Tyron Smith had four penalties in his first game at left tackle, but one of them was the play of the game. Smith said yesterday that he expects to get fined for his horsecollar on Michael Boley -- and the FedEx envelope is on the way to Valley Ranch -- but it saved a touchdown.
"It was a really big play in the game," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "As coaches, we always try to emphasize the ball, and the importance of the ball. ...One of the things we talk about is when there is a turnover, going to get the ball back, going to make the tackle if there is an interception or the other team is running with the football. You can preach that until you’re blue in the face, but until that situation happens in the game, it’s hard to know if guys are going to respond the right way. But if you watch that play, like we have, you see a lot of guys running the football, trying to make the play, and sure enough, Tyron’s the guy who makes the play. It’s a difference-making play in the ball game, to force an offense to say, 'OK, you don’t have a touchdown; you’ve got to score from the 2-yard line.' Our guys stepped up. I thought our run defense was outstanding. We knocked them back on the first play, knocked them back on the next play, forced them into a passing situation, and defended well on third down to hold them to a field goal. None of that happens if Tyron doesn’t make that play. So his hustle, his determination, his will, did a great job of carrying over the practice emphasis to the game."
In the second quarter, a Tony Romo pass intended for Kevin Ogletree was picked by Michael Boley. Boley returned the ball 51 yards before Smith got him out of bounds at the Dallas 2-yard line with a horsecollar tackle. The 1-yard penalty -- half the distance to the goal -- gave the Giants the ball at the Dallas 1, but they couldn't score. They lost 3 yards in three plays.
Smith, one of five offensive players to play all 68 plays, also had three false starts that the Cowboys were not as excited about. The only good news is: He won't be fined for those.
-- Charean Williams