it and win a ballgame," Jones said. "I really was concerned late in the game that we were going to fool around and let them get back in it. But this bunch persevered."
Jones the Cowboys pointed out that this was only one game. Asked how much beating New York will carry over going forward, Romo said, "It's a brand new week and a brand new team. It will be a new challenge. This game will have no meaning on the next one."
But now having tangible proof that 2012 can be a new year will make a difference heading into a Sept. 16 matchup at Seattle -- and beyond.
"It was huge," Witten acknowledged. "We don't need to make more than it is, but hey, that's the world champs. We talked about it all offseason and beating this team at their place. I think it sets the tone for our team. We can build on this."
BEST OF MAXIM
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Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, who has been out with a lacerated spleen, reportedly told the team he would sign a medical waiver in order to play in Wednesday's opener.
The NFL kicked off in dramatic rivalry fashion with the returning Superbowl Champion Giants taking on their NFC East foe Dallas Cowboys. Much maligned Quarterback Tony Romo came, saw and conquered while in MetLife Stadium as he threw for 307 yards including three TD’s and came up bigger than Eli in the 24-17 victory.
The hero of the night props goes...
Jerry Jones is filthy stinking rich. He is also something of an egomaniac. And when you put those two things together and toss in a few other character flaws — like enjoying the act of belittling people by making them perform menial, personal tasks — on top of egomania, you have evidence that the Dallas [...]
The Dallas Cowboys waited all year for another shot at the New York Giants. When they got it in the 2012 season opener, they were ready.
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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Dallas 24 vs. New York 17
By Eric Judd @ericjuddTSHQ
I gotsta get paid!
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In the past we would provide a detailed recap of the game. The effort to provide Ultimate22, a comprehensive and objective recap of player performance, seeks to replace the coverage in large part. Still, there are MACRO THEMES that need to be summarized here. This recap is not trying to catch ALL the points. Please add more in the comments that I did not mention here.
Finally NFL football is back! A late rally by Eli Manning and the defending champion New York Giants came up short on this opening Wednesday kickstart to the 2012 campaign.The long awaited divisional matchup began in lackluster fashion, the only touchdown in a yawner of a first half coming on a Tony Romo toss to Kevin Ogletree from ten yards out with 2:33 left before intermission...
The long anticipated season opener of the NFL fell flat of many expectations, especially those from New York and their faithful fans. The first half of this football game looked more like a preseason opener than a season opener. The play was extremely sloppy on both sides of the ball for each team, and there were numerous "dumb" penalties committed by both teams. At...
SBD: Cowboys-Giants pulled a 16.5 overnight, down 4% from the Saints-Packers game last year. Dem Convention hurt, I'm sure.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 6, 2012
Move to Wed. right move for NBC. 16.5 ovrnght for Cowboys-Gmen up 63% from 10.1 for Skins-Gmen in '08 (7pm on Thurs to avoid McCain at RNC)
— Austin Karp (@AustinKarp) September 6,...
The Dallas Cowboys defeated champion New York Giants, 24-17, in the opening game of the 2012 NFL Season. NFC East beat man Justin Henry breaks down the statistical keys to victory for the Cowboys.