EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Odell Beckham Jr. provided the spectacular, then Tony Romo and Dez Bryant trumped it.
Romo threw two touchdown passes to Bryant, the winner from 13 yards with 1:01 remaining, lifting the Dallas Cowboys to a comeback 31-28 victory over the New York Giants.
Romo threw for two TDs in the third quarter and Barry Church’s interception helped turn things in the Cowboys’ favor. But the Giants (3-8), trailing 24-21, staged a 93-yard drive capped by Adrien Robinson’s first career TD catch. That 1-yard score with 3 minutes remaining could have snapped New York’s slide that now is at six losses.
Back came Dallas (8-3) on an 80-yard march in which Romo never was pressured as he searched for receivers. He found Bryant in the back of the end zone to win it, setting up an NFC East showdown with Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day for first place.
Dallas, which was treated to chants of “Let’s Go Cowboys!” in the second half from hundreds of fans in Cowboys garb, is 5-0 on the road. New York, meanwhile, was eliminated from division contention.
Thanks to Beckham’s incredible one-handed catch, one of the rookie’s two first-half touchdowns, New York built a 21-10 halftime lead.
But Romo hit Cole Beasley with a short pass that he turned into a 45-yard score, and the quarterback’s 31-yarder to an uncovered Bryant put Dallas on top for the first time.
Beckham left briefly in the fourth quarter with a back problem, but returned for the next series. He wasn’t involved in any key plays on that TD drive to retake the lead, and Beckham finished with 10 receptions for 146 yards.
League rushing leader DeMarco Murray managed his 10th 100-yard game this season with 121 on 24 carries for Dallas.
The Cowboys didn’t get much going after falling behind 21-10 until reserve receiver Beasley took a short pass, eluded a tackle by Zack Bowman and sped untouched to the end zone midway in the third quarter.
That made the hundreds of Cowboys fans on hand get loud, and their cheers reached a crescendo when Manning overthrew a wide-open Preston Parker deep in Dallas territory. Instead of a likely New York score, Church ran back the interception 45 yards.
Four plays later, Romo hit an open Bryant and he squeezed into the end zone for the Cowboys’ first lead.
Beckham’s right-handed stab of Manning’s 43-yard rainbow pass could be the catch of the year. The rookie, who regularly practices such receptions, outreached veteran cornerback Brandon Carr at the goal line and tumbled backward into the end zone to make it 14-3.
“I have seen him make catches like that all the time (in practice),” coach Tom Coughlin said.
That catch already was dominating highlight reels by halftime and was his second TD of the game. The 80-yard drive to Beckham’s first touchdown marked the second straight week the Giants got into the end zone on their opening possession after going 20 games without doing so.
Dallas’ offense hardly was in awe following Beckham’s one-hander. Romo guided the Cowboys 77 yards and used a shovel pass to Jason Witten — yes, the tight end used two hands — from the 4 immediately after Beckham’s stunner.
So the kid from LSU went right back to overwhelming the Cowboys. He made three catches for 32 yards on New York’s next series, including a spin move that would make a figure skater proud. Andre Williams concluded that 80-yard march with a 3-yard run for a 21-10 lead.
In the first half alone, Beckham had eight catches for 125 yards, while Manning went 14 of 16 for 191 yards. But the second half belonged to Dallas.
NOTES: Manning threw five interceptions last week in a loss to San Francisco, but Church’s pick was the only one Sunday night. He finished 29 for 40 for 338 yards. … Murray has rushed for 1,354 yards. … Romo was 18 of 26 for 275 yards and never appeared bothered by back problems that sidelined him for one of the Cowboys’ defeats this year.
(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
[display-posts category=”news,sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]