. (WGR 550) -- What a great night for football. I know some weren’t really into a Wednesday game, but it was great to be done with training camp and preseason games.
The defending champs were home to play a team they’ve dominated lately, Dallas. There was domination alright, but it was the Cowboys who took control late in the first half and held on to win 24-17.
Jason Garrett’s team didn’t fold and give away a lead like it did many times last year and several times under former Bills coach Wade Phillips.
Tono Romo had a rough start, but he finally got it in gear and ended up 22-of-29 for 307 yards and three touchdowns. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin had good games, but it was number three receiver Kevin Ogletree who caught eight balls for 114 yards and two scores.
Runningback DeMarco Murray picked up right where he left off when he was injured last year gaining 131 yards which was 6.6 yards per carry.
Eli Manning was somewhat off until the fourth quarter, although he had two drops by last year’s star Victor Cruz. Cruz had two bad penalties too. Manning hit former Cowboy and his new tight end Martellus Bennett for a touchdown to get to within seven, but the Giants defense couldn’t get the ball back. Manning was 21-of-32 for 213 yards and one TD.
The thing that really intrigued me about this game was the replacement officials. The referee was Jim Core who refed small college football games and Arena League 2 games. Overall, I didn’t think his crew was too bad.
In the first half there were eight penalties. The glaring mistake I saw was on the goal line when Dallas defender Orlando Scandrick had Cruz’s jersey from the word go and there was no call. It forced New York to kick a field goal. There was also a clipping penalty the Giants Jayron Hosley that was an awful call too. He hit the player up high on the shoulder pads from the side. Some could argue he did hit him more on the back, but it wasn’t clipping.
Overall Dallas had 13 penalties while the Giants had four. 13 penalties are a lot, but the numerous false start penalties in the first half were correct calls. There were 10 penalties called in the fourth quarter.
A few times I saw some missed holding penalties deep inside the line, but I see that with the regular refs. I’m not at all a fan of the regular NFL refs. I think referring is a huge problem in the National Football League and even with replay, it seems like there are too many missed calls.
Despite a bruised spleen, Cowboys TE Jason Witten played in the game.
The Bills take the field in that same stadium Sunday to open the season against the Jets. Our pregame begins at 8:00 am with Jeremy White on WGR Sports Radio 550.