Giants
Cowboys
35 - 45 Final
  for this game

Romo outduels Manning as Cowboys sink Giants

Sep 10, 2007 - 5:54 AM
By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

IRVING, Texas (Ticker) - In a battle of two very different - but equally relied upon - quarterbacks, Tony Romo came out on top.

Less than a year after taking over as the Dallas Cowboys' starter at halftime of an eventual loss to the New York Giants at Texas Stadium, Romo threw for a career-high 345 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Cowboys to a 45-35 victory over their NFC East Division rivals in the season opener for both teams Sunday night.

It was the highest-scoring game of the all-time series between the teams, surpassing the previous best of 73, and gave Wade Phillips a victory in a his coaching debut with the Cowboys.

"We made plays when we needed to," Phillips said. "We gave up a big play early in the game and we bounced back and fought hard all the way. I was proud of them, but we got a ways to go. There's a pretty explosive offense out there.

"I think our team answered the question on if they can play under adversity when things aren't going well."

Meanwhile, Eli Manning had a big night for the Giants, passing for 312 yards and four touchdowns before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter with a bruised right shoulder.

"He played very, very well, threw the ball very well, very composed, knew exactly what he wanted to do and what he was doing," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "I'm just ashamed we didn't get the win out of it, the kind of night he had."

"We did a great job, we put up 35 points," Manning said. "We ran the ball well, we threw the ball well. But still, there were some missed opportunities. It shows we're doing things well and we can be a good team."

Despite having lost six of its previous seven openers, the Cowboys still own the NFL's second-best all-time record to start the season at 32-15-1. Their 45 points were the most in an opener since the 1971 season.

Romo's favorite target was Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, who hauled in six passes for 116 yards, the second-highest total of his career, and one touchdown. Terrell Owens added three catches for 87 yards and two scores.

"I think the biggest thing coming into the game without (injured receiver) Terry Glenn was that we had to step up," Witten said. "I think it starts with Terrell and me."

It was an impressive showing for a team working under a new offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett.

"I thought it was great," Romo said of Garrett's offense. "We kept putting the ball down the field and he trusted me with that. I thought the guys did a good job making plays. It's not always going to go smooth. I threw one interception tonight. You have to deal with it, but the great thing was that we came right back."

Romo scored on a 9-yard run late in the third quarter, then hit Terrell Owens for a 47-yard touchdown early in the fourth to turn a close 24-19 Dallas lead into a 38-22 margin.

But following an interception by Giants safety Gibril Wilson, the Giants closed within 38-35 when Manning hit Burress for a 10-yard strike with 4:09 remaining.

Burress had a huge night with eight receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns.

Dallas then sealed the victory when Romo hit Sam Hurd with a 51-yard pass on a 3rd-and-7 situation with 3:03 to go. It was Hurd's first career touchdown.

"It felt real good," Hurd said. "I was trying to get away from that safety, so it was like I stole something and I wanted to get out of there. It felt great, just to see the crowd, everybody hyping on me, I was excited, and also to know, this may have clinched this game."

Following Romo's 12-yard touchdown pass to Witten on 3rd-and-11 with 3:59 to go in the second quarter, Dallas looked to be in good shape heading to halftime with a 17-6 lead, but the Giants scored 10 points in the final 21 seconds of the half.

Manning connected on 3rd-and-goal from the 4-yard-line to Burress to cut the lead to 17-13 and, following Tyson Thompson's fumble of the ensuing kickoff, the Giants regained possession on the Dallas 26 with 14 seconds remaining.

After one unsuccessful pass attempt, Lawrence Tynes booted a 44-yard field goal with three ticks left on the clock to make it a one-point game.

Dallas showed it missed starting cornerback Terence Newman, who was a game-time decision to sit out with an injured heel, on the first Giants' possession. Manning took just three plays to score the season's first touchdown, hitting Burress for a 60-yard strike just 1:29 into the contest.

Overall, Jacques Reeves filled in admirably for Newman, registering his first career interception and knocking down a third-down pass to Burress in the end zone in the third quarter that forced the Giants to settle for a field goal.

"I read the play, I read Eli's eyes, he kind of stares down plays a little bit and I got the ball," Reeves said of the pick. "I wanted to score with it, though. I think I did pretty good, got a few things to clean up, I could still do a little bit better. I'm glad we won."

The Giants suffered injuries to other two key players in the first half. Star defensive end Osi Umenyiora left with a knee injury midway through the first quarter and starting running back Brandon Jacobs, taking over the top job from the retired Tiki Barber, sprained his knee in the second quarter.

Jacobs gained nine yards on two carries before exiting. Derrick Ward stepped in and gained 89 yards on 13 carries in his place. He also caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Manning midway through the fourth quarter.

"He played very well, he had a good pre-season," Coughlin said of Ward. "He certainly made his presence felt."

"I prepare like I am going to be the starter every practice," Ward said. "So when the time comes to play in the game, I'll be ready. It's hard (to lose) when you play your butts off. We're playing good football, but we've had too many mental errors and too many mistakes."

Cornerback Kevin Dockery, who recovered a fumble for the Giants at the end of the first half, left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.

The severity of Manning's injury wasn't known, but it did not seem to be a long-term ailment.

"It feels a little tight, a little sore right now," Manning said. "I just bruised it. I'll get an MRI tomorrow. I can still make all the throws, it's just a little tight, a little sore. As time went on, it got a little more sore."

"We just wanted to make sure we got it iced down and so we could have the best chance to get that under control as fast as possible," Coughlin said of the decision to replace him with Jared Lorenzen on the Giants final offensive possession. "We have no way of knowing (if he'll miss any action) until we get some kind of result tonight or tomorrow as to how he feels once he gets a chance to ice it down and get some help and some treatment."

Dallas also lost starting nose tackle Jason Ferguson with a right elbow injury. Owner Jerry Jones hinted it might be a season-ending ailment, but that he would undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine just how severe it is.

"Ferg is a big loss because of the running game, but as always, somebody is going to step up," linebacker Bradie James said. "Jay Ratliff is going to step in and do his deal, but this is a new defense and Ferg and I were getting used to playing a tag team with one another."






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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NY GIANTS 6 10 3 16 35
    DALLAS 3 14 14 14 45 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, PLAXICO BURRESS 60 YD PASS FROM ELI
    MANNING (PAT FAILED), 1:29. Drive:
    3 plays, 74 yards in 1:29. Key
    plays: Manning 14-yard pass to
    Toomer to Giants 40. NY GIANTS 6-0
    DAL - FG, NIC

    Sep 9 11:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    SAM HURD 51 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 35
    DALLAS 45 3:03 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 11:26 PM
  • 45
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    RUWTbot Took away 49 roots

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 11:26 PM


  • NFL
    TD NYG
    PLAXICO BURRESS 10 YD PASS FROM ELI MANNING
    (LAWRENCE TYNES KICK)
    NY GIANTS 35
    DALLAS 38 4:09 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 11:19 PM
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    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 11:19 PM
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  • NFL
    TD NYG
    DERRICK WARD 9 YD PASS FROM ELI MANNING
    (TWO-POINT CONVERSION FAILED)
    NY GIANTS 28
    DALLAS 38 7:20 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 11:11 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    TERRELL OWENS 47 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 22
    DALLAS 38 11:43 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 10:56 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    LAWRENCE TYNES 24 YD
    NY GIANTS 22
    DALLAS 31 13:27 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 10:49 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NY GIANTS 6 10 3 19
    DALLAS 3 14 14 31 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, PLAXICO BURRESS 60 YD PASS FROM ELI
    MANNING (PAT FAILED), 1:29. Drive:
    3 plays, 74 yards in 1:29. Key
    plays: Manning 14-yard pass to
    Toomer to New York 40. NY GIANTS
    6-0
    DAL

    Sep 9 10:43 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    TONY ROMO 9 YD RUN
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 19
    DALLAS 31 1:12 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 10:41 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    LAWRENCE TYNES 48 YD
    NY GIANTS 19
    DALLAS 24 5:47 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 10:23 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    TERRELL OWENS 22 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 16
    DALLAS 24 12:00 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 10:12 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NY GIANTS 6 10 16
    DALLAS 3 14 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, PLAXICO BURRESS 60 YD PASS FROM ELI
    MANNING (PAT FAILED), 1:29. Drive:
    3 plays, 74 yards in 1:29. Key
    plays: Manning 14-yard pass to
    Toomer to New York 40. NY GIANTS
    6-0
    DAL - F

    Sep 9 9:51 PM


  • NFL
    FG NYG
    LAWRENCE TYNES 44 YD
    NY GIANTS 16
    DALLAS 17 0:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 9:49 PM


  • NFL
    TD NYG
    PLAXICO BURRESS 4 YD PASS FROM ELI MANNING
    (LAWRENCE TYNES KICK)
    NY GIANTS 13
    DALLAS 17 0:21 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 9:46 PM
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  • NFL
    TD DAL
    JASON WITTEN 11 YD PASS FROM TONY ROMO
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 6
    DALLAS 17 3:59 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 9:30 PM


  • NFL
    TD DAL
    MARION BARBER III 28 YD RUN
    (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)
    NY GIANTS 6
    DALLAS 10 9:40 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 9:17 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    NY GIANTS 6 6
    DALLAS 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NYG - TD, PLAXICO BURRESS 60 YD PASS FROM ELI
    MANNING (PAT FAILED), 1:29. Drive:
    3 plays, 74 yards in 1:29. Key
    plays: Manning 14-yard pass to
    Toomer to New York 40. NY GIANTS
    6-0
    DAL

    Sep 9 9:01 PM


  • NFL
    FG DAL
    NICHOLAS FOLK 31 YD
    NY GIANTS 6
    DALLAS 3 6:32 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 8:40 PM


  • NFL
    TD NYG
    PLAXICO BURRESS 60 YD PASS FROM ELI MANNING
    (PAT FAILED)
    NY GIANTS 6
    DALLAS 0 13:31 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Giants vs. CowboysSep 9 8:28 PM
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