The New York Giants went into Dallas Sunday night, and took away the crowd early in the game by taking advantage of Dallas mistakes. Eli Manning & Co. had success in the passing game and ruined the night for Jerry Jones.
Like a dagger through the hearts of 105,000 Cowboy loyalists, Lawrence Tynes beat the Cowboys not once, but twice. Despite the best efforts of Wade Phillips, Tynes coolly kicked the winning field goal.
This game was destined to end the way it did. The Cowboys pounded the Giants defense on the ground. The Giants, however, were able to throw the ball wherever they wanted, except the red zone.
Ball control through the air is what the Giants accomplished. Eli Manning sent a message to the rest of the league on Sunday night, that they do not need Plaxico Burress to set up the run. The Giants will continue to grow as an offense, and will eventually figure out how to be productive in the red zone.
Using the New Kids On the Block, Mario Manningham, Derek Hagan (a huge catch on the last drive) and the not so new Steve Smith, Eli Manning engineered a fourth quarter rally to improve the Giants record to 2-0.
Sunday night, the Cowboys gameplan was to stop the run, and frustrate Jacobs and company. By doing so, they forced Eli and his kid receivers to beat them. Wade Phillips was confident that he could get to Eli and pressure him into mistakes.
Instead of Eli making the mistakes, it was Tony Romo, looking like a deer in the headlights from the start, that consistently made poor throws, bad reads and connected three times with Giants defenders.
Eli was playing like a kid himself, running around, playing pitch and catch with his receivers. He completed 20-26, for 284 yards when throwing to Smith and Manningham.
And talking about Super Mario, it was clear that the tempo seemed to pick up when he came into the game, after Domenik Hixon sprained his knee.
At the end of the match, sitting on his own 15 yard line at 1st and 20, after two phantom penalties, Eli Manning spent the next 3 minutes driving down the field via the passing game to set up the winning field goal.
This game showed some warts in the Giant attack. But it also showed the mental toughness of a young quarterback, and how that toughness has rubbed off on the younger players on the Giant team. That is a true sign of a leader.
If one was to summarize this game, it could best be done in a couple of brief sentences.
Both teams made mistakes, and played unlike how most people would have expected. The Cowboys ran and the Giants passed. The Giants offense controlled the ball for nine more minutes than the Dallas offense.
The team with the ball last, won the game, which is usually the case in NFC East games.
In the process, the Giants unveiled the new kids on the block, and may have found a passing attack that can only improve the running game led by Brandon Jacobs.
It was not pretty, but this is the NFL.