EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The Dallas Cowboys waited all year for another shot at the New York Giants. When they got it in the 2012 season opener, they were ready.

So were the replacement officials, who barely were a story as Dallas dominated the Super Bowl champions for much of a 24-17 victory Wednesday night that wasn't nearly so close.

It won't make up for the New Year's Day loss that cost the Cowboys the NFC East title and sent the Giants on their way to the NFL championship. It sure could provide impetus for this season, though, particularly with the discovery of a new game-breaker, Kevin Ogletree.

While the officials were expected to be a big focus as the league's lockout of the regulars continued, there were no controversies, no blatant mistakes or rampant confusion. The spotlight belonged squarely on the Cowboys, from Tony Romo's three touchdown passes and 307 yards in the air to DeMarco Murray's 129 yards rushing to Ogletree's two scores.

Dallas' defense frustrated Eli Manning and his offense with three sacks and a half-dozen pressures, all before the largest crowd at MetLife Stadium for a Giants game. The 82,287 saw the defending league champs lose in the now-traditional midweek kickoff contest for the first time in nine such games.

When the Cowboys were threatened late – a spot they often have folded in against the Giants – Romo hit Ogletree for 15 yards on third down to clinch it. That gave Ogletree 114 yards on eight catches; he had 25 receptions for 294 yards and no scores entering the game.

The Cowboys' big-time receivers – Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten – were eclipsed by Ogletree, who sure didn't resemble a backup. In the first half, he had five catches for 47 yards and a TD, and broke free for a 40-yard reception early in the third quarter.

Ogletree thoroughly fooled New York's top cornerback, Corey Webster on his long score to start the second half – the kind of big play the Cowboys couldn't make enough of in that Jan. 1 showdown that ended their season. And they got another huge play from Murray, who broke two tackles in the backfield, scooted down the right sideline for 48 yards, and set up Dan Bailey's 33-yard field goal for a 17-10 lead through three quarters.

After Manning connected with former Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:36 remaining, Dallas never gave the ball back.

Murray's counterpart with the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw, scored on a 10-yard run – New York's first effective rush all game – for the hosts' first touchdown. And Ogletree's opposite number, Giants third wideout Domenik Hixon, made a spectacular leaping grab for 39 yards over two defenders to set up that score.

Dallas overcame its sloppiness late in the opening half basically on two big plays. Romo hit Bryant in stride over Webster down the right sideline for a 38-yard gain on third down. Two plays later, he sidestepped the pass rush and lobbed to a wide-open Ogletree for a 10-yard score.

America's thirst for football hardly could have been quenched by the first half – unless you enjoy strong defensive line play. Each team had one solid drive that was stymied in scoring position, and the only players moving the ball with consistency were punters Steve Weatherford for New York and Chris Jones for Dallas.

Sean Lee, the Cowboys' rising star inside linebacker, slammed into first-round draft pick David Wilson and the running back fumbled at the Dallas 29. Then the Cowboys moved 29 yards to fourth-and-inches at the Giants 37. Rather than try a quarterback sneak, Romo handed to fullback Lawrence Vickers, who never got close to converting.

Dallas showed similar strength after Michael Boley's 51-yard interception, throwing Bradshaw for losses on consecutive runs on which New York's line was overrun. Lawrence Tynes' 22-yard field goal made it 3-0 moments after the first murmur of officiating controversy.

Manning threw to Victor Cruz in the middle of the end zone and Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick arrived along with the ball. Manning and Cruz motioned for a flag, but it did not come, perhaps because the ball was thrown a bit behind Cruz.

Otherwise, the feared flops by the replacement officials didn't materialize, although Dallas couldn't have been happy with 13 penalties for 86 yards.

The Cowboys could be happy with just about everything else, including Witten playing despite having lacerated his spleen last month.

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  • Rocky Bernard, Tony Romo

    New York Giants defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (95) sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Jason Garrett

    Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, left, talks to linebacker DeMarcus Ware before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Roger Goodell

    Commissioner Roger Goodell gestures to fans before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Eli Manning

    New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • NFL Referees

    Referee Jim Core, center, gestures alongside other game officials before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Tony Romo

    New York Giants defensive tackle Rocky Bernard sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Justin Tuck

    New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck (91) and linebacker Chase Blackburn (93) react with teammates after stopping the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Tony Romo

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) throws a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Miles Austin, Keith Rivers

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) is tackled by New York Giants linebacker Keith Rivers (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Domenik Hixon

    New York Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon (87) avoids a tackle by Dallas Cowboys defensive back Mana Silva (36) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Felix Jones, Rocky Bernard

    Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones (28) is tackled by New York Giants defensive tackle Rocky Bernard (95) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Ahmad Bradshaw, DeMarcus Ware

    Dallas Cowboys linebackers DeMarcus Ware (94) and Sean Lee (50) tackle New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Michael Boley

    New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley (59) runs back an interception as Dallas Cowboys guard Nate Livings (71) gives chase during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Michael Boley

    New York Giants linebacker Michael Boley (59) celebrates with Antrel Rolle (26) after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Miles Austin, Kevin Ogletree

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) celebrates with Miles Austin (19) after scoring a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Kevin Ogletree

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Martellus Bennett, Bruce Carter

    Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter (54) tackles New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett (85) during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Kevin Ogletree

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (85) scores a touchdown as New York Giants strong safety Kenny Phillips (21) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Kevin Ogletree

    Fans watch as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Kevin Ogletree celebrates scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Ahmad Bradshaw

    New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) rushes away from Dallas Cowboys' Morris Claiborne (24) for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Tony Romo

    Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) scrambles during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Jason Garrett

    Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, center, argues with referee Jim Core (20) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Miles Austin

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) catches a pass over New York Giants defensive back Justin Tryon (30) during the second half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. Austin scored a touchdown on the play.

  • Miles Austin

    Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin (19) scores a touchdown past New York Giants defensive back Justin Tryon (30) during the second half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J.

  • Domenik Hixon

    Wide receiver Domenik Hixon #87 of the New York Giants reacts after a catch in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Jason Pierre-Paul

    Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts after a tackle against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Tom Coughlin

    Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants greets quarterback Eli Manning #10 and wide receiver Domenik Hixon #87 after a touchdown in the third quarter in the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Miles Austin

    Wide receiver Miles Austin #19 of the Dallas Cowboys celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter with teammate wide receiver Dez Bryant #88 against the New York Giants during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Eli Manning

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants gets sacked by defensive end Jason Hatcher #97 of the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Eli Manning

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks on after getting knocked down against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

  • Eli Manning

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants runs off of the field after losing to the Dallas Cowboys by the score of 24-17 during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.