When the Giants and Cowboys met in Week One last season, the Giants blew a six-point lead in the final 94 seconds of the game to lose by a point.
They found themselves in a similar position this season, but they got a better result. Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams failed to get out of bounds after picking up a first down in the final seconds. Rather than getting Dan Bailey a long try to win the game with a field goal, the clock ran out on a 20-19 Giants victory that ended a five-year losing streak in season openers.
The winning points came with another welcome change from last season. Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a three-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to take the lead. It was Cruz’s first touchdown since Week Three of the 2014 season and the return of his salsa dance was reason for celebrate for the Giants.
It had been a fitful offensive half for the Giants after they moved the ball quickly for two first half touchdowns and Eli Manning opened the third quarter with an interception that allowed the Cowboys to grab the lead. Ezekiel Elliott scored his first NFL touchdown to mark a highlight on a day that otherwise saw him find little running room against the Giants’ front.
That lack of running room left a lot for Dak Prescott to do in his first regular season outing. The fourth-round pick was 25-of-45 for 227 yards, but was never able to connect with Dez Bryant for big plays down the field. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had a couple of good plays in coverage on Bryant, who ended the day with just one catch for eight yards as the Giants forced the rest of the Cowboys to beat them.
They couldn’t pull it off, dropping them to 1-14 in games without Tony Romo since Romo became the starter. On the other side, Ben McAdoo is now 1-0 as Giants coach and his team exorcised one demon from last year by holding on to win a game in the final minutes.