Marion Barber’s in, the Dallas locker room is apparently a disaster area (if you believe ESPN; I think the truth is somewhere between the Four-Letter’s hysteria and T.O.’s denial of it all being false), and the Giants want to put away one of their biggest rivals right now.
Myles Austin takes the kickoff out to the Dallas 33 to start. Barber gets the ball first for a yard on the carry. Romo’s first pass to Witten is incomplete. Guess that secret-game planning didn’t quite work, at least early. Romo goes deep for T.O., and he gets a case of the dropsies with man-to-man coverage.
The boo-birds are out early for Owens. That was quick. R.W. McQuarters gets some change on the punt return, but not much. Start at the 27. DeMarcus Ware ENVELOPS Eli Manning on the first play, and he fumbles, but the Giants recover.
“The over/under on the first T.O. Catch is set at 5:15.” – Al, via James Craven
Derrick Ward gets two yards of that nine yard loss back. It’ll be 3rd and 17. Chris Canty nails Manning on the 3rd down pass and it falls short. Trading punts early, eh? I thought this wouldn’t be so aggressive defensively. Pleasant surprise. Jeff Feagles punts to Patrick Crayton, who gets up to the Dallas 45 for some decent field position.
“He’s a great receiver, but he does drop the ball. He doesn’t catch it all the time.” – John (via JFein)
I want to see a receiver who never drops a pass. It’d be up there with the flying pigs. Shotgun snap blown dead and some funny business between the lines. Witten gets flagged for a false start. Toss to Barber on 1st and 15 loses more yards.
“Get your 340 pounds at least off my guy!” – Al on Flozell Adams and Justin Tuck in a skirmish
“Getting 340 pounds up off anything is really difficult.” – John
Another incomplete to Witten. Ball’s punted, McQuarters takes it for a fair catch at the 21, but Chase Blackburn is gonna get called for a running into the kicker. However, that’s only the five yard variety. Giants ball.
“And so the ball goes over to the Giants.” – Al, even after the ref says they have to re-kick. McQuarters takes the ball this time at the 10, as I wonder what Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” has to do with football.
“Running into the kicker has to be destroyed. These guys go down faster than a Japanese hooker.” – Anon @ 8:37
If you leave only the 15 yard variety, the zebras will start calling that more often, though. Another penalty, this one on the Giants’ Rich Seubert for illegal formation, and we’ll back it up a bit more. Manning hits The Other Steve Smith, who gets up to the 15. Canty deflects the next pass, and Amani Toomer should have probably held on to that. Eli airs it out for Dominik Hixon, it’s incomplete, but they’re flagging Terence Newman for P.I. — and upon replay, that call is complete bullshit. First down at midfield. Ward gets a yard.
Ward gets to the outside to the 41 for a first down, good run and good blocks to get out there. Manning gets another pass tipped. After another Ward run, it’s 3rd and 5 at the Dallas 36. Another one tipped away from The Other Steve Smith, and the Giants are punting, trying to pin the Cowboys in. They’ll lose five yards on a “snap infraction.” Kick bounces inside the 10 yard line, Dallas will start at the 6.
Romo fumbles the snap, picks it up, and hits Witten for three yards. He then goes to Marion Barber, who heads to the 19, barreling over a defender. Move up, Dallas now faces 3rd down after a drop by Tashard Choice. 3rd and 3 becomes 3rd and 8, as Flozell Adams gets flagged for his usual false start penalty. Patrick Crayton comes down with a bullet of the pass at the 35 for a first. Romo then hits T.O. while backpedaling; Owens is at the Giants’ 46 before he gets dragged down. Barber gets the next pass, rolling inside the 30 yard line and getting out of bounds.
Rush for very little on first, and Romo gets nailed on 2nd and 8 in the backfield by Renaldo Wynn. 3rd and 14, and Jay Alford takes Romo down again, even with a holding penalty (that’s obviously declined). Add another false start and we’ve got 4th and 26 for a punting down. Paulescu’s kick goes into the end zone for a touchback, Romo’s still “shaken up”, as Al puts it. Meanwhile, Peter King sends a quick text: “R U OK?”
Tony Romo must have said something about Cory Proctor’s sister because Proctor is just letting people go by him. – SSR
“I fingerbanged your sister, Cory. How d’you like that?” Or at least I imagine it goes something like that. Ward gets very little on first down to end the first quarter.
As we start the second, Romo has a “lower back contusion” and we’re probably going to see Brad Johnson’s old, slow butt in there. Brady James gets the sack on Elisha to start, Ward gets very little on 3rd and 17. Feagles punts to Crayton, who brings it out to the 32.
“Zak DeOssie forgot he was supposed to be on the field.” – Al
“Have a punt with no snapper.” – John
Tony Romo’s questionable to return? Peter King (along with 80 percent of ESPN’s staff) burst into tears upon hearing that. – Yet Another Idiot With a Music Blog
Romo just got pounded to the ground hard by Mathias Kiwanuka on first down. He’s spent more time with his back on the ground or his ass in the air than….oh, fuck it, I can’t finish the joke with anything that doesn’t gross me out. Tashard Choice, the Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech, rumbles for 22 yards to the Giants 42. Screen to Owens, he gets a few after avoiding the initial tackle.
“Years from now, there will be some kind of dinner between Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, and Jeff Garcia. What do you think they’ll talk about?” – Al
Romo goes whole hog, throwing deep to the sideline for Patrick Crayton — and he’s in the end zone for six! TOUCHDOWN, COWBOYS — whoa, whoa, Giants say Romo crossed the line of scrimmage.
Yoko’s boyfriend is coming back into the game. – James Craven
That’s not fair to Yoko Ono. She at least had some discernible talent in the art world. I defy you to give me any area in which Jessica Simpson is talented — and I’m not including in terms of beauty.
Touchdown stands, Nick Folk’s XP is good, 7-0, Dallas. Peter King and all the Dallas-worshippers reach for the hand lotion.
Sinorice Moss takes the kickoff and runs into his teammate at the 19, where he gets pasted by a Dallas special teamer. Manning to Toomer to the 31 for a first down. Eli then goes to Kevin Boss on the left side, and he shakes a tackler for 24 yards to the Dallas 45.
Momma’s Boys, Howie Do It,, moving Jay Leno to prime time. NBC is just admitting they have no new ideas whatsoever and would rather just run cheap programming instead of things people want to watch.
Ward gets 4 on 2nd and 5. Offsides penalty gives NY a first down. Another rush for a couple of yards around the corner, and Al just dropped a reference to an inside trader who got busted for a Ponzi scheme in NY this week. Clearly his time with Dennis Miller rubbed off on him as far as odd references go. 2nd down pass in incomplete, mostly thrown to avoid a sack, and Boss didn’t see Manning. 3rd and 11. Eli hits T.O.S.S. for 15 yards and another first down.
Ware just made Kareem McKenzie look foolish, and gets his second sack of the night. Manning gets to Hixon at the 16 for the catch to get some of those yards back. Pass is off the hands of Kevin Boss, FG try coming up. Carney’s kick is good, 7-3, Dallas.
Austin brings the ball out to about the 29. Romo runs it himself for a couple of yards, then throws to Witten for about 7 or 8 more — just short of the first. A hands to the face penalty makes it 3rd and 11. Romo overthrows Witten, and Dallas will be punting. McQuarters makes the fair catch at the NY 37.
Manning misses Steve Smith on the first play, and hits him the next time on what appears to be damn near the same play, except T.O.S.S gets flagged for PI for it. Ward gets 9 on 2nd and 20. Two minute warning. Greg Ellis sends Manning to the ground for yet another sack in this game — how many have we had? I think there have been at least five so far total.
The punt rolls all the way to the 13 yard line. Romo throws it a bit high for T.O. — and it’s gotta be high to overthrow a 6’5″ dude. Illegal contact gets called on McQuarters, though. Another pass hit, they’re out to the 30 or so. Romo then throws a one-hopper into the ground. Dump-off to Choice, who brings it back to the line of scrimmage. Tony scrambles and gets taken down short of the first down marker. That’ll be halftime, folks — Dallas up 7-3 as we end the first 30 minutes.
I’ll have a halftime post up in a minute.