EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants fell short in their season finale, losing a heart-breaking game 36-35 on an overturned touchdown with 1:12 remaining.
The Giants finish the season 5-11. Dallas (10-6) won the NFC East and will play in the NFC playoffs next weekend.
“Again we were on the Devil’s doorstep of winning, and it slipped away,” said coach Pat Shurmur.
The loss was the fourth time this season the Giants have given up the game-winning points inside of the final two minutes.
Saquon Barkley leaped 2 yards for a touchdown with 3:21 left to give the Giants a 32-28 lead.
Barkley rushed 17 times for 109 yards and caught four passes for 33 yards. He became the third rookie running back in NFL history to total 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Barkley also broke Reggie Bush’s record for receptions by a rookie running back.
“He’s going to be fun to watch around here for a very long time,” Shurmur said.
On the first Dallas offensive play following the Barkley score, Amari Cooper fumbled when hit by Kerry Wynn. Linebacker B.J. Goodson recovered and ran the ball to the Dallas 18-yard line. That led to a 38-yard field goal by Aldrick Rosas that extended the Giants’ lead to 35-28 with 2:35 remaining.
The Giants, though, could not hang on.
A fourth-and-15 pass from Dak Prescott to Cole Beasley that was ruled out of bounds and overturned on review with 1:12 left pulled Dallas within one, 35-34. Dallas got the two-point conversion on a pass to Michael Gallup to make it 36-35.
After a Cody Latimer kickoff return put the ball at the Giants’ 48-yard line the Giants were unable to move the ball, turning it over on downs.
Moments that mattered
- Manning milestone: A 24-yard pass from Eli Manning to Sterling Shepard on the game’s first play pushed Manning past 4,000 yards passing for the seventh time in his career. Manning also exceeded 300 yards passing for the 50th time in his career.
- Manning turnovers: Manning threw an interception in the end zone to end the Giants’ first drive after they reached the Dallas 6-yard line. He fumbled when sacked by Demarcus Lawrence on the Giants’ second possession.
- Blake Jarwin turns into Jason Witten: Second-year tight end Blake Jarwin did his Jason Witten impression with touchdown receptions of 13, 19 and 39 yards. Those were the first touchdowns of Jarwin’s career. This kind of defensive “effort” helped Jarwin and the Cowboys:
- Barkley milestones: Barkley’s second reception of the game, a 17-yarder in the second quarter, was his 89th of the season. That broke the record of 88, previously held by Reggie Bush. Barkley came the third rookie in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards from scrimmage, joining Eric Dickerson (2,212, LA Rams, 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139, Indianapolis Colts, 1999). He did it in typical Barkley fashion, with a 68-yard run in the third quarter. It led to a 6-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Evan Engram for a touchdown. A two-point conversion pass to Engram pulled the Giants within 21-18 with 1:53 left in the third quarter. Barkley’s 2-yard touchdown run with 3:21 left gave him the franchise record of 11 touchdowns by a rookie, breaking the mark of 10 (Bill Paschal) which has stood since 1943.
- Barkley flies: With 3:21 left, Barkley leaped and extended the ball over the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown that gave the Giants a 32-28 lead.
- Replay rules: The Giants celebrated when it appeared they had stopped Dallas on fourth-and-15 with 1:12 left, a result that would have given them a 35-28 victory. Replay, however, correctly showed that Cole Beasley got a knee down in bounds to make the play a 32-yard Dallas touchdown.
The Giants lost cornerback Grant Haley to a concussion in the first half.
Wide receiver/returner Corey Coleman suffered a foot injury.
The 2018 season is over. Pat Shurmur and players will speak to the media on Monday for the final time this season. GM Dave Gettleman is scheduled to speak to the media on Wednesday.