Hambrick Closer to Goal

Cowboys running back Troy Hambrick inched closer to 1,000 rushing yards with a 36-yard performance Sunday. Hambrick has 946 yards with only Sunday's game at New Orleans remaining in the regular season.

"I wanted it today, but I knew the Giants had a solid front seven, and I knew it was going to be hard to get it," Hambrick said.

If Hambrick can gain those final 54 yards, he'll become the fifth Cowboy to reach the mark, joining Calvin Hill, Tony Dorsett, Herschel Walker and Emmitt Smith.

Still, Hambrick said clinching a postseason spot meant far more to him than reaching the rushing milestone.

"It's a benchmark of a running back, but a lot of running backs have 1,000 yards and are not headed to the playoffs," he said.

* TE Jason Witten added another highlight to his already productive rookie season when he caught his first touchdown pass, a 36-yarder from Quincy Carter late in the first quarter. It was Witten's longest NFL catch.

"It was supposed to be a double move by Witten," Carter said. "But he made a great third move to get inside the corner."

* P Toby Gowin hadn't booted a single kickoff into the end zone through the first 14 games, making the Cowboys the only team in the NFL without a touchback. But, with the help of a Giants penalty that allowed Gowin to kick off from the 35-yard line in the first quarter, he got his first touchback -- then followed it with another in the third quarter.

Gowin averaged 41.0 yards on six punts Sunday and netted an average of 39.7 yards, his second-highest mark this season. He also placed four punts inside the New York 20.

"I sure do feel better about him," coach Bill Parcells said.

For the season, Gowin is averaging 38.6 yards punting, and he entered Sunday last in the NFL in gross punting average.

* WR Joey Galloway caught his first pass since the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day loss to Miami, hauling in a 64-yard heave from Quincy Carter on the game's first play from scrimmage. Galloway beat cornerback Ike Charlton up the right sideline and managed to run under a ball that initially appeared overthrown but landed perfectly in his hands.

The catch, which set up Dallas' first field goal, was Galloway's only touch of the game and the Cowboys' longest play from scrimmage this season.

* WR Zuriel Smith had his most productive day as a punt returner for the Cowboys, returning six for 61 yards, including a 46-yard runback less than two minutes into the third quarter.

On the Cowboys' longest punt return of the season, Smith went out of bounds at the Giants' 22, setting up a six-play drive that resulted in a 21-yard Billy Cundiff field goal and a 16-3 Dallas lead.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"Well, I can't say I have all my Christmas is shopping done. And sometimes I need a little assistance in that regard since I don't go to stores, so it's hard for me. I've only been in like one mall my whole life. Well, you can't go there. It's dangerous, those places. It's all so intimidating ... You get intimidated when you go in those, uh, ladies' stores and that stuff. That's the truth. I don't know what I'm looking at or what I'm doing." -- Coach Bill Parcells.

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