Romo upstages Beckham, Cowboys beat Giants
Nov. 24, 2014
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Game on the line, 80 yards away, three minutes to go and two timeouts.
No problem for Tony Romo and the Cowboys in a game that will be remembered for the Dallas comeback and a catch by New York Giants rookie receiver Odell Beckham Jr. that some are considering the best in NFL history.
Romo capped a game-winning, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 1:01 to play and the Cowboys set the stage for a NFC East first-place showdown with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving Day by beating the Giants 31-28 on Sunday night.
"He's one of a handful that you have a chance to take it down the field like that," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after Cowboys (8-3) moved into a first-place tie with Philadelphia. "You don't think that with most of the other quarterbacks. I thought he would tonight."
Actually, Romo made it look easy against a Giants defense that has ranked among the worst in the league all season and failed to put any pressure on him in the final drive. On the game-winning throw, Romo stood in the pocket untouched for about 6 or 7 seconds before finding Bryant, who caught two of his four touchdown passes.
"You're comfortable being in uncomfortable situations - if that makes sense," Romo said after leading his 23rd fourth-quarter comeback and third this season. "That comes through having been through it, experienced it, and then having to go out and figure out a way to win. Once you do that a few times, you start to kind of get that feeling and the team can believe in that."
Now come the Eagles, a 43-24 winner over Tennessee.
"Everybody knows that we won tonight, but when we land in Dallas, that game no longer matters," said Bryant.
The loss was the sixth straight for the Giants (3-8) and ended their hopes of winning the NFC East with five games to go.
The bright spot has been Beckham. No one on either team would stop talking about his one-handed catch of a 43-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning in the second quarter, which gave New York a 14-3 lead.
Beckham's right hand was fully extended in almost a backstroke motion while his legs were almost perpendicular to the field when he caught ball and fell into the end zone.
"That catch? Outstanding! I was like OOF! Some of my work," Bryant said.
Beckham, who had a career-high 10 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns, conceded it was his best catch in a game.
"I hope it is not the greatest catch because with time I hope I can make more," said Beckham, who practices one-hand catches all the time. "It really means nothing. You still go home at the end of the day with a loss, and that's just not a good feeling."
The Giants put themselves in position to win the game when Eli Manning hit third-string tight end Adrien Robinson with a 1-yard TD pass with 3:00 to play to give New York a 28-24 lead.
All the defense had to do was hold. It couldn't, or at least Romo refused to be stopped.
Some things learned from the Cowboys win over the Giants:
NO STOPPING MURRAY: League rushing leader DeMarco Murray posted his 10th 100-yard game this season with 121 on 24 carries. The Cowboys running back has rushed for 1,354 yards.
MORE BECKHAM: Beckham's catch was the talk of the internet. There were photos and tons of comments including this one from LeBron James: "Man I just witnessed the greatest catch ever possibly by Odell Beckham Jr! WOW!!!!"
ELI'S NIGHT: A week after throwing five interceptions in a loss to San Francisco, Eli Manning had a good game, finishing 29 of 40 for 338 yards, three touchdowns and a 112.3 quarterback rating. The problem was he had an interception, a bad throw to an open Preston Parker deep in Dallas territory that safety Barry Church returned 45 yards to set up a go-ahead, 31-yard touchdown pass to Bryant for a 24-21 lead.
COWBOYS DEFENSE: Dallas made some second-half adjustments and limited the Giants to one touchdown and 180 yards, with most of that coming on the TD drive.
GIANTS O-LINE: The Giants shuffled their offensive line, putting Geoff Schwartz at right tackle for the injured Justin Pugh (quad) and starting Adam Snyder at left guard for rookie Weston Richburg, who started the first 10 games. While Manning might have had a little more time to throw, the running game only netted 89 yards. Snyder left the game with a knee injury in the second half and Richburg finished. Schwartz was playing for the first time this season, having missed the first 10 games with a toe injury.