NY Giants Schedule: Top-10 season openers of all-time
6. September 11, 2016 – NY Giants 20, Dallas Cowboys 19
It seems as if the Giants and Cowboys are always starting their seasons against each other, and that’s because in recent years they have. Since 2012, Big Blue and Dallas have faced off in week one five times, with the majority of those games being heart-breaking losses.
In what was the head coaching debut for Ben McAdoo, the successor of long-time head coach Tom Coughlin, the 2016 season opener was yet another classic back-and-forth tilt between the long-time NFC East rivals.
Two first half touchdown passes by Eli Manning and a bend-but-don’t-break defensive effort lead to a 13-9 Giants lead at halftime. Dallas would score 10-straight points in the second half to take a 19-13 lead with just under 14 minutes left in the game.
Both teams exchanged punts before Manning orchestrated the go-ahead touchdown drive capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz. After choosing to punt the ball back to Dallas, facing a 4th & 1 from Dallas’ 37-yard line with just over a minute left, it would be up to the defense to hold onto the lead and finish the game. A scenario Giants fans had seen end disastrously far too many times.
While Dallas was able to get in position for a 57-yard game winning field goal, game MVP Terrance Williams didn’t get out of bounds after a catch and the clock ran out before Dak Prescott could spike the ball.
For the first time since 2010, the NY Giants won a season opener. Just as important, New York beat Dallas in an opener for the first time in nine tries.
The win would spark an 11-5 season for Big Blue, a record that would lead to a Wild Card playoff birth lead by one of the best defenses in the NFL that year.