Giants commit six turnovers, lose to Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys came into Sunday night’s season opener having never lost a season opening game to the New York Giants. The Giants came in having never lost in the Cowboys’ new stomping grounds. Something had to give one Sunday night, and the Giants did just that. They turned the ball over six times on Sunday en route to a 36-31 Cowboy victory on opening night.
Things started off poorly for the Giants as Eli Manning attempted a screen pass to David Wilson on the first play of the game and it was intercepted by Demarcus Ware. This was a sign of things to come though, as big blue went on to commit two more turnovers in the opening half. David Wilson added a fumble, and Eli threw another interception. But even with the three turnovers, the Giants went into half, down by only three.
The second half didn’t get much better for the Giants though, as they committed another three turnovers. A punt that glanced off one of the blockers, another Wilson fumble, and a third Manning interception, which hit off the hand of Da’Rel Scott, finally did the Giants in. Wilson was benched after his second fumble, and didn’t see another snap for the rest of the game.
Coming into the season, the Cowboys placed an emphasis on forcing turnovers, and they were successful in doing so in week one. After only forcing 16 turnovers all of last year, they are more than a third of the way there this season.
“It’s infectious. It’s contagious, we challenged them at halftime. We had three, let’s get three more,” said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett regarding the turnovers, according to ESPN.com.
The Cowboys ended up scoring two defensive touchdowns in the game and, despite the lack of balance, Tony Romo completed 36 out of 49 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Romo left the game after being hit by two Giants at the same time in the ribs, but missed only the final play before half. The Cowboys said he just had the wind knocked out of him.
Tom Coughlin said he was completely disappointed and embarrassed by the effort. Coughlin is an avid stickler for turnovers, and clearly this game won’t sit well with him.
Among the sloppy play, the Giants did have some bright spots, mainly on the receiving corps. Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Ruben Randle, all caught five passes for over 100 yards, Cruz added three touchdown receptions. Manning, despite his three interceptions, threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns.
USA Today points out that amid all of the turnovers, there was a point in the fourth quarter when the Giants had the ball, down six (before the sixth turnover), and it felt like they would win the game.
The Cowboys had the ball 15 minutes longer than the Giants but were never really able to put the game away until the Brandon Carr pick-six. One less turnover and the story line may be different heading into Monday, but it is certainly tough to win a game where you turn it over six times.
The Giants welcome the Broncos into the Meadowlands in their week two matchup between the Manning brothers, while the Cowboys will head to Kansas City to take on Andy Reid and the Chiefs next week.