Memo to Cowboys Fans – How ‘BOUT Them Cowboys: Before I get into my game story of the New York Giants triumphant 21-17 victory over the Dallas Cowgirls (I Mean, boys), let me just send emphatically (or in a comforting way, however you want to perceive it) some words to help out the faithful fans of “America’s Team” in mourning a tough, tough, emotional loss (listen by clicking on the audio link below for more), I just what to be a part of the aid in the process of recovery for the fans of this team and somewhat ease the defeat (so-close) handed out by Tom Coughlin’s Crew (what a tragedy to get knocked out so early).
By the way, I am so sorry Terrell Owens (seriously), I really do feel for you and your pain, along with your QB and precious teammate Tony Romo (not so much). I hope this will guide all y’all Dallas fans in overcoming a heartbreaking playoff loss (1 & DONE) to the Big Apple’s Finest (G-Men). I advise y’all to please grab an extra Kleenex box(es) to work and don’t forget for one bit during the day that your team has not won a single Playoff game since 1996 (insert… time for MORE TISSUE Paper)! Make sure you bring more than enough Kleenex just in case you run out of it, and have a nice, long off-season, in which it will more than likely take y’all the whole period to get over Sunday’s debacle to the rival New York Giants!
Thank you for participating in this year’s Postseason Mr. Jerry Jones (I like how you showed up at the end on the sidelines) and Coach Wade or Bum “0-4” Phillips (Thanks for having your team not show up since the win against Green Bay in Week 13)! Don’t take the loss too seriously, I hope y’all had a nice, short visit and exciting Playoff experience, please do come again! Enjoy a very long vacation!
Let’s Talk About Eli Manning and put Tony Romo on the Shelf: Before we can start calling Tony Romo the next Troy Aikman or Roger Staubach (How Many Playoff Games has he won again… Zero!!!), let’s take a deep breath and issue Eli Manning some props here and give him the credit he is due! Eli deserved the blame way back when his team was blown out by Minnesota in Week 12 (41-17), when he threw four passes received by the Vikings, including three which were returned en route to the end zone! That truly was the low point of his professional career and the team’s season.
So, Eli’s had his typical young QB bump(s) in the road (which every QB goes through), as it has been a road for him that’s been travelled more rocky than smooth, controversial than simple, crooked than straight, and one criticized more than applauded for this former Rebel during his short-lived NFL career, but I find that it’s crystal clear and evident that the adventurous road taken from being selected first overall in the ’03 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers to now an established signal caller with two playoff victories under his belt for the New York Giants, this unusual journey from boo-birds to now cheers, albeit some “bronx” cheers back home in the Big Apple, Eli has handled the pressure better than anyone I’ve seen for a QB that has been dished helping after helping upon more amount of criticism from fans, media, reporters, and teammates (yes, that’s you Tiki Barber) more than any other QB than I can recall.
From that day of donning the Bolts jersey standing on stage next to Commissioner Paul Tagliabue sporting his new team’s hat on with a look that was far from a smile, as far as San Diego is from New York, Eli has went from being hated almost everywhere for that selfish act/cop out in which he and his Father Archie pleaded a way out of SD to the Big Apple, to where he is now found focused in leading a Giants squad that has a shot to go to Super Bowl XLII if they can take care of Brett Favre’s Green Bay Packers. You certainly have to wonder if this Ole Miss product has finally gotten through the up’s and down’s, if he is now able to see beyond his miscues, mistakes, errors, being able to put behind that one-of-a-kind Draft Day, and is he now away from and out of the scrutiny and excruciating national spotlight filled with lots of duress, is he now able to become the QB that Mel Kiper Jr. and so many Draft experts and analysts projected him to be, or is this just a temporary, momentary success in Eli’s career, a time and point in which he has peaked and climbed so far up the tall, extremely high mountain of success, a place in which he may not be able to reach that point again, as he drifts back to a shell of his old self, going back to being that QB that never lived up to his full potential, expectations and hype in New York as Peyton’s older brother?
No matter what they say, Eli has made a believer out of me and his performance magnifies and reflects the type of player he can be and will be, as he is a QB that can win the big game and lead a team to the Super Bowl. I think the “real” Eli and the one you will continue to see throughout the years he continues to suit up in the NFL has been spotted in this postseason’s play and you are seeing just a glimpse of what this kid’s all about, so remember the next time you or someone else compares Eli to Tony, Eli is a winner in the playoffs, Romo is not, and that’s all that matters and counts for anything in this league. I think the “real” Romo has been revealed and it’s now time to give Eli what’s been a long time coming to him – his due, and your congrats should go out to him as it looks like he is taking his game to a whole different level, so give him some props – not that he cares anyways after all the talk of him being a bust, as he makes his way from subpar to elite, from taken advantaged of (defenses) to now taking advantage (skills), and from loser to winner – for now that’s what Eli is – a winner, but most importantly – a LEADER!
New York Giants Prevail, Winning Close in the End: New York found a way to stop the potent and at one time, unstoppable Dallas offense by getting to Romo and the Cowboys in the 2nd half. The G-Men finished off the ‘boys in a thrilling 21-17 victory that showed Eli separating himself from Tony, a more balanced approach from the men in Blue, and a defense that cannot be taken lightly anymore, flexing their muscles as the Giants proved they belong with the best in the NFL. NY started off hot taking a 7-0 lead with an Eli Manning TD strike to veteran WR Amani Toomer, being the first of two times that the duo would connect in the end zone. While Dallas countered back with a Romo to Owens score and a Marion Barber run for six just before halftime, it seemed the same song, just a different verse, with the Giants destined to fall short once again to their hated rivals for the third consecutive time this season. With a halftime deficit facing them straight in the eye, Eli and Co. would not let the same result occur, as they finished off the half with a seven-play, 71-yard march down the field resulting in a 14-14 tie, while quieting the sellout crowd from Irving before going to break. The drive took just 46 seconds and it ended in impressive fashion as the Giants said it was the turning point of the game, punctuating with an Amani Tommer TD and capping off a close first two quarters of play.
“That was a big momentum swing right there,” guard Chris Snee said. “To get down the field the way we did, it gave us a completely different feeling coming in here. We were expecting field goal, but a touchdown is a hell of a drive.
“It was an unbelievable part of the game.”
“They were expecting us to roll over,” said Toomer, who had four catches for 80 yards and two TDs. “If we went three-and-out or knelt down, then they would have came out in the second half with the ball and they would have thought everything was going to go smoothly.
“I think they underestimated us,” Toomer added. “They didn’t respect us. That’s one thing you don’t want to do in this league. Everybody can play. They beat us twice and if you do that, you feel like you own them. I don’t think they’ll admit it.”
Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce said the drive changed the whole outcome of the contest and paved the way to a stunning finish for the Giants’ ninth straight road win.
“That’s our quarterback right there,” Pierce said of Manning. “He takes all the heat in the world. He takes more criticism than the president, but that shows you a lot about that guy. We had our heads down after that long drive and they (the offense) came right down and answered.”
Manning said the drive awakened the Giants again.
“We didn’t have a whole lot going our way,” Manning said. “To get a touchdown on that drive was a big momentum builder for our team.”
Rookies Steve Smith (WR, USC), Ahmad Bradshaw (RB, Marshall), and Kevin Boss (TE, W.Oregon) all played key, pivotal roles in helping New York take care of Dallas, as the team had to deal with its fair share of injuries, answering the call for help with depth (back-ups were important) and talent from the draft. In the final 15 minutes of the battle at Texas Stadium, Brandon Jacobs scored the only points in the 4th with a TD run that was followed up by an enthusiastic celebration of throwing the football at the play clock. Jacobs and Bradshaw helped offset Marion Barber’s strong performance and the Giants won the time of possession in the 4th quarter. Preserving a 4-point lead, NY went to different blitz packages to create havoc on Romo and to a familiar source of production late in the game, going to their reliable pass rushing sack artist Osi Umenyiora.
Instead of letting Romo have all day back in the pocket like he is accsutomed to, the Giants knew they had to switch up the game plan, even though they were undermanned in the defensive backfield. Getting to the QB at will everydown, NY fiound themselves in the Dallas’ backfield breathing into Romo’s face at the end of each play. Exclusively being more aggressive on defense, NY won the game by doing what most teams all year could not do – frustrating a usually accurate Tony Romo. R.W. McQuarters sealed the deal with an interception in the end zone and a NY secondary led by unheralded Corey Webster got the job done in what turned out to be the second upset of the day. The Giants won this game because they played a defense that forced Romo to hurry, they played an offense game that was turnover-free, and they played 60 minutes from start to finish, leaving everything they had on the field in one of the most intense games of the NFL season.
New York was balanced enough on Sunday to win, but will they have enough offensive firepower to hang with the Packers high-powered offensive attack (heard this before…) that will have to be contained by a new and revitalized, improved and hungry defensive unit that shut down Dallas in the 2nd half It will be answered Sunday Nite in Lambeau and you have to wonder if the Giants have enough gas left in the tank, but you will not wonder if they are good enough, whether it be on offense or defense – because Coach Coughlin has this team on a mission, as he leads a fired-up squad that believes enough that they will be in Glendale February 4th to represent the NFC!