In the first prime time game of the 2015 NFL season, division rivals New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys played an intensely tight game that was defined by both team’s defense and clock management.
Tony Romo found Jason Witten for the winning touchdown but it was the G-Men’s decision to not run down the clock that gave Dallas the opportunity to run the winning series of downs late in the fourth.
The Giants attempted to pass on third down from the Dallas 1 with a 23-20 lead, instead of taking a sack and stopping the clock giving Romo the final 1:34 to try to win. The Cowboys then drove 72 yards in 1:27 after stopping New York at the 1.
“It was bad clock management,” said Manning, who had 193 yards passing with no touchdowns after throwing for 12 TDs in his previous four games against Dallas. “It was definitely an option to take a sack and run 40 seconds off the clock and give them less time. That’s 100 percent on me.” Coach Tom Coughlin took the blame as well. “The decision to throw the ball on third down was not a good decision,” he said. “It should have been a run, whether we scored or not.”
The NY Giants ended up losing 27-26 but the win did not come without sacrifice as All-Pro receiver Dez Bryant, who will miss four to six weeks with a broken right foot.