The offensive onslaught we expected in Dallas was nonexistent for the first three quarters, but that didn't mean there weren't fireworks. Tom Coughlin's opportunistic Big Blue defense impressed early against Tony Romo, but the Dallas gunslinger had the last laugh, leading the Cowboys to a 27-26 comeback victory. Our takeaways:
- Tony Romo saved his best for last. After throwing two interceptions that turned into Giants points earlier in the game, Romo led the Cowboys on two scoring drives late in the fourth quarter to make amends. Romo is often feast-or-famine in the fourth quarter, and on the final drive, he feasted on the Giants' secondary that had given him trouble all night -- really -- going 5 of 6 for 72 yards in 1:16. On the touchdown throw, Romo initially fumbled the snap before firing a rope down the seam to Jason Witten for the 11-yard, game-winning score. A Hall-of-Fame drive on opening night from a Cowboy great.
Earlier in the game, Dez went to the locker room with hydration issues. When he returned to the game, he was a non-factor, dropping a key third-down throw that halted a second-quarter drive deep in the red zone.
- Despite Romo's heroics, the Giants' secondary came to play. We suspected New York's hodgepodge of abandoned misfit defensive backs to cower against Bryant and Dallas' aerial assault after their underwhelming preseason performance. But for the most part, Big Blue stood still -- at least through the first three quarters -- thanks to exceptional play from Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie -- who scooped and scored -- and Trumaine McBride. All hail Steve Spagnuolo, Giant Whisperer.
- The race to replace DeMarco Murray is on, and neither Joseph Randle nor Darren McFadden separated himself. Randle finished with 107 total yards, but wasn't consistent in the run game against an unimpressive Giants front seven. McFadden showed burst out of the backfield, but didn't have enough touches to make a statement.
The surprise ball-carrier on the evening was Lance Dunbar, who despite earning no carries, raced for 70 yards out of the backfield on eight receptions. Dunbar had two receptions on the Cowboys' game-winning drive and was a nice security blanket for Romo after Bryant left with hydration and foot issues. Dunbar won't replace Murray's rushing production, but the shifty back adds a new wrinkle to Dallas' offense.
- Bryant may be making headlines come Monday, but he wasn't the only NFC East receiver to go missing Sunday night. Has anyone seen Odell Beckham Jr.? The highly-touted Madden coverboy finished the night with just five receptions for 44 yards. Beckham underwent concussion protocol after getting rocked in the first half and wasn't the same thereafter.