Here are five great performances New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning has had throughout his career against the Dallas Cowboys.
It’s clear to many what the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys NFC East rival means.
Whether each team is having a down year or a playoff year, each game played between them has all eyes. It’s just one of the rivalries that always provides for those watching, and always has a certain meaning behind it.
One guy that always seems to shine in these games is long-time Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Same deal … he could be having a dominant year or a down year. Either way, Eli always comes to play when facing Dallas.
In honor of the first Giants-Cowboys meeting of 2018 this Sunday night, here are five great performances from Manning against the Cowboys throughout his career:
5. Divisional Round Playoff Game at Cowboys - 2007
In a game that featured the 10-6 wild card Giants and 13-3 No. 1 seed Cowboys, many thought the Cowboys would take this game with ease. They would win, face the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship the following week, and that would be that. Owner of the Cowboys Jerry Jones actually put two tickets to the NFC Championship on each players stool. That’s how favored the Cowboys were to win this game. And then, here came Eli.
In the midst of the best playoff run any fan has ever seen, Eli showed everyone the clutch gene he so honorably possesses. Completing 12-18 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns both to legendary Giants receiver Amani Toomer, the Giants were up 21-17 in the final minute. That’s when Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was picked off in the end zone by former Giants defensive back R.W. McQuarters.
Eli and the Giants pulled off an improbable victory, as Manning continued one of the greatest string of games he’s ever played in.
4. Week One Match Up at Cowboys - 2016
Not many knew what to make of this game coming in. Both organizations were coming off disappointing 2015 seasons, in which neither team made the playoffs.
The Cowboys started a rookie running back in Ezekiel Elliot, as well as a rookie quarterback in Dak Prescott. This was due to Tony Romo injuring his back in preseason, thus leading to the end of the Romo era in Dallas.
However, none of this was in Manning’s mind, apparently, as he entered this game. With a dominant air attack throughout the entire matchup, Eli threw for 19-28 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns. Each touchdown was to a different player as well. Former tight end Larry Donnell, former receiver Victor Cruz and receiver Sterling Shepard all had scores for Big Blue.
Right off the bat in the 2016 season, Eli proved that he was still an elite quarterback who can lead the Giants to a big victory against the rival Cowboys. Big Blue pulled away in that one right at the end, 20-19 being the final score.
3. Week Two Prime Time Match Up at Dallas - 2009
One of the better Giants-Cowboys matchups of the past decade, and it came with a great finish. Down 30-31 in the final minutes in the first regular season game ever in the now-named AT&T Stadium, Manning showed once again the clutch gene he’s always had.
Driving down the field with consistency, the Giants were able to get into field goal range for a last-second field goal. That’s when former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes drilled it right down the middle as time expired, improving the Giants record to 2-0 that season.
The entire game, Eli was near-flawless. A Sunday night game in Dallas, Eli threw for 330 yards and two touchdowns, along with completing an amazing 25-28 passes. The winning drive summed up the entire night and Eli’s career for the most part. Dominance against the Cowboys in Dallas, especially when it matters.
2. The Comeback in Dallas Week 14 - 2011
With just under six minutes to go, Tony Romo hit former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant on a 50-yard touchdown. This put the Cowboys up by 12 on the Giants in a Prime Time game, and that’s when many viewers decided to go to bed. It was pretty much said and done at that point. The Cowboys were going to hold the lead and shoot up to first place in the NFC East. The Giants and their 2011 season were pretty much finished. And then came Eli.
Having a monster game all throughout, Eli led the Giants to two scoring drives in the final minutes. This put Big Blue up by three. Then, former Giant Jason Pierre-Paul, of course, blocked the last second field goal attempt by the Cowboys, sealing the final score at 37-34. This, therefore, began the Giants run to the playoffs and an eventual Super Bowl victory.
In the game, Manning finished with 400 yards on 27-47 passing. Despite throwing an interception, Eli threw for two touchdowns, one of those in the final minutes to former tight end Jake Ballard. He showcased his worth against the Cowboys and proved to fans he still had the clutch factor in what was his eighth season at the time.
1. The NFC East Championship Week 17 - 2011
Giants-Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, for the second time that season. This time at MetLife Stadium. A New Years Day game, whoever won would then take the top of the NFC East. Whoever lost would go home and begin to focus on the next season.
It was all Giants and all Eli Manning from the start. In a do or die game, Eli finished 24-33, 346 yards and three scores. With former receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, and former running back Ahmad Bradshaw all reaching the end zone, the Giants took the crown of the NFC East.
The most important play of the game happened when the Giants were leading 24-14 in the final minutes. At the goal line, Manning threw a fade to Nicks in the back left corner of the end zone. This gave Eli the record for most fourth-quarter touchdowns in a season, with 15, and sealed the deal for the game. An incredible performance, Manning was thus able to continue the dominance into the playoffs, and lead Big Blue to their fourth Super Bowl victory.