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Giants 27, Cowboys 20: Plays that changed the game

The Giants survive an emotional rollercoaster to come away with the win over Dallas. Take a look back at the plays that changed the game.

Al Bello/Getty Images

So, who saw the New York Giants' Orleans Darkwa, the defense and special teams carrying them to a victory over the Dallas Cowboys?

Anywone? Anyone? Beuller?

Nope, me neither.

But that is exactly what happened. Here are your plays that changed Sunday's game.

The Darkwa Knight Rises

With Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle struggling to get separation, the Giants' offense was struggling to get in rhythm. But on their third drive Darkwa got his first carries of the season, and he made an immediate impact. He burst on the field with rushes of 7, 9, 10, and 15 yards on the drive. That final run for 15 yards culminated in a diving touchdown as he was getting tackled.

Runs like this helped to energize the entire team.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie goes Prime Time ... At Mid-field

The Giants' offense didn't do much against the Cowboys, only scoring seven points. But that was at least partly because the defense and special teams came up with four takeaways in the second half. With 11:38 remaining in the 3rd quarter, DRC set the tone for the remainder of the game.

On second-and-9, after a 1-yard run by Darren McFadden, rather than opt for another run, Matt Cassel dropped back to pass. He intended to hit Terrance Williams, however the Giants -- current -- No. 1 corner broke hard on the ball and returned it 58 yards to put the Giants up 17-13.

This play echoed one from the first half when DRC came within a hair's width of picking off a pass for what would have easily been a touchdown. On that play the ball just slipped through DRC's fingers. On this play he hung on to the ball and did his best Deion Sanders' impression as he started celebrating his impending touchdown at the 44 yard line.

...Or at least as close as anyone on a Tom Coughlin team can come.

It was Rodgers-Cromartie's first interception of the night, but not his last. He had a second one on the first play of the final quarter.

Rueben Randle Shows Those LSU Hands

Coming off the Giants' second takeaway -- an interception by Brandon Meriweather of a floating pass by Matt Cassel with 8:00 in the third quarter -- the Giants found themselves backed up on their own 1 yard line. After a pair of runs by Rashad Jennings, the Giants had a 3rd & 5 on their own 6 yard line. Rather than just go for the 1st down, Eli Manning channeled his inner Eli Manning and hit Rueben Randle for 44 yards down the right sideline.

This play was eerily reminiscent of The Catch by Odell Beckham, which he almost repeated himself in the first half.

It must be something about those LSU receivers. Maybe that's why the Giants keep going back down to The Bayou for their receivers and DBs

The Giants Score On Special Teams. Wait ... The Giants Score On Special Teams!?

The New York Football Giants haven't scored on special teams since David Wilson's phenomenal night in New Orleans in 2012.

Since Wilson's career was tragically cut short, the Giants' return game has been a bathroom break at best, and a source of chest pains at worst for Giants fans.

Despite that, many fans were incredulous when Jerry Reese signed former Dallas Cowboys' special teams ace -- and occasional receiver -- Dwayne Harris to a $17 million contract at the start of the 2015 free agency period.

Harris has been a core contributor on all of the much-improved special teams units, as well as an increasingly important receiver (he is on his way to a career year). But after Cassel connected with Devin Street on a 25 yard touchdown to tie the game, Harris stole back the momentum from Dallas, gave the Giants back the lead, and made Giants' history in the process.

This play was the Giants' first special teams score in a very long three years.

Harris said it was "just a middle return" and that it was "blocked perfectly."

"We've been overdue for a long time," Harris said after the game. "I was one block away, one man away. Tonight it was blocked perfectly. Anybody could of run through the hole that was made."

This was also the first 100-yard kick off return for a touchdown by a Giant since Clarence Childs in 1964. Going back even further, this was the first time since Nov. 4, 1951 that the Giants have had an interception returned for a touchdown and a kickoff returned for a touchdown in the same game. For perspective, Tom Coughlin was 5 years old at the time.

The Giants' defense would ultimately step up and come up with a key stop on the Cowboys' final drive, giving the offense back the ball after Dallas failed to convert a fourth-and-8. The Giants couldn't pick up a first down to run out the clock, but a great punt by Brad Wing, and a heads up fumble recovery by Myles White, got the ball back.

Giants win!