Live Commentary: Dallas Cowboys 36-31 New York Giants - as it happened

Live Commentary: Dallas Cowboys 36-31 New York Giants - as it happened
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Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the NFC East clash between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants faced off in the first NFC East clash of the season at AT & T Stadium.

The rivalry was renewed but the Cowboys' defense was in control from the first play as they forced the Giants into six turnovers.

Tony Romo guided his side to their first victory of the season despite Giants quarterback Eli Manning throwing four touchdowns on the night.

To see how all the action unfolded, check out our commentary below.


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1.03amGood morning and welcome to the live coverage of the NFC East clash between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

1.06amWe should be set for an entertaining clash between two fierce rivals in the NFC East as they lock horns at A & T Stadium.

1.09amBoth of teams are steeped in history but both missed the playoffs last season, as they made way for the Washington Redskins.

1.12amAs a result both have made changes. The Cowboys parted ways with defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and brought in Monte Kiffin from college side USC, but they also handed a huge contract extension to quarterback Tony Romo.

1.14amThat news came as a surprise despite his decent form last year as he threw for 31 touchdowns for only 10 interceptions. However, he has only won one playoff game during his six years as the starting quarterback and is known for his lapses in big games.

1.16amOn the plus side for Romo, he does have of the best wide receivers in the game in the form of Dez Bryant. The 24-year-old had a breakout year as he caught 12 touchdowns and had 1,382 receiving yards. A lot is expected of him this season. Indeed former Cowboy and now Hall of Famer, Michael Irvin, believes that he could be a candidate for the MVP award.

1.20amOn the other side of the ball, it should be interesting to see how the home side fare with their change in scheme under Kiffin. They two outstanding players, in the form, of DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee. Ware will always be in and around the quarterback from his spot as defensive end, while Lee is a tacking machine.

1.22amLooking at the Giants, and they had a down year last season after winning the Super Bowl in 2011. Manning had one of his iffy years, which he is capable of having as he has yet to nail down consistency to his game, which would put him in the higher echelon of quarterbacks in the game.

1.25amSurprisingly, they were very poor defensively as they had the 31st ranked defense in the 2012 season. Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul had a bad year after notching 16 sacks in 2011, whereas he notched only six after being struck down by injury.

1.26amInjuries have been the story of the Giants pre-season as they are already without starters Stevie Brown and Andre Brown, while Pierre-Paul is batting back from back surgery.

1.29amThe Cowboys have won the toss and have deferred, so Eli Manning will be out any second with his offense.

Q1 15:00Bailey kicks off and David Wilson takes a knee in the endzone. Manning will start on the 20.

Q1 14:54INTERCEPTION DALLAS!!

Q1 14:54Ware intercepts the first pass of the game as Manning tries to throw a screen to Wilson but the defensive end sniff it out and snags the ball. Dallas will get the ball on the 18.

Q1 13:09The Giants make an excellent defensive stand as DeMarco Murray is held by some solid tackling by Antrel Rolle, while Romo throws incomplete on third down looking for Murray again.

Q1 13:04FIELD GOAL DALLAS!!! The Cowboys get off the mark for the season as Bailey hits a 30-yard field goal through the posts.

Q1 12:53The Giants start at their 20 again, but this time it's much better from Manning as he hits Hakeem Nicks on a post route and he takes the ball 55 yards before he's brought down.

Q1 12:23Manning gets another first down with a big completion on third down as he finds Reuben Randle for 12 yards to set up first and goal on the Dallas eight.

Q1 12:16FUMBLE!!!

Q1 12:16It's not going well for the Giants so far as David Wilson fumbles the ball on the seven. He fumbled on his debut against Dallas last year and he's done it again. Oh dear! A good play from safety Barry Church to rip the ball from him.

Q1 10:37It's a three and out for the Cowboys as Romo misses a throw for Bryant on first, and can't muster anything on second. On third he throws short for tight end Jason Witten but he can't make the distance for the first down. A punt from Chris Jones puts the Giants on the 45.

Q1 10:09Wilson is out of the doghouse and returns with a nice run out on the left as he picks up a first down. That's 14 yards in my book, no Dallas player was anywhere near him for the 10 of those.

Q1 8:50INTERCEPTION DALLAS!!

Q1 8:50Another pick for the Dallas defense as Manning overthrows Nicks and the ball flies straight into the hands of Will Allen, who runs to the 48 before he's pushed out of bounds. What a terrible start for Manning and the Giants, that's three turnovers in the opening six minutes of their season.

Q1 8:34Dallas get rolling straight away as Murray gets the ball and he gets eight yards before he's hit by Rolle, however, he takes him for a ride and picks up the first down. Great running from the former Oklahoma back.

Q1 7:42Another first down this time it's through the air as Romo throughs a quick slant to Miles Austin, who beats Prince Amukamara in coverage, after another Murray run had picked up six on the ground.

Q1 5:34Dallas are rolling, another first down. Romo does well this time as he avoids the rush and finds Witten, who runs a curl route and powers over Rolle to set his side up on the 16.

Q1 4:00INTERCEPTION NEW YORK!!!

Q1 4:00What is going on here!! Romo on third down looks for rookie Terrance Williams but he runs the wrong route and the pass is intercepted by Ryan Mundy, who runs the ball all the way back to one-yard line before he gets tackled by Murray hustling back.

Q1 2:36FIELD GOAL NEW YORK!!

Q1 2:36Josh Brown kicks the Giants level after Dallas make a goalline stand. Wilson was well stopped on first by a swarming Cowboys D, then George Selvie came up big with a sack of Manning. On third, Manning found tight Brandon Myers, but Lee and Bruce Carter stopped him short of the endzone.

Q1 1:07It's fair to say this opening quarter has been mad. Somehow it's 3-3, how, we'll never know.

Q1 0:32Dallas take a timeout at three and one, after Austin hauls in pass from Romo and is tackled just short of the first down marker by Amukamara. Some thinking for the Dallas brain trust here. Some advice, don't throw a pick.

Q1 0:24Dallas pick up the first down, as Romo finds Bryant for the first time in the game for a seven-yard pickup. That'll be the first quarter over and done with. That was mad!!

Q1 0:00END OF FIRST QUARTER: Dallas Cowboys 3-3 New York Giants

Q2 14:15The Cowboys pick up another first, Austin is finding a lot of space, he does again as Romo finds him on a curl route. He quickly changes direction and drives to the 44.

Q2 13:45Romo and Dallas are finding space, this time they pick up they first all through Murray. First he runs for five, then his quarterback finds him on a swing pass for seven more. No problem moving the ball, just need to avoid turnovers.

Q2 11:30More good things from Dallas and Austin, he gets the ball in the flat from Romo and beats Amukamara to power for the first down. Dallas at the 22 now.

Q2 10:07FIELD GOAL DALLAS!!

Q2 10:07Bailey kicks another field goal to give his side the lead from 38 yards, but Dallas struggle yet again in redzone as Murray hits a wall of players twice and on third Romo overthrows Austin in the endzone.

Q2 8:13A three and out for the Giants, which is not what they needed. Manning does well to escape the clutches of Jason Hatcher on third down and scramble for nine yards, after Wilson is stopped on back-to-back plays for no gain. A good punt from Steve Weatherford puts the Cowboys on their 29.

Q2 6:55Dallas again are moving the ball, Romo finds Bryant and Austin for short completions to pick up a first. The Giants are struggling to cover the Dallas wideouts. Romo has thrown for 100 yards so far in this game.

Q2 5:00Another first for the Cowboys as Romo finds Witten on a short pass. Phillip Tanner had gotten away with a fumble previously after he was stripped looking for extra yardage but Gavin Escobar was there to regain the ball.

Q2 3:59This Giants defense is really struggling as they allow the Cowboys to pick up another first down. Murray gets it again on the ground and then through the air. No pressure on Romo and receivers are wide open.

Q2 3:33Witten gets what must be the sixth first down of this drive, as Romo finds him in a ton of space and he moves his side to the 15, with a 21-yard pickup.

Q2 3:02TOUCHDOWN DALLAS!!

Q2 3:02Dallas have their first touchdown of the night as Romo fires a 15-yard strike to Witten in the endzone. The tight end was well covered by Mark Herzlich but he came down with a good catch on his back shoulder. An excellent drive from the Cowboys as Bailey adds the extra point.

Q2 1:50TOUCHDOWN NEW YORK!!

Q2 1:50Oh Dallas! Manning gets his side back into the game with a 70-yard strike to Victor Cruz, who found himself open deep with no-one around, it was a good through and the receiver was left with the simple job of running it in. A definite breakdown in coverage for the Cowboys there. Brown kicks the extra point, three points between the sides again.

Q2 1:37Romo's back into his groove and finds Austin for a 12-yard gain down the right with a crossing pattern. That's Austin's seventh catch of the night, and yet another first down for the Cowboys.

Q2 1:01Another 10 yards goes for the Cowboys as they advance down the field with catches from Austin and Williams. A break in play as Amukamara and Mundy clash heads in a nasty collision.

Q2 0:37Nightmare for Dallas as Romo goes down with an injury. He looks to be in some pain and will have to go off for treatment after taking a hit from Mathias Kiwanuaka. Backup, Kyle Orton comes into the game.

Q2 0:30Drive over for Dallas, as Murray can't get the yardage they needed for the first down, this injury to Romo will concern them a lot more.

Q2 0:00Manning takes a knee to end the half.

Q2 0:00HALF-TIME: Dallas Cowboys 13-10 New York Giants

3.00amWell, that was a mad first-half. A lot of turnovers and poor play, some decent stuff from the Cowboys and some awful defending from them as well. Not to mention, that there $100m quarterback could miss the second-half. Nothing to see here folks.

3.02amTruth be told, Dallas should be far further ahead than the three point margin the currently hold. They've been all over the Giants in the first half as the visitors have been woeful. However, the Cowboys efficiency in the redzone has been poor, which has kept Tom Coughlin's side in it.

3.04amThe Cowboys will be praying that this injury to Romo isn't serious because Kyle Orton is not the answer, as he lost his starting job at the Denver Broncos to Tim Tebow. Not good.

3.06amFrom the Giants perspective, they'll know they can't play much worse than what they did, so they'll see it as a real bonus that they're within striking distance. Coughlin will especially want to thank Allen and Morris Claibourne for forgetting to cover Cruz at the end of the half.

Q3 15:00Romo is back out for the second-half to lead Dallas. Let's see if he's effected by his injury.

Q3 13:27A three and out for the Cowboys and Romo did not look comfortable at all during that drive. He shirked away from a hit from Justin Tuck as he attempted to his Bryant on a deep out.

Q3 12:31TOUCHDOWN DALLAS!!

Q3 12:31OH DEAR!!! Wilson gets stripped of the ball yet again by Nick Hayden and Church picks the ball up and runs it in for the score. That's unforgivable by Wilson, that's the second time he has done that in the game, that could be him done for the night.

Q3 12:25The Giants will start again at the 20 and Wilson has been pulled from the lineup, as Darell Scott replaces him.

Q3 11:00Manning is under so much pressure from the Dallas front four but this time he escapes the clutches of Ware and finds Nicks for a first down with an excellent throw over the middle.

Q3 9:01The drive comes to end as Scott can't get the yard needed to convert on third down, another good stop by the Dallas D. They're being very aggressive at the line of scrimmage and it's paying off for them in this game.

Q3 8:54Romo will start on the 20 but he still doesn't look comfortable.

Q3 7:52A nice pickup on third down for the Cowboys as Romo throws a strike over the middle for a wide open Williams. He gets hauled down at the Dallas 43.

Q3 5:56Romo and Dallas have really lost their zip from the first half. He first fires a pass at the feet of Dwayne Harris, then on second he can only find Austin for three yards, on third Aaron Ross makes a good pass breakup play to stop the ball going to Bryant.

Q3 5:38TURNOVER DALLAS!!

Q3 5:38The ball is not bouncing for the Giants tonight. Jones's punt drops short of Jernigan and hits McBride on the shoulder and Dallas recover on the New York 16. Oh dear, oh dear!!

Q3 5:22Dallas pick up a first down and edge closer to the goalline as Romo hits Harris on a play-action pass and he gets down to the four before he's hauled down.

Q3 5:03TOUCHDOWN DALLAS!!

Q3 5:03Dallas extend their lead with a lovely strike, as the offensive line give Romo all the time in the world to find Witten, who peels of Mundy for the touchdown from four yards. Bailey kicks the extra point and it's a long way back for the Giants now.

Q3 3:32Better from the Giants offense as they manufacture time for Manning and he finds Randle for a first down taking his side into the Dallas half.

Q3 2:26Back-to-back first downs as Manning finds Nicks for 12 yards then goes on the ground to Scott, who drives through the line to pick up another 13. Giants on the Dallas 18.

Q3 1:44TOUCHDOWN NEW YORK!!

Q3 1:44The Giants are back in this one as Manning finds Cruz over the middle and he takes a hit in the air off Allen, but he still drives over the goalline for the score. Brown nails the extra point and it's a 10-point game.

Q3 1:22Dallas are rolling again, as Romo hits Bryant to secure a first down, he beats Ross in the air for the catch and they exchange a few pleasantries after the fact.

Q3 0:39More hard running from Murray picks up four yards and that will be the end of the third quarter.

Q3 0:00END OF THIRD QUARTER: Dallas Cowboys 27-10 New York Giants

Q4 14:33A powerful run from Murray picks up the first down and keeps Dallas moving. Not only are they moving into the dangerzone they are taking time off the clock as well.

Q4 12:10FIELD GOAL DALLAS!!

Q4 12:10Dallas can't convert on third down as Witten is well tackled by Mundy just short of the marker but Bailey comes out and extends their lead with a 45-yard field goal. Giants need a lot to go right in the last 12 minutes.

Q4 10:50Manning's turn to have the hot hand as he finds Randle and Nicks for big gains to drive the Giants into the Dallas half of the field. This is where he thrives in the fourth quarter!

Q4 9:48Two more strikes and the Giants are at the redzone as Manning first finds Randle for a big gain, and he jukes his man before being hauled to the ground and the next play the quarterback hits Myers for a strike for 13 yards at the Dallas 18.

Q4 8:47TOUCHDOWN NEW YORK!!!

Q4 8:47The Giants pull within six of the Cowboys as Manning finds Cruz in the endzone for his third touchdown of the net. Manning lifted a looping pass over the head of Scandrick to the receiver on a fade route, textbook stuff.

Q4 7:52Dallas get a break to get a first down as Ross commits a pass interference penalty on Bryant. That could be huge in this game.

Q4 6:19SACKS!!! The Giants defense comes up big as they sack Romo twice on second and third down, as Linval Joseph and Pierre-Paul bring him down for huge losses. Could this be the start of a comeback.

Q4 5:11No it isn't as the Dallas defense holds firm against Manning and they get a sack of their own as Hatcher comes through the line and brings the quarterback down.

Q4 4:39Murray gets a first down with a big run. Runs are crucial at this stage to kill the clock. Dallas want the give Manning as little time as possible to force a comeback.

Q4 2:49Dallas can't convert on third down as Romo makes a costly decision to pump fake the ball allowing Mundy to close in on Bryant stopping him from getting the first down. Manning has over two minutes to get a touchdown and will start at his own 17.

Q4 2:14Manning picks up a huge first down on third and five as he finds Randle over the middle and he runs all the way to the 49 before he's hauled down. That's the two minute warning. Can Manning get the 24th fourth quarter comeback of his career.

Q4 1:50TOUCHDOWN DALLAS!!!

Q4 1:50Another turnover for the Giants, their sixth of the night and this time it could be game over, as Manning throws his third interception, as he looks for Scott on screen pass and the running back is not looking for the ball and can only flick it into the hands of Brandon Carr, who runs back for the score.

Q4 0:48Manning drives his team down the field into Dallas territory with ease surely, they can't come back from this can they.

Q4 0:18Scott drives the Giants to the four-yard line but wastes a lot of time doing so.

Q4 0:11TOUCHDOWN NEW YORK!!!

Q4 0:11The Giants close the gap to five points as Manning finds Myers in the endzone for a four-yard strike. New York will need to gather an onside kick to have a chance of winning this game, Brown kicks the extra point.

Q4 0:10The kickoff from Brown bounces around but the Cowboys gather as Lee jumps on the ball to end the game.

Q4 0:10Romo takes a knee and that is that!!

Q4 0:00FULL TIME: Dallas Cowboys 36-31 New York Giants

4.48amWell, Dallas have held on to beat the Giants. There's no way this game should have been this close following the Giants six turnovers, but credit to Eli Manning for making it so.

4.49amThe Dallas defense was opportunistic and solid enough when it needed to be despite allowing 14 points in the last quarter. But the Giants really shot themselves in the foot with all their turnovers, with Manning and David Wilson guilty.

4.50amDallas will take heart from their performance but they'll need to improve to secure this division as they will face far better teams than the Giants in the future.

4.52amThanks for joining our coverage of this NFC East clash, we'll be back with NFL coverage later today of the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles and the AFC clash between the San Diego Chargers and the Houston Texans.

New York Giants' Eli Manning in action against New York Jets on August 24, 2013
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