IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants wanted to find out Sunday which of them looked ready to challenge for supremacy in the NFC East.
The Cowboys won, but the answer to the bigger question might be neither.
Dallas committed four turnovers, missed two field goals and allowed a tying touchdown with 19 seconds left, yet overcame it all with a 45-yard field goal by Jose Cortez on the opening drive of overtime for a 16-13 victory over the Giants.
“I feel pretty fortunate,” Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said.
Coming off a throttling victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas gave New York every chance to put this game away.
But Eli Manning and the Giants couldn’t do it. They trailed 7-6 midway through the third quarter after the Cowboys had already committed all of their turnovers. Then New York started giving the ball away: four turnovers in five drives.
Keeping with the game’s theme, the Cowboys wasted their chances, too. Manning wound up throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey that forced overtime.
Dallas won the overtime coin toss and never gave the ball back. Bledsoe moved the Cowboys 51 yards in eight plays and Cortez made it pay off, giving them consecutive victories for the first time this season — and first place in the NFC East.
“It was luck, totally luck,” Dallas receiver Keyshawn Johnson said. “We’re entitled to have a bad game and still win, at least once.”
The flip side was felt in the New York locker room.
“This feels like a blown opportunity,” defensive end Michael Strahan said. “We should’ve won.”
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