A little more than eight months to the day that they saw their 2011 playoff dreams shattered by the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys extracted revenge against the defending Super Bowl champions with a 24-17 season-opening victory in a nationally televised game from MetLife Stadium.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo engineered three consecutive second-half scoring drives for 17 points, including touchdowns to receivers Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin, sandwiched around a 33-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
"It was a good win, a great way to start the off the season," said Ogletree, who ironically had visited the Giants in the offseason when he was an unsigned free agent. "Everyone kicked in today and it was very fulfilling."
Romo's second touchdown pass to Ogletree, the Queens, N.Y., native who said that he had a chance to visit with his brother before the game, went for 40 yards. Austin's, which came in the fourth quarter, went for 34 yards, both of which came on a slant.
"We had trouble stopping the slant all night long," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "It was if we had never seen a slant before."
The Giants offense, which was both sluggish and sloppy in the first half, finally got things going on its first possession of the second half, as quarterback Eli Manning engineered a nine-play, 89-yard drive that saw him connect with receiver Domenik Hixon on 12- and 39-yard receptions.
The 39-yard reception, Manning's longest of the game, set up Ahmad Bradshaw's ten-yard touchdown run which closed the Cowboys' lead to 14-10 midway through the third quarter.
Manning and the offense also managed to cap a 12-play, 79-yard fourth quarter scoring drive to narrow the Cowboys' lead to seven. Manning found tight end Martellus Bennett, the former Cowboy, for a nine-yard touchdown reception 2:36 left in the fourth quarter.
In the end, though, the Cowboys defense played lights out ball, finding ways to keep the Giants off-balance for most of the game.
"I thought our defense did a really good job, first of all, controlling the run," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, whose defense held the Giants to just 82 yards rushing on 19 carries.