As far as omens go, the Dallas Cowboys received a good one Sunday night when they pulled out a 36-31 victory in the kind of game they have habitually found a way to lose during the Jason Garrett era.
Despite six New York Giants turnovers, the Cowboys were on the ropes late in the fourth quarter when Eli Manning bailed them out with a pick six that sealed his team's fate.
The Cowboys had just three combined takeaways in their previous three meetings with the Giants. Last year's defense managed 16 takeaways all season while ranking 27th in turnover differential.
The early returns on Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 scheme suggest this will be a more opportunistic unit, placing a greater emphasis on forcing turnovers.
On the other side of the ball, Tony Romo found Miles Austin, Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray for a combined 26 receptions, 181 yards and two touchdowns, while the Giants employed bracket coverage to slow Dez Bryant.
Although Romo had to bounce back from a vicious hit to his ribs, Dallas' retooled offensive line kept the quarterback upright until the Giants finally broke through for two fourth-quarter sacks.
It was a far cry from a smooth performance, but the Cowboys won't quibble with the results. They know how the other half lives.
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