The Giants jumped out to a 23-0 lead over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, and then had to sweat through a final Dallas drive to earn a victory.
The New York Giants are now 4-0 in Cowboys Stadium, but only by a matter of inches. Dez Bryant's fingertips being just inches -- maybe only an inch -- out of bounds on a potential 37-yard game winning touchdown were all that separated the Giants from turning what looked like a rousing victory into a demoralizing loss.
This was a game the Giants won early, blasting out to a 23-0 lead early in the second quarter thanks to four early Cowboys' turnovers, three off interceptions by Dallas quarterback Tony Romo.
Then, the Giants lost it. Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble early in the second quarter seemed to kill the Giants' momentum and the Cowboys roared back to take a 24-23 lead after three quarters.
Then, the Giants won it again. They got a pair of Lawrence Tynes' field goals in the fourth quarter to take a 29-24 lead and Stevie Brown seemed to seal the deal with his second interception and the fourth of Romo with 1:14 to play.
Then, the Giants lost it again. They could not get a first down and punted the ball back to Dallas. The Cowboys moved from their own 30 to the Giants' 37, then Romo launched a deep ball that Bryant hauled in between Corey Webster and Michael Coe. The play was originally ruled a touchdown, but replay correctly overturned the call.
[Related: NFL.com video of Cowboys' final drive]
The Cowboys got three more plays, but were unable to score. Romo's final pass sailed harmlessly out of the back of the end zone. And, finally, the Giants had earned the victory once and for all.
The Giants are now 6-2, firmly in control of the NFC East at the halfway mark of the season. Dallas falls to 3-4. The Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) and Washington Redskins(3-5) also lost on Sunday.
Eli Manning completed 15-of-29 passes for 192 yards and one interception for the Giants. Ahmad Bradshaw ran 22 times for 78 tough yards. Field-goal kicker Lawrence Tynes was 5-for-5 on the day with his longest kick from 43 yards.
The Giants' real heroes were on the defensive side of the ball.
Brown, who has been subbing for an injured Kenny Phillips at safety, was the biggest star of all. He had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and six tackles. Jason Pierre-Paul had four tackles, a sack and returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the Giants what seemed like an insurmountable 23-0 lead.
That did not turn out to be the case. As so often seems to happen, though, between the Cowboys and Giants -- especially in Dallas -- the Giants found a way to win.