Cowboys coach Jason Garrett isn’t going to one of his challenges by accident. He knows the importance of them as well as anybody.
He burnt his first late in the first quarter, challenging an incomplete ruling on an Odell Bekcham Jr. play that he felt could have been a fumble instead. After review, the call stood as an incompletion.
It didn’t take long for him to use his second challenge. Early in the second quarter, Eli Manning hit tight end Larry Donnell for 13 yards. It was ruled a catch as Donnell fell to the ground, but the ball popped loose.
An animated Garrett didn’t hesitate to use his challenge on that play, as it was the difference between a fourth down punt for the Giants and a first down.
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“To me, that’s a turnover,” Garrett said. “It was a third-down play that would have been a first down. So that’s no different than intercepting a pass or a fumble or whatever. We were able to prevent them from having that first down and get possession of the ball.”
Not to mention that Garrett and the Cowboys had spent all offseason discussing what is and isn’t a catch in the aftermath of Dez Bryant’s controversial non-catch in the playoff loss at Green Bay.
If that challenge didn’t go the Cowboys’ way, who knows what Garrett would have done.