Dallas turned the lights out on the Giants' five-game winning streak yesterday, both literally and figuratively, handing Big Blue a 33-20 loss.
A New Meadowlands Stadium power outage caused by two damaged electrical feeders seconds into the third quarter knocked out half the lights, forcing the teams to play in semi-darkness until full light was restored three minutes later. But by that time Dallas had scored on a 71-yard catch-and-run by Dez Bryant, his second touchdown of the day, to create a 26-6 bulge.
The lights went out completely a few seconds later and stayed off for six minutes as stadium announcers warned the public to remain seated.
Things got slightly better for the 6-3 Giants once the artificial sun came up again, as Eli Manning narrowed the score to 26-13 on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham, who started in place of the injured Steve Smith.
The teams answered each other, the Cowboys scoring on Jon Kitna’s 19-yard scoring throw to Miles Austin, and the Giants on a 35-yard throw to tight end Kevin Boss.
A stop of Brandon Jacobs on fourth-and-1 from the Cowboys’ 42 with 10 minutes left in the game squashed a chance for the Giants to shave the score further. A touchdown to Hakeem Nicks on the following possession was nullified by left guard Kevin Boothe’s holding penalty.
The loss brought an end to an incredible stretch of defensive and offensive efforts. Against Dallas, who came in 1-7 and under the new management of Jason Garrett, the 6-3 Giants received neither facet consistently, allowing the Cowboys to make big plays and failing to answer with big plays themselves. Manning, especially, was at fault for giving up an end-zone interception that Bryan McCann turned into a franchise-long 101-yard touchdown return. And his late fourth-quarter interception deep in Dallas territory eliminated any possibility of a dramatic comeback.