EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Even though they got help from the Giants , Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys took this pivotal game and all but buried New York’s slim hopes of making the playoffs.
Romo threw two touchdowns and led a drive that set up Dan Bailey’ 35-yard field goal on the final play as the Cowboys won 24-21 Sunday, ending the Giants’ four-game winning streak and denying them a place in NFL history.
The victory moved the Cowboys (6-5) into a first-place tie with idle Philadelphia in the NFC East with five games left. It left the Giants (4-7) wondering about what they gave away in two losses to Dallas.
Romo hit two third-down passes on the 14-play drive that covered the final 4:45 after New York tied the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Louis Murphy Jr., and a 2-point conversion run by Andre Brown.
Romo hit Jason Witten on TDs of 20 and 2 yards, and Dallas got a defensive touchdown on a 50-yard fumble return by Jeff Heath.
The Giants, seeking to become the second NFL team to win five straight after losing the first six, rallied over the past month to get into position to challenge for a playoff spot. They knew this was a must-win game because they had lost to Dallas in the season opener after turning over the ball six times.
They also knew the Cowboys were facing questions after a blowout loss to New Orleans before a bye week.
Romo and his team answered them at the end of a week in which owner Jerry Jones said coach Jason Garrett would return next season.
True to form, New York tried another comeback after falling behind 21-6 in the third quarter.
But Romo took it from the Giants on the final drive that started at the Dallas 20 on a cold and blustery day. He hit Dez Bryant on a 19-yard pass on third-and-8 and added throws of 17 yards to Miles Austin and 13 to Cole Beasley, the latter on third-and-10 from the New York 28.
With the wind howling, a long field goal would have been tough. Instead, that play gave Dallas a first down at the 15 and Bailey converted after Romo took a couple of kneel-downs.
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