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Giants, Wayne Gallman able to laugh about last-minute “drama”

Gallman’s fumble ends up being a footnote rather than a memorable faux pas

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Wayne Gallman was able to laugh about his nearly disastrous drop of the ball with about a minute remaining in the New York Giants’ 23-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“I’m sorry I caused drama,” said Gallman. “Gotta go down.”

With the Giants clinging to a 23-19 lead after a Xavier McKinney interception in the end zone gave them the ball back, the Giants needed one first down to be able to run the clock out without Dallas getting the ball back.

On a second-and-5 with 1:09 remaining, Gallman burst through the line of scrimmage and got that first down. Then, the ball slid through his fingers.

A stumbling, twisting Gallman sat on the ball and then corralled it at the Giants’ 39-yard line amidst a tangle of bodies. Some officials ruled that the Giants had recovered, others that Dallas had the ball. Replay showed Gallman’s recovery and the Giants kept the ball, salting away a victory that kept their hopes of winning the division alive.

Gallman admitted he was thinking about a long, stad-padding run once he broke through into the open field.

“I had the opportunity to break and pretty much take it to the 1-yard line,” Gallman said. “At that time, situation-wise, I have to go down. I have to be better. It’s something that you work on each and every day at practice. I’ll do better.”

Gallman said he knew he had recovered the fumble.

“It was just a big pile. The refs were - I wouldn’t say they were late - but of course they saw no. 54 (Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith) had the ball. He took it from me when I was down there in the pile,” Gallman said. “I had the ball already. I already knew I was down. I was just waiting for the right call to be made. I was stressing that, very vaguely on the field.”

Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard had a range of emotions on the play.

“I saw him get it back so I wasn’t too worried about it,” Shepard said. “When it initially hit the ground, my stomach dropped a little bit, but he got back on it and it was all good.”