The numbers don’t lie. One play by Odell Beckham gave the Giants their second victory over the red-hot Cowboys by a total of just four points.
That means until they meet again, which could definitely be in the playoffs in January, the Giants have the Cowboys’ number in 2016: Dallas has lost two games, both to the Giants.
In the season opener in Dallas back on Sept. 11, the Giants won, 20-19 and then Sunday night they beat them 10-7 in an ugly offensive game. In between, the Cowboys won 11 straight games.
Instead of whining, which they’ve been doing a lot of in the last week, the Giants got back to winning.
They prevented the Cowboys from clinching the NFC East in their house and closed to within two games of Dallas, with the tie-breaker edge, with three games to play. They also kept their spot as the No. 1 wild card with all the other contenders winning earlier Sunday.
The Cowboys have to be wondering why they can’t beat the Giants when they’ve beaten everybody else.
“It feels great,” linebacker Jonathan Casillas said. “So-called best team in the league, they got two losses, they are both to the New York Football Giants. They get to say that. I like when they say it. Who did you guys lose to? They lost to the Giants.”
The Giants offense had another miserable game, but was bailed out by what Beckham is calling a “championship defense.” Even so, it was Beckham’s 61-yard catch and run off a simple slant pattern for the Giants’ only touchdown with 1:07 left in the third quarter that won the game.
Beckham had dropped a long pass from Eli Manning at the Dallas 3-yard line in the first half and then dropped a shorter pass in the third quarter when he tried to run before he secured the ball.
“Way too many drops,” Beckham said. “Way too many plays missed out on.”
Along the way, he had a talk with himself.
“I told myself you need to wake up, I don’t know what’s going on with you, but you are on auto pilot,” Beckham said. “Whatever the case may be, you’re not out here affecting the game. You’re not out here doing anything. That bothers me. That eats me up.”
Beckham lined up on the left side and lost Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr as he cut to the middle. He grabbed Manning’s pass and streaked to the right sideline. Carr was right on him, but Beckham showed amazing separation speed and raced Carr 55 yards to the end zone.
“Just caught a slant, tried to hit a gear and I didn’t even have to look back. I could feel somebody running,” Beckham said. “Carr was running as fast as anybody I ever felt chasing me. I had to hit another gear. Hamstrings got a little tight. It was a real race. I really had to run.”
Did OBJ even known he had that gear?
“I know it was in there, but I didn’t know how to hit it,” he said. “It’s called fight or flight. It’s just instinct. He made me dig. I love competing against him. It’s very hard to beat him. He’s a bigger, strong corner. I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
Two years ago, Beckham made that spectacular three-finger catch on a Sunday night against the Cowboys that made him a star. But it didn’t prevent the Giants’ sixth straight loss in a 6-10 season. The touchdown this time won the game. He is lethal on the slant. If he gets a step, he can’t be caught.
Janoris Jenkins makes Dez Bryant a non-factor, holding him to one catch on nine targets.
“That dude has caught so many slants and taken them 50 some yards,” Casillas said. “I’ve never seen a receiver do that. He catches a five- or six-yard pass and takes it 60-70 yards almost every time. It’s almost insane.”
It’s been a complete flip-flop for the Giants in the last year. The offense has struggled all season, but the defense, with its $200 million makeover, has been carrying the team. This was a quality victory after the Giants’ six-game winning streak against inferior competition was stopped last week in Pittsburgh.
The defense prevented Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott from doing any damage. He was only 17-of-37. Dez Bryant was shut down by Jackrabbit Jenkins, who caught as many balls as Bryant: One. Jenkins picked off Prescott and Bryant fumbled the only pass he caught in nine targets.
The Giants were able to get to 9-4 despite a poor performance by Manning. He lost two fumbles and threw an interception. The offense made just one play – the touchdown by Beckham. When the Giants got the ball with three minutes left and a three-point lead, they went three-and-out and the Cowboys took over after the Giants took just 21 seconds off the clock.
Following Bryant’s fumble, Rashad Jennings ran three times for seven yards and the Giants had to punt again, this time taking 1:06 off the clock. If the Giants can’t close out games, it puts all the pressure on the defense.
“I want the defense to be sitting there, eating candy, untying their shoes, know that this offense has this game in control and they don’t even have to go back on the field,” Beckham said. “It’s something we are working on. It’s a process. It will come together at the right time. I really believe it.’
The whining is over for now. Last week, Beckham complained about the officials. The Giants alerted the league office that two of the Steelers footballs they tested came in under the 12.5 PSI minimum requirement.
The numbers say it all. One play by Beckham. Two victories over Dallas. The Giants are in good shape to make the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News