This Just In: Tony Romo is Really Good! A hugely disappointing loss for the Giants. Eli Manning played as good a game as he has in his short career, but the biggest plays were made by Tony Romo, the Cowboys' first-year starter. I've been trying to think who he reminds me of. His arm is reminiscent of Marino, but he's more in the mode of Brett Favre, who was always more effective rolling out and throwing on the run. There are hints of Elway, even Donovan McNabb in his play. Whomever Romo is most like -- he may even be an original -- he's undeniably a top-flight NFL quarterback.
The real difference might have been the Giants defense, which returned to its early season play, where they looked great on first and second down, but not so good on third down. Another obvious key in this game was the Giants decision to forgo a fairly routine field goal late in the first half, but failing to make the first down on the fourth and one yard to go play. Mostly, the Giants were done in by a pass rush that couldn't contain Romo, a defense that tackled poorly and a secondary that failed to make enough big plays.
This was a terrific game, though. As exciting a football game as I've seen in years. Lots of plays to talk about. Two good teams going at it in a game for first place in the division..and it came right down to the wire.
The Giants can take some solace that Manning played a very good game, although he could have looked more confident in the red zone. The Giants seemed to think the only way they were going to score was with a size matchup in their favor. While Manning did hit a clutch pass to tie the game up with just over one minute to play, he did miss some big passes for touchdowns. Still, this was a big step up for Manning who hadn't played this well in over a month. The Giants are probably out of the division race, but if they can play like this over the final four games, they should make the playoffs. They still have tough games left in Carolina, and home against the Saints, but the Giants do have a chance to win three or all four of their final games.
Props to Joe Buck: When the camera caught Manning using a certain four letter epithet, Buck came back with: "Manning says 'My fault.'" Good stuff, Bucky.