They needed six to put away Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
Carr returned an interception 49 yards for the clinching touchdown, and the
Cowboys overcame a big night from Manning to beat him for the first time at
their fancy $1.2 billion stadium in a 36-31 victory Sunday night.
Tony Romo shook off hits to the ribs that knocked him out for the final Dallas play of the first
half and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jason Witten.
Manning threw three touchdown passes to Victor Cruz and four overall, and he had New York
in position for a comeback victory despite the flurry of mistakes.
But with the Giants trailing 30-24, Manning's pass went off the hand of
running back De'Rel Scott into Carr's arms.
The cornerback beat Manning down the sideline with 1:50 left for Dallas'
second defensive touchdown. Barry Church returned a fumble 27 yards for a
touchdown in the third quarter.
''It's infectious. It's contagious,'' Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. ''We
challenged them at halftime. We had three, let's get three more.''
The Cowboys had only 16 turnovers all last year, switched to a four-man front
with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and swore all preseason that taking
the ball away was the foremost thing on their minds. They proved it from the
first snap of the season.
DeMarcus Ware intercepted Manning's first pass, and the Giants turned it over
on their first three possessions. The Cowboys didn't take advantage of the early
gifts, but built a big enough lead to hold off a New York comeback once the
Giants finally stopped turning it over.
It matched the most turnovers for the Giants since 1987, when they had seven
against New Orleans. And it was the most Dallas has forced since 2003.
''Just tells you our system is so much built on attitude,'' said defensive
line coach Rod Marinelli, who was defensive coordinator for Chicago last year
when the Bears led the NFL with 44 turnovers. ''We had a lot of guys play
tonight who jumped in and helped us. It's just team defense.''
Church scored on the fourth New York turnover - the second fumble from new
starting running back David Wilson, who lost control of the ball on a strip by
Nick Hayden just before hitting the ground. Church scooped up the ball and ran
The Cowboys went up 27-10 in the third quarter after the fifth miscue - a
punt that bounced and hit Trumaine McBride while he was trying to block for the
return. Rookie Devonte Holloman won a scramble for the loose ball, and Romo
threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Witten.
''I just think it's pretty exciting to see what our team defensively has been
able to do here, in training camp, preseason and into the season,'' Romo
When the mistakes stopped, the Giants made it a game again. New York went 80
yards, capped by Cruz's second score on an 18-yard pass, and Cruz scored again
from the 10 to pull the Giants to 30-24 midway through the fourth quarter.
New York got the ball back, but the Cowboys forced a quick punt. After Dallas
again failed to move the ball, Carr came through with the clinching
''You're not going to win the game turning the ball over five times and
muffing a punt,'' Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. ''I'm totally, totally
disappointed, embarrassed about that football. That's sloppy, sloppy
The Giants scored with 11 seconds left on Manning's fourth touchdown, a
4-yarder to Brandon Myers. But Dallas recovered an onside kick.
Manning was 27 of 42 for 450 yards and had three 100-yard receivers in Cruz
(five catches, 118 yards), Hakeem Nicks (five for 114) and Rueben Randle (five
Romo was 36 of 49 for 263 yards, and Miles Austin had 10 catches for 72
yards. Witten, who had only three touchdowns last year, had eight grabs for 70
and became the third tight end in NFL history with 9,000 yards receiving.
DeMarco Murray had 86 yards rushing for Dallas.
Romo threw a 15-yard TD pass to Witten before halftime, and Dan Bailey also
had two field goals (30 and 38 yards) by then for a 13-10 lead.
In the final minute of the first half, Romo was hit in the ribs and had the
wind knocked out after being crushed between Mathias Kiwanuka and Justin Trattou
after throwing an incompletion. Kyle Orton came on to finish the half, but Romo
was back after halftime.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Romo didn't receive any treatment, and that
the medical staff cleared him to play.
''One tough player, one tough man,'' Jones said. ''He will go out and play in
pain and play hurt.''
After Manning's second interception, this one by new Cowboys safety Will
Allen, Dallas had third-and-11 at the Giants 14.
Romo threw a pass toward rookie Terrance Williams that instead deflected off
the Giants' Prince Amukamara into the arms of New York teammate Ryan Mundy, who
raced 91 yards. He was caught from behind by Murray at the 1.
GAME NOTES: The crowd of 85,348 was significantly smaller than the NFL
regular-season record crowd of 105,121 that watched the first Giants game at the
stadium in its 2009 debut. ... Giants CB Prince Amukamara was knocked out of the
game with a concussion after a helmet-on-helmet collision with S Ryan Mundy, who
was cleared to return.