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Giants vs. Cowboys Recap: What Went Wrong

After some of the most boneheaded decision-making I’ve seen in a while, the Giants lost late to the Cowboys on Sunday, and now have lost five straight at the hands of Dallas. Let’s try and break down the letdown.

Why Did They Throw It?

Let’s be honest. Everything else that happened in this game pales in comparison to whatever the last minute and a half was. So let’s focus on that.

Facing third and goal at the one-yard line, up 23-20 with 1:43 left. The Cowboys have just used their last timeout. Seems obvious that the Giants will run it, right?

Wrong. Instead, Manning drops back and finds no one, throwing it away and stopping the clock.

Why would they throw the ball there? A run may have not gone in for a score, but it would have taken 40 seconds off the clock. Former Giants quarterback Sage Rosenfels pointed out how bizarre that decision was in a tweet.


Obviously, it was a huge difference, as the Cowboys had an extra 40 seconds to move the ball down the field and score with seven seconds left.

Here’s the thing, though. While passing in that situation doesn’t make the most sense, it’s not the worst thing. Manning still could have dropped back for a pass and killed more clock, but…

Why Didn’t He Take a Sack?

A 12-year NFL veteran needs to know better. In that situation, if you’re going to look for a receiver but find nothing, take a knee or absorb a sack. Dallas was out of timeouts, so the clock would have kept going, and even a loss of seven yards would have meant the Giants were still in field goal range.

It would have had the same result the incomplete pass had, but with 40 fewer seconds left for Dallas to stage a comeback.

(Photo: AP)

(Photo: AP)

It’s inexcusable. It’s one thing if Manning had a receiver targeted and just didn’t convert the touchdown. It’s a bad decision, but at least you tried to go for it all. Manning completely threw it away when there was a much easier, more desirable option.

Why Didn’t They Score?

After the game, Rashad Jennings mentioned that he was told not to score on his first and second down runs.


Wait, WHAT?

Okay, fine. By not scoring, they ran some clock out. But a touchdown would have made it a 10-point game with less than two minutes to play. Stopping the Cowboys from scoring twice in two minutes sounds a lot easier than stopping them from scoring once with 90 seconds.

What’s worse is Jennings admits he thinks he could have scored on both runs.

I can’t even fathom what Tom Coughlin was thinking when he told Jennings not to score. It’s completely nonsensical and goes against all football logic.

But so it goes.

Game Balls & The Goat

Offensive Game Ball: Running back Shane Vereen

Vereen looked good in his first regular season action for the Giants. He only received three carries, but managed 14 yards (4.7 YPC). He was also led the Giants in receiving yards, totaling 46 yards on four catches. He seems like a legitimate weapon when it comes to catching passes out of the backfield, and he should be fun to watch the rest of the year.

Defensive Game Ball: Linebacker Uani’ Unga

Many Giants fans were concerned to see Unga would be starting in Jon Beason’s normal spot, but the rookie played really well. He racked up 12 tackles, including 10 solo tackles, and recorded a huge interception that resulted in a Giants field goal right before halftime.

The Goat: Wide receiver Preston Parker

This dubious honor could have gone to a number of players, but Parker’s performance really irked me. Seeing a lot of action in place of the injured Victor Cruz, Parker had three critical drops. They all came on third downs in Cowboys territory. Two of them forced the Giants to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown. If he makes one of those catches (he should have made all three), there may have been a different outcome.

It really makes one wonder why the Giants opted to keep Parker over James Jones, who scored two touchdowns for the Packers on Sunday.

The Giants will look for better results when they return to MetLife Stadium on Sunday to face the Falcons.

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