The New York Giants clinched a playoff berth and the NFC East title with a decisive 31-14 victory over the hated Dallas Cowboys in convincing fashion on Sunday Night Football. With the season on the brink, Eli Manning led an offensive onslaught that guided the Giants to their first NFC East title since 2008.
Victor Cruz contributed ] his best performance of the season—and no that’s not referring to his end zone salsa dancing—igniting the Giants offense with a 74-yard touchdown reception on a simple out route in the first quarter. Cruz finished the evening with six receptions for 178 yards and that first-quarter score.
New York’s defense came out just as strong as the offense, keeping the Cowboys off the scoreboard and helping the Giants to the locker room at halftime with a 21-0 lead.
Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell targeted Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo—who was struggling with a bruised right throwing hand—and Dallas' poor offensive line, bringing pressure on nearly every play. The game plan was successful. The Giants sacked Romo six times and forced him to turn the ball over twice.
The Giants’ best game of the season has come at the perfect time, sending them into the playoffs with the proper momentum to steamroll through opposing teams en route to a Super Bowl if everything goes right. First, the Giants prepare for their first playoff game in three seasons against the Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at home. The Giants must keep that momentum rolling with much to prove in a game that can go either way.
Here is the report card for each unit’s performance in the New York Giants’ Week 17 win over the Cowboys.