A week after they were embarrassed by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants bounced back on Sunday afternoon thanks to an opportune defense, and a 100-yard kick return by Dwayne Harris in a 27-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys at the Meadowlands.
The Giants forced four turnovers against the Cowboys who were starting their third quarterback this season in journeyman Matt Cassel, who was overthrowing in key spots all afternoon. In fact the turnovers were not only huge for the Giants, they proved to be deadly for Dallas.
With the Cowboys leading 13-10 entering the third quarter, Cassel was picked off by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who brought it back to the house from 58-yards out to put Big Blue in front 17-13.
On the next Dallas drive, Cassel heaved one down the sideline for Terrance Williams at the Giants 1-yard line, but the quarterback found Brandon Meriweather instead, who came up with the interception. Eli Manning would answer with a 44-yard completion to a streaking Ruben Randall to spot the ball at mid field. The Giants would settle for a field goal, and a 20-13 lead.
Cassel would throw one more costly interception, this time at the start of the fourth quarter on first and 15 at the Giants 39 yard line, killing another Dallas drive.
However, after the Giants answered with a three-and-out, Cassel and running back Darren McFadden started to pick apart the Giants defense on a nine play 80-yard drive that ate up nearly five minutes. Cassel hit two big passes at the end of the drive, one from 21-yards out to Williams to the Giants 25 yard line. Then a 25-yard strike to the corner of the end zone to Devin Street for six points, tying the game at 20.
Turns out, however, the Giants didn't need Eli Manning to bail them out like he did against San Francisco two weeks prior. On the ensuing kick-off Dwayne Harris took it the distance from 100-yards out for the winning score.
The loss was crushing for a Dallas team that outplayed the Giants in every facet of the game. The Cowboys held the football for 38 minutes, had gained 460 yards and converted 27 first downs, compared to the Giants 13. McFadden really hurt the Giants on the ground with 152 yards rushing and one score. Eli Manning completed only 13 passes in 24 attempts for 170 yards. The victory was Tom Coughlin's 100th regular season win as Giants coach, tying Steve Owen as the only Giants' coaches to amass 100 regular season wins.