NFL News of September 16, 2003

A soaking rain finally stopped at halftime, and the Giants finally started, turning a no-hope, 16-point third-quarter deficit into a Monday Night Football game with enough twists and turns for a whole season.

After a wild exchange of field goals in the final 11 seconds sent the game into overtime, the Cowboys won, 35-32, on a 25-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff. It was Cundiff’s seventh field goal of the game, tying an N.F.L. record.

It overshadowed a thrilling comeback by the Giants, who trailed, 23-7, in the third quarter. Quarterback Kerry Collins shook off a miserable first half with two interceptions and led the Giants’ comeback behind a makeshift offensive line featuring three rookies. Collins threw touchdown passes to tight end Jeremy Shockey and Amani Toomer in the fourth quarter to pull the Giants into a 29-29 tie with 6:20 left.

The Giants thought the comeback was complete when Matt Bryant kicked a 30-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. But Bryant’s ensuing kickoff skidded out of bounds, giving the Cowboys the ball at the 40. Quarterback Quincy Carter threw a 36-yard pass to Antonio Bryant, and Cundiff kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to send the game into overtime.

Until the Giants’ comeback, it was nearly an unblemished coming-out party for the Cowboys’ quarterback and their coach. Bill Parcells, who coached the Giants franchise to two Super Bowls in the early 1990s and roamed these sidelines for three years as the Jets’ coach, won his first game since taking over as the Cowboys’ coach.

—Lynn Zinser, The New York Times “Dallas Ruins Giants’ Comeback in Overtime”

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