What a way to start the 2013 campaign. From the first play to the 4th quarter, the defense dictated the pace of this game. Early on the Cowboy offense could not capitalize on the turnovers their defense was generating. That’s why this game was still up for grabs. Turnovers mean nothing unless the offense comes away with touchdowns.
Did anyone feel comfortable with a 3 point lead? How about a 10 point lead? You can’t because of what the Giants offense did when they weren’t turning the ball over. Eli Manning torched the defense for 450 yards and 4 TD’s. They key is how they were scoring. The Giants average time of possession when they scored was 2:19. Going into the 4th quarter, the Cowboy lead was never safe because of how quickly the Giants could score.
Let’s break it down. In the first half the Cowboy forced 3 turnovers which resulted in no touchdowns. Now, they scored 13 points but by not punishing the Giants with touchdowns, the Giants stayed in the game. As soon as Romo threw his first touchdown, the Giants responded quickly. Before you know it, its halftime and it’s a close game. Waste of turnovers.
In the third quarter, it was different. Again, when the Giants weren’t shooting themselves in the foot, they were having their way with the Cowboys defense. In a way, it was feast or famine, either the Cowboys got a turnover, or they were getting lit up by Eli Manning. The key difference from the first half was the Cowboys’ converted turnovers into touchdowns. That kept the Giants at arm’s length.
Going into the fourth quarter it appeared obvious that as long as the Giants didn’t turn it over, they would be able to score at will. Again, it was feast or famine; the Cowboys defense came up with a turnover and turned it into a touchdown.
However you slice it, it’s a big win. Division games are precious. The next big story is how bad the injuries are. That won’t be known for a couple days, but at least no season ending injuries seemed to pop up.
Looking at the bigger picture, here are my 5 key points:
- The O-Line gave Romo enough time
- The D-Line created pressure and notched 3 sacks on Manning
- Demarco Murray gained more than 85 yards.
- The game did not require Romo to constantly bring the Cowboys from behind
- The defense converted turnovers into touchdowns
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