Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Sports

Romo finds new favorite

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Cowboys waited all year for another shot at the Giants. When they got it in the 2012 season opener, they were ready.

So were the replacement officials, who barely were a story as Dallas dominated the Super Bowl champions for much of a 24-17 victory Wednesday night.

It won't make up for the New Year's Day loss that cost the Cowboys the NFC East title and sent the Giants on their way to the NFL championship. It sure could provide impetus for this season, though, particularly with the discovery of a new game breaker in Kevin Ogletree.

The officials, a focal point as the league's lockout of the regulars continued, had no controversies, no blatant mistakes or rampant confusion. The spotlight belonged squarely on the Cowboys, from Tony Romo's three touchdown passes and 307 yards in the air to DeMarco Murray's 129 yards rushing to Ogletree's two scores.

Dallas' defense frustrated Eli Manning and his offense with three sacks, a half-dozen pressures, all before the largest crowd at MetLife Stadium for a Giants game, 82,287.

When the Cowboys were threatened late, Romo hit Ogletree for 15 yards on third down to clinch it. That gave Ogletree 114 yards on eight catches; he had 25 receptions for 294 yards and no scores entering the night.

The Cowboys' big-time receivers — Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten — were eclipsed by Ogletree, who sure didn't resemble a backup. In the first half, he had five catches for 47 yards and a TD, and broke free for a 40-yard reception early in the third quarter.

Ogletree thoroughly fooled New York's top cornerback, Corey Webster, on that long score to start the second half.

"I was not the primary receiver," Ogletree told the Philadelphia Inquirer about the play. "Execution was key to that play and the key tonight."

And the Cowboys got another huge play from Murray, who broke two tackles in the backfield, scooted down the right sideline for 48 yards, and set up Dan Bailey's 33-yard field goal for a 17-10 lead through three quarters.

After Manning connected with former Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:36 remaining, Dallas never gave the ball back.

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