Here are the top five performances New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has put forth against the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys.
In his 15th year as the New York Giants offensive leader, quarterback Eli Manning will face the Dallas Cowboys for the 29th time this Sunday. Through 28 games, he’s 13-15, proving a neck-and-neck rivalry with the so-called “America’s Team.”
Through the years, Eli has posted some good numbers and some not-so-good numbers against the Cowboys. All-in-all, he’s done what he can against arguably his and the Giants biggest rival.
That being said, here are the top five Eli Manning performances against the Dallas Cowboys:
5. 2009 Week 2 Prime Time Win on the Road
It was week two of the 2009 season, with the Giants coming into the newly-built AT&T Stadium in Dallas. Both Big Blue and the Cowboys were coming off week one wins, and although very early in the season, were both looking to establish themselves as top-tier NFC East teams. And in his sixth season at the time, Eli Manning came to play.
Completing 65.8 percent of his throws, Manning was able to conjure up 330 yards and two touchdowns through the air. One score was to former Giants receiver Mario Manningham in the second quarter from 22 yards out. The following score was then to former receiver Steve Smith from 22 yards out as well, this one coming in the third quarter.
Dallas was up late in the fourth quarter 31-30, and Eli did what he did best. Leading a final drive, Manning was able to set up former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes for a game-winning field goal to give the Giants the win, 33-31.
Eli and the Giants thus improved to 2-0 on the year in a season that they unfortunately only finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.
4. 2014 Week 12 Prime Time Loss at Home
It was only November, and a chance at the NFL Playoffs was a long shot for the Giants already. The Cowboy, on the other hand,d were leaders of the NFC East looking forward to an eventual playoff berth. However, it was still Giants-Cowboys, and Big Blue knew that. Even if the game was almost meaningless, it still meant a lot to the organization.
The Giants hosted Dallas at MetLife Stadium at 3-7 with the Cowboys at 7-3. To say the least, the Eli Manning and Odell Beckham Jr. connection came alive.
In the first quarter, Eli tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to OBJ, and then a 43-yard score to Beckham later in the opening quarter. The latter was the legendary and memorable one-handed catch that skyrocketed Beckham to be one of the elite receivers in the NFL.
Eli also had a third touchdown pass to former tight end Adrien Robinson from one yard out in the fourth quarter. Manning finished with a 72.5 completion percentage with 338 yards and three touchdowns to one interception.
Although a great performance from the long-time Giants quarterback, Big Blue pulled up short in the end. The Cowboys ended up winning the game 31-28, as the Giants dropped to 3-8 in a year where they finished 6-10 and missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
3. 2007 Week 1 Prime Time loss on the Road
It was Week 1 of the 2007 season, and the Giants and Cowboys faced off in a more-than-usual Sunday Night Football matchup. Coming off a playoff-berthed 2006 campaign, the Giants were looking to start off 2007 on a high note.
Eli Manning did all that he could for Big Blue in Dallas that night. He completed 28 of his 41 throws for 312 yards and four touchdowns to one interception. At the time, the four scores tied his single-game career high that he previously set in 2005 vs. the then-St. Louis Rams.
Three of the touchdown passes were to former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress. The first one was early in the first quarter from 60 yards out to give the Giants the early lead. Plaxico also was on the receiving end of a four-yard score in the second quarter and a 10-yard score in the fourth quarter. Former running back Derrick Ward also caught a touchdown pass from Eli in the fourth quarter from nine yards out.
The Giants defense, however, didn’t play up to par nor help Eli and the offense out. Letting up 45 points, the Giants eventually fell to the Cowboys 45-35 and started off the season 0-1. Fortunately, the Giants ended up going 10-6 and won Super Bowl 42 that season, but we already knew that.
2. 2011 Week 14 Prime Time Win on the Road
The Giants came into Dallas on a four-game losing streak. They were initially 6-2, proving to be a playoff team in the NFC. Then after falling to 6-6, it was do-or-die for Big Blue when they entered Dallas. All was well though, as Eli Manning came to play as he usually does in these big games.
The champion quarterback completed 57.4 percent of his throws for 400 yards and two touchdowns to one pick. Touchdowns included a 47-yard score to former receiver Mario Manningham in the third quarter, along with an eight-yard score to former tight end Jake Ballard in the fourth quarter.
The touchdown to Ballard was the first of two Giants scores in the final minutes as they came back from a 12-point deficit to defeat the Cowboys 37-34. The win gave the Giants first place in the NFC East going into Week 15 of the 2011 season, as they improved to 7-6 on the year.
1. 2011 Week 17 Prime Time Win at Home
Both the Giants and Cowboys were 8-7 entering the final game of the 2011 NFL regular season. A Sunday Night Football matchup on NBC; whoever won would win the NFC East and move onto the postseason. Whoever didn’t would go home and move onto the offseason. Once again, in a big game, Eli Manning was at his best.
The Giants were up 21-0 going into halftime at MetLife Stadium, thanks to two first-half touchdown passes from Manning. The first one was in the opening quarter, with a 74-yard catch and run from former Giants receiver Victor Cruz. The second was the one that put the Giants up by three scores; a 10-yard touchdown pass to former running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
Up 24-14 late in the fourth quarter, the Giants sealed the deal with a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli to former receiver Hakeem Nicks in the back corner of the end zone. The score gave the Giants quarterback the NFL record for most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a single season with 15.
Manning ended up completing 24 of his 33 throws with 346 yards and three scores, as the Giants won the game 31-14. They thus moved on to the NFL playoffs and eventually won Super Bowl XLVI. But again, we already knew that.