It took six turnovers by Eli Manning and the Giants, resulting in a fumble and an interception being returned for touchdowns to propel the ‘Pokes to victory, but the win sent 85,348 Dallas fans home happy. For New York, though it was a bitter pill to swallow, the last two times they lost in Dallas they ended up winning the Super Bowl.
Dallas has high hopes for the season, but there is still concern about the mediocre offensive line that subjected quarterback Tony Romo to three major hits during the game. The worst of those hits was a violent shot to his ribs. He was only out for one play after the hit, but did appear to be hurting at times during the remainder of the contest.
There is no doubt since defense wins championships, the arrival of longtime NFL defensive guru Monte Kiffen is the major reason Dallas got the win Sunday night. The 3-4 run by former fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was replaced by the 4-3 and paid huge dividends against the Giants. Dallas managed only 16 turnovers during the ENTIRE 2012 season.
Coach Jason Garrett was proud of his team when he faced the media after the game. “We know that team; they know us, it’s a great challenge for us any time we play them—our place, their place, parking lot. It’s going to be 60 minutes. We emphasize that with our team, and that’s just the nature of this league. Obviously, the turnovers are the story of this game, and we took it away from them six times. It’s been a huge emphasis for us from minute one, and it’s a great feeling as a coaching staff when your players are able to take that emphasis from the playing field into the ball game to start the season. That was the difference in the ball game, and I thought our players did a great job of what you need to do to win ball games early in the season.”
We asked Tony Romo how big a win it was to finally beat the Giants in Arlington for the first time. “I don’t think you’re thinking about that. More than anything you’re just thinking about getting a win to start the season, and that game one’s an important game and that’s a good football team and has been a good football team for a long time and they’ve obviously had success over the last 5 or 6 years.”
Romo also praised the fans in attendance at the game as he was finishing his post-game presser. “That was as good as I’ve seen our home stadium. The crowd was, you know, exceptional. They were outstanding from the moment it started till the end of the football game. I think if they continue to do that it’s going to be a tough place to play and I was just real excited about the way that they brought the energy and the noise level throughout that football game. That was awesome to see, so give them credit.”
There is no doubt the win WAS big for the revamped Cowboys, but fans remember that last year Dallas went to the Meadowlands and also defeated the Giants in game 1, only to end up at 8-8 once again and miss the playoffs. Hopefully, that won’t be the case this year, but they have a lot of tough games to play during the remainder of the new season. The challenge continues this Sunday when they go to Kansas City to face former Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid and the much-improved Chiefs.