The Giants are in first place because the right arm of Eli Manning and the left hand of Jason Pierre-Paul put them there.
Manning brought the Giants back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit and Jason Pierre-Paul ensured there would be no overtime on this wild night, blocking rookie Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field-goal attempt with one second remaining to allow the Giants to escape Cowboys Stadium with a stirring and exhausting 37-34 victory.
Somehow, the Giants found a way to end their four-game losing streak and find their way into first place in the NFC East with, no doubt, plenty more twists and turns before this adventurous season concludes.
“I can’t remember a season like this where almost every game is right to the wire,’’ coach Tom Coughlin said. “I was happy because we needed to have a locker-room celebration. We have been starving for that.’’
This has to be seen to be believed. Tony Romo got the ball back with 46 seconds left and before long Bailey was drilling a field goal to force overtime. But just before the kick, Coughlin called a timeout to ice the kicker.
“I was right beside him and he was just waiting,’’ Justin Tuck said. “It was like Coach Coughlin had the best get-off of all get-offs because it seemed like he saw the twitch of the ball and he called the timeout. It was pretty timely.’’
It proved to be a game-saver. On the next kick, Pierre-Paul changed his rush angle, moving over to attack the center instead of the guard. He got the penetration he needed, stuck his long left arm into the air and felt a thud when the ball smacked off it and onto the turf, igniting a Giants celebration .
“JPP for president,’’ Tuck said.