Cowboys' Tyron Smith is willing to pay the price to win... literally
Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo threw an interception when the game was still scoreless, and Giants' linebacker Michael Boley seemed set to take it back for a touchdown - that was, until Tyron Smith's outstretched arm got a hold of Boley's back collar. The tackle resulted in a horse collar personal foul call, but the Giants were so close to the endzone that the penalty hardly made a difference. The Giants were given the ball on the one-yard line, but couldn't punch it in and settled for a field goal.
Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass to Kevin Ogletree with just over a minute remaining in the half, sending the game into halftime at 7-3 Cowboys, rather than all tied up. That psychological difference can be huge in a rivalry like this. A team can feel much more comfortable coming out of the locker room for the second half in a tie game rather than when they come out feeling like they are at a disadvantage.
Cowboys' head coach Jason Garrett addressed the play, saying, "It's a difference-making play in the ball game, to force an offense to say, 'Okay, you don't have a touchdown; you've got to score from the two-yard line."
Smith's illegal, yet game-changing play came at a cost. The NFL fined the young tackle $15,750 for the penalty, but it was a price Smith felt was well worth it. "It was a way to help my team out," Smith reasoned. "If you care about the money that much, you're playing for the money. I'm playing because I want to."