The New York Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys 29-24 in Dallas Sunday evening. It was a game that saw the Giants blow a 23 point lead, allowing 24 unanswered points. Once again, the Giants inability to find the end zone was an issue, one that came within a Dez Bryant pinky finger of blowing up in their faces.
The Giants were forced to settle for five field goals and their offense only scored one touchdown, a 1-yard scamper by Andre Brown. The Giants inability to move the ball resulted in the Giants defense seemingly staying out on the field for a large part of the game.
The Cowboys ran 83 plays compared to the Giants 58 and also won the time of possession battle 32:18 to 27:42. The Giants defense was never able to really catch their breath as the Giants failed to sustain drives, or were handed short fields by turnovers from their defense.
Tony Romo threw the ball 62 times and three of his receivers, Jason Witten, Miles Austin, and Bryant, all had over 100 yards receiving. Witten set a Cowboys record with 18 catches. If it weren’t for the turnovers this game wouldn’t have been close as the Cowboys would have decimated the Giants on the scoreboard.
The fact that Eli Manning and the Giants offense couldn’t get anything going inside their opponent’s 30-yard line has been a problem at times this season. Lawrence Tynes has already attempted 21 field goals. Last season he attempted only 24. Right now he is on pace to shatter his career high of 33, set with the Kansas City Chiefs. Tynes has not attempted more than 32 field goals as a Giant and is on pace to attempt 42 field goals.
The Giants need to finish their drives with touchdowns, not field goals. Had they been able to do that they would have won this game running away. Instead, the Cowboys were able to wear down the Giants secondary and inch themselves back into the game, taking a 24-23 lead into the 4th quarter.
The Giants offense was bailed out time and time again by timely turnovers and key stops by the Giants defense that bent but didn’t break, although almost did with :06 seconds left in the game after Dez Bryant was ruled out of bounds by a pinky finger.
If the Giants hope to defend their Super Bowl championship they will need to get into the end zone. Whether it is a tweak of the playbook inside the red zone or just someone stepping up, something needs to change. There is no way the Giants repeat if they enter the playoffs still suffering from these same problems.
The New York Giants offense is, without a doubt, a high-powered machine. However, it seems to sputter like an engine on bad gas when it nears the red zone and that needs to change.