Giants sweep Dallas, tighten NFL's best division

The Giants came into the game against the Dallas Cowboys with everything working against them — the defense had been horrendous, Eli Manning’s injury was becoming a problem, and the Giants had lost 5 of their last 6 games.

But they did have one thing working on their side. They had a key victory in week two on the road in Dallas. The Giants were able to eke out a last-second field goal thanks to kicker Lawrence Tynes, who made a field goal in the second matchup as well.

The game began as a back-and-forth punting affair, as the Giants offense got out to a miserable start. Thankfully for Big Blue, the defense somehow was the key to saving the game and keeping the team within distance. The Cowboys chipped away, combining a Nick Folk field goal with a touchdown to take a 10-0 second quarter lead. The game was in the Cowboys favor as the three minute mark approached in the first half, but the Giants woke up and began firing on all cylinders. The Giants scored two touchdowns in a matter of a minute and a half, as RB Brandon Jacobs showed signs of toughness we had not seen in weeks.

At the end of the first half, the Giants were running into the locker room with a 14-10 lead when Cowboys veteran left tackle Flozell Adams took a cheap shot at Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. This started a brawl that was eventually cleared as the teams left for the half.

In the second half, the Giants eventually pulled away when punt returner Domenik Hixon received the ball before midfield, darted back and forth as he adjusted to his teammate’s blocks, and flew to the endzone to give the Giants a touchdown. The Giants took a fourteen point lead late into the fourth quarter, as Dallas was kicked to the curb. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo submitted a solid performance, throwing three touchdowns and completing several clutch 3rd and long passes.

The Giants were showing emotion that was not evident in their matchup in Denver the past week, as all three categories of the team played to their best ability. Running back Brandon Jacobs caught a ball on the outside thrown by Eli Manning, and made his way to the sideline and was off to the races. It was hard to believe that a 264 pound back could actually run that fast, but Jacobs galloped down the sideline like a horse on his way to a 74-yard touchdown score.

The Giants receivers played very well considering their quarterback’s injury. Manning clearly had difficulty throwing off his foot and had some errant passes. Steve Smith darted past Cowboys defenders in order to get open, and finished with six catches for over 100 yards. Rookie Hakeem Nicks wrestled away a jumpball and sprinted into the endzone for a score of his own.

The win puts the Giants at 7-5, only one game behind the Cowboys and Eagles for the NFC East lead. Thankfully for New York, they control their own destiny as they face the Philadelphia Eagles this coming week at Giants Stadium. The Giants are 4-2 at home, and each of their last three victories have come at home.

New York will await the result of tonight’s matchup in Green Bay. If the Ravens can escape with a victory against the surging Packers, the Giants will be in official playoff position heading into next week’s game.

As you can see below, I created a chart describing the current NFC playoff picture

NFC Playoff Picture

Division Leaders Wild Card Leaders In the Hunt
1. y – Saints 12-0 5.  Eagles 8-4 Giants 7-5
2. Vikings 10-2 6. Packers 7-4 Falcons 6-6
3. Cardinals 8-4 Panthers 5-7
4. Cowboys 8-4

y – clinched Division Title

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