EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- After the New York Giants' touchdown and two-point conversion tied the game at 21-21, and Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys got the ball at their own 20-yard line with 4:45 left in the game, there was surely a segment of the football-watching populace that was expecting Romo to make a mistake that cost his team the game. The Giants were not part of that segment.
"Romo's a good quarterback," Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. "And he showed that again today."
Romo would convert three third downs on the final drive of Sunday's game, moving the ball all the way to the Giants' 16-yard line and setting up Dan Bailey for the game-winning field goal as time expired. It was a 14-play drive that covered 64 yards and likely ended all of the Giants' remaining hopes of recovering from their 0-6 start to make the playoffs.
Tuck said after the game that he was surprised the Giants' defense played coverage on the final drive rather than trying to pressure Romo. Especially with starting cornerback Trumaine McBride out with a groin injury and Antrel Rolle rolling all over the place in and out of different positions, the Giants seemed vulnerable back there. And Romo seemed to know that. Instead of running the ball to bleed the clock once the Cowboys got into field-goal range, Romo threw it twice to get closer. On second-and-10 from the 28, he threw deep down the middle to Dez Bryant, who appeared to catch the ball only to have it pop out as he hit the ground. The pass was ruled incomplete, but Romo went right back deep to Cole Beasley on third-and-10, connecting for 13 yards. A couple of kneel-downs got the clock down to four seconds, and Bailey was true from 35 yards to seal the win as time ran out.