Cowboys-Giants: Dallas Keeps Their Playoff Hopes Alive

nick wigertContributor IDecember 15, 2008

Last night in Big D, Tony Romo and the Cowboys defeated the Giants 20-8 in what was a very defensive game for both teams.

The two teams combined for a total of 12 sacks and came up with many big defensive plays.

The game was really put out of reach for New York when Dallas held them to a field goal after Romo hooked up with Patrick Crayton to put the Cowboys up by seven.

The Giants offensive line was being beaten inside and out all night long, while Eli Manning was battered around in the pocket, and the Giants could not sustain a solid ground attack. For the second week in a row, the Giants were simply out played by another of their NFC East rivals.

Looking over how the Dallas defense took control of the game, I saw that they brought the heat to the quarterback, pressuring Manning while also keeping tight coverage down field, not giving Eli anywhere to throw.

In the first half, Manning dropped back to pass 16 times and the Dallas defense brought the blitz on nine of those drop-backs, or roughly 56% of the time.

The Cowboys also did a nice job getting pressure with their four-man rushes. The injury to Kareem McKenzie really hurt the Giants' pass protection. I would estimate his replacement Kevin Boothe was beat four to six times clean.

Romo really gutted out a magnificent performance against one of the trickier defenses in the league.

With the win, Dallas improved to 9-5, while New York dropped to a still-high mark of 11-3.

Next week, the Giants will play for home-field when they take on the also 11-3 Panthers.

Dallas, meanwhile, will welcome in the surprisingly 9-5 Ravens, who just came off a tough loss to the Steelers.