Cowboys - Giants News & Notes

It's safe to say if Quincy Carter can get some protection and that means Kurt Vollers blocking defensive end Michael Strahan, then wideouts Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant and Terry Glenn should run rampant through the Giants secondary, as Saints receiver Joe Horn did last week.

* WR Zuriel Smith muffed a punt and also didn't field a couple of other punts as coach Bill Parcells would have liked against the Redskins Sunday and now his job is on the line. "I've got to do something," Parcells said. "It's not going very good at this stage." Parcells might use receiver Joey Galloway on punt returns and Smith only on kickoff returns. He also might bench Smith and use Galloway on punts and safeties Tony Dixon or Lynn Scott on kickoff returns.

* CB Terence Newman has been an impact player for the Cowboys all season. But Newman hasn't received much national attention for his play, having given up a few big plays on the national stage and not exactly piling up any gaudy numbers.

But that changed suddenly and swiftly Sunday in the middle of the Cowboys' 27-0 win over the Redskins here at FedEx Field. Not only did Newman add to his stats by grabbing a club record-tying three interceptions, but he did so with most of the country watching the televised game.

Newman became just the third player in club history to record three interceptions in a game, and first since Dennis Thurman in 1981.

"He was awesome," Cowboys veteran safety Darren Woodson said. "We've been seeing that all year. He has been in position a lot, but he has dropped some interceptions that have come right to him. Today, he didn't drop them. I think we can see how good he is going to be."

Newman, the No. 5 overall player selected in last April's draft, finished with five tackles and three pass deflections to go with his three interceptions, not accomplished since Dennis Thurman did so in 1981.

"I wish I could have days like that more often," Newman said. "As a team, we wanted to get more turnovers and made it a point to do that. (The ball) just came my way. It was a good day."

* FB Jamar Martin gets credit for bolstering the Cowboys running of late. With him as the lead blocker instead of Richie Anderson, the Cowboys totaled 372 rushing yards against the Eagles and Redskins. "He is one of the guys who has picked up his pace," Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said. There is a good chance he will continue to play more down the stretch when Parcells would like to run the ball.

* FB Richie Anderson is on pace to have one the best receiving seasons of his career. With 55 catches for 393 yards, he is on pace to catch 63 passes. Anderson has already posted the top receiving season for a Cowboys running back since Emmitt Smith had 62 in 1995.

* TE Jason Witten's 29 catches for 266 yards has him tied for fourth among all rookie receivers and tied for the lead among tight ends with Dallas Clark of the Colts.

* LB Dexter Coakley, the only player in franchise history with six straight 100 tackle seasons, is on pace for a seventh. He is second on the team with 91 tackles heading into the final two games.

The Game Plan
The Giants have five players listed as doubtful for Sunday's game, and starting quarterback Kerry Collins (sprained ankle) is one of them. With third-year quarterback Jesse Palmer starting his second NFL game, it will be the second straight game and fourth time this season that the Cowboys have faced a backup quarterback. This game is all about the Cowboys and their ability to make the most of their opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

The Giants will play with emotion for lame duck coach Jim Fassel. The Cowboys need to simply take care of their business, play mistake free football on offense and not give up big plays on defense. They have won the games they were supposed to win all season and that shouldn't change against the Giants. Quincy Carter needs to go a second straight week without an interception and the defense will blitz Palmer into submission.

MATCHUPS TO WATCH
The Cowboys receivers vs. the Giants cornerbacks.
Four of the top five cornerbacks the Giants opened the season with have been lost to injury. Frank Walker and Kato Serwanga will likely start, while their third cornerback on Sunday, Ray Green, was added to the team on Wednesday.

It's safe to say if Quincy Carter can get some protection and that means Kurt Vollers blocking defensive end Michael Strahan, then wideouts Joey Galloway, Antonio Bryant and Terry Glenn should run rampant through the Giants secondary, as Saints receiver Joe Horn did last week. The shame in Horn's celebration was that he showed pride in take advantage of backups.

Injury Update
DT Leo Carson had surgery Tuesday to repair a torn triceps muscle and was placed on injured reserve. DT Daleroy Stewart will take his place in the defensive tackle rotation. The Cowboys will likely move up Shaun Smith from the practice squad to take his roster spot.

* OG Andre Gurode missed practice Wednesday because of illness. He will probably be ready for the Giants game on Sunday. However, Ryan Young will go in his place if he isn't.

* WR Terry Glenn is listed as questionable for the Giants with a sprained knee. He practiced on Wednesday and looks like he will play. Antonio Bryant will start if he can't go, while Zuriel Smith will move up as the third receiver.

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