EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (Sports Xchange) -

A little more than eight months to the day that they saw their 2011 playoff dreams shattered by the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys extracted revenge against the defending Super Bowl champions with a 24-17 season-opening victory in a nationally televised game from MetLife Stadium.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo engineered three consecutive second-half scoring drives for 17 points, including touchdowns to receivers Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin, sandwiched around a 33-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.

"It was a good win, a great way to start the off the season," said Ogletree, who ironically had visited the Giants in the offseason when he was an unsigned free agent. "Everyone kicked in today and it was very fulfilling."

Romo's second touchdown pass to Ogletree, the Queens, N.Y., native who said that he had a chance to visit with his brother before the game, went for 40 yards. Austin's, which came in the fourth quarter, went for 34 yards, both of which came on a slant.

"We had trouble stopping the slant all night long," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "It was if we had never seen a slant before."

The Giants offense, which was both sluggish and sloppy in the first half, finally got things going on its first possession of the second half, as quarterback Eli Manning engineered a nine-play, 89-yard drive that saw him connect with receiver Domenik Hixon on 12- and 39-yard receptions.

The 39-yard reception, Manning's longest of the game, set up Ahmad Bradshaw's ten-yard touchdown run which closed the Cowboys' lead to 14-10 midway through the third quarter.

Manning and the offense also managed to cap a 12-play, 79-yard fourth quarter scoring drive to narrow the Cowboys' lead to seven. Manning found tight end Martellus Bennett, the former Cowboy, for a nine-yard touchdown reception 2:36 left in the fourth quarter.

In the end, though, the Cowboys defense played lights out ball, finding ways to keep the Giants off-balance for most of the game.

"I thought our defense did a really good job, first of all, controlling the run," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, whose defense held the Giants to just 82 yards rushing on 19 carries.

"I thought they affected the quarterback and in the back end, against some guys who can really make plays, I thought we did a good job covering them throughout the ballgame. (We had) a lot of big third-down stops to get them off the field, (and) I think pressure contributed to that. I think we played sound on defense and made it hard for them."

Still, the Giants hoped that once Manning connected with Bennett with 2:36 left in the game, that Manning, who last year was the king of the fourth-quarter comebacks, might be able to work some late-game magic.

It was not meant to be, however, as the Cowboys offense ate away at the clock, keeping the Giants' offense on the sideline.

With the loss, the Giants, who won the last three of four matchups against their NFC East rivals, fall to 0-1 to start the season and an 0-1 mark against division opponents.

"It hurts to come in and be playing at home, and playing a game of this nature -- the opener of the season," Coughlin said. "The way we played -- we certainly are capable of playing a lot better."

Coughlin said that the loss also serves as a reminder to his team that it can no longer rest on its accomplishments last season.

"It brings you right back down to earth," he said. "There won't be any more blowing smoke up their rear ends as far as last year. Last year is last year; this year is this year."

Romo's 10-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ogletree with 1:01 left in the first half gave the Cowboys a 7-3 halftime lead.

After both offenses struggled throughout most of the first half, the Cowboys' offense finally got on the board with their two-minute offense as Romo completed 5 of 6 passes for 46 yards to a combination of Ogletree, receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten on the go-ahead drive.

The Giants' running game continued to struggle, and rookie David Wilson lost a fumble deep in Cowboys territory. The Giants had another chance to put six on the board following a 51-yard interception return by linebacker Michael Boley that put the ball on the Cowboys' 1-yard line, but the drive netted minus-three yards, forcing them to settle for a 22-yard Lawrence Tynes field goal with 9:10 left in the second quarter.

NOTES: Cornerback Michael Coe, who was starting for the Giants' Prince Amukamara, suffered a hamstring injury in the third quarter and was not able to return to the game. ... The paid crowd of 82,287 marked a new Giants attendance record at MetLife Stadium. ... Witten, who had been sidelined with a lacerated spleen, was cleared by doctors to take part in the game. ... Keith Rivers started at weakside linebacker ahead of Michael Boley, who saw spot duty. Rivers had to leave the game briefly in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, but did return. ... Receiver Domenik Hixon, who didn't field a single punt return all preseason for the Giants, took on that role for New York, while Wilson handled kickoff returns. ... Coughlin admitted that the fumble by Wilson did change the way the coaches had planned to use him.