Giants Hold 13-7 Lead Over Cowboys at Half

13 days ago Sports Illustrated

The injury-depleted New York Giants, missing three-fifths of their starting offensive line and both starting cornerbacks, were supposed to be no match for the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas.  

Except no one told the Giants that, as New York jumped out to a 13-7 lead over their division rivals during their Thanksgiving meeting down in Arlington.

The Cowboys ended up outgaining the Giants in the first half, 208 to 160 yards, but the differences in this game were the penalties (seven by Dallas, four by the Giants) and the turnovers (two to zero).  

The Giants got on the board first after Dallas, on their opening drive, failed to convert on 4th-and-2 when former Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith stuffed Ezekiel Elliott. 

The Giants, who put forth a promising drive that reached the Cowboys' 17-yard line at one point, began to go backward. Quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked for a 7-yard line by Dorance Armstrong. 

The Giants also had a 24-yard touchdown catch by Isaiah Hodgins nullified by a penalty against right tackle Tyre Phillips for being ineligible downfield. The final nail in the Giants' quest for a touchdown came when Jones was called for intentional grounding on 3rd-and-22 at the Cowboys' 29-yard line, which pushed the ball back to the 39-yard line. 

From there, the Giants settled for a 57-yard field goal by Graham Gano for the game's first points. The field goal tied the record for the longest field goal in Giants history.

The Giants' lead was short-lived as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott capped off an 11-play, 93-yard scoring drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Cowboys a 7-3 lead. The drive, which saw Dallas go three-for-three on third down, saw Elliott with two runs for 25 yards and a big 25-yard completion from Prescott to receiver CeeDee Lamb.

The Giants answered with a touchdown of their own, a 1-yard run by Saquon Barkley, which followed a beautiful 44-yard reception by receiver Darius Slayton to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive.

That deep pass completion by Jones was his first completion of 40+ air yards this season, according to ESPN StatsInfo.

The Giants snuffed out a late-first-half scoring drive by the Cowboys when safety Julian Love came up with New York's second INT of the game, this one on a pass by Prescott intended for CeeDeeLamb up the middle on third down. 

The Giants, playing seven defensive backs on the play, got the ball back on their 27-yard line with 1:50 to go in the half. The Giants avoided catastrophe when Jones's interception was nullified by an illegal contact penalty called against the Cowboys to give the Giants a fresh set of downs.

The Giants increased their lead at the half to 13-7 on Gano's 47-yard field goal.

Earlier in the game, cornerback Rodarius Wiliams getting the start with Adoree' Jackson and Fabian Moreau both inactive, came up with his first career interception, the Giants' 13th takeaway of the season and just their third interception this year. Williams picked off a Prescott pass intended for receiver Michael Gallup.

Daniel Jones went nine of 17 for 123 yards and was sacked just once in the first half. Running back Saquon Barkley had 29 yards on eight carries, and receiver Darius Slayton had 58 yards on two receptions, including his big 44-yarder. Safety Julian Love leads the defense with seven tackles, five solos.

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