Ogletree steps up, gets Cowboys off on right foot

Tony Romo passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns, two to breakout star receiver Kevin Ogletree, as the Dallas Cowboys stunned the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants 24-17 Wednesday night at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Ogletree finished with seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Miles Austin had four catches for 73 yards and one touchdown and DeMarco Murray rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries.

The revamped defense had three sacks, two by DeMarcus Ware.

The Giants threatened first by driving to the Cowboys’ 29 on their second drive, rookie David Wilson fumbled after being hit by linebacker Sean Lee and safety Barry Church recovered for the Cowboys at the 34.

The Cowboys began their second series with a new center. Ryan Cook replaced Phil Costa, who had an ailing back. Dallas moved to the Giants’ 37, but failed on a fourth-and-1 run by Lawrence Vickers, who was tripped in the backfield by safety Antrel Rolle then buried at the line of scrimmage.

Outside of those two drives, the scoreless first quarter was indicative of the game.

The Cowboys committed their first turnover early in the second quarter when Tony Romo was intercepted by Michael Boley and returned the ball to the 3. A hustling, horse-collar tackle by Tyron Smith moved it to the 1 However, three plays lost 3 yards forcing a 22-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes and a 3-0 lead.

The defensive tone of the game continued until Dallas put together a scoring drive in the final 3 minutes. The key plays were first-down receptions of 3 yards to Jason Witten and 38 yards to Dez Bryant.

The touchdown came on a 10-yard pass to Kevin Ogletree. Romo scrambled to extend the play before Ogletree worked himself open in the middle of the end zone to give the Cowboys a 7-3 halftime lead.

Dallas took the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards in eight plays for a touchdown.

The drive lasted 4 minutes, 36 seconds. The touchdown came on a 40-yard pass from Romo to Ogletree down the right sideline to make it 14-3.

The Giants responded quickly with an 89-yard, five-play touchdown drive. Ahmad Bradshaw scored on a 10-yard run.

The key play was a 39-yard reception by Domenik Hixon, who outjumped safety Manny Silva for the ball at the 10. Bradshaw scored on the next play to make it 14-10.

The scoring continued with Dallas, keyed by a weaving, change-of-direction run by DeMarco Murray, drove to the Giants 6. But a sack of Romo followed by an incompletion killed the drive and Dan Bailey made a 33-yard field goal to make it 17-10 heading into the final quarter.

After forcing a Giants punt, Dallas tried for the knockout punch.

And they got it.

Dallas drove 82 yards for the clinching touchdown.

On a first-and 30 play at the Giants’ 34, Romo threw a touchdown to Miles Austin to make it 24-10. Austin had three catches on the drive, including the touchdown. The penalty-filled drive took 7 minutes, 4 seconds. From there, they turned the game over to the defense. They defense gave up two fourth-down conversions and a 9-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 2:36 left in the game to make it 24-17. However, the Cowboys converted a clutch third-and-12 play with a 15 yard catch by Ogletree to seal the game.

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