Plenty of Blame to Pass Around

There were a lot of reasons the Cowboys lost against the Giants. The biggest, however, came on the first play of the third quarter.

Giants defensive tackle Kendrick Clancy jumped the snap count, blowing past center Andre Gurode and nearly taking a handoff meant for running back Julius Jones from quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

The resulting fumble was picked by linebacker Antonio Pierce, who raced untouched 12 yards to the end zone.

A 10-0 halftime lead suddenly ballooned to 17-0. Though the Cowboys rallied for 10 points in the third quarter, the fumble and touchdown was the difference in the game.

"He jumped the snap across the line and made a great play," Gurode said.

Gurode said there was nothing he could do because Clancy got a good start and stunted in the direction of the play.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said Gurode could have made a difference on the play.

Parcells said Gurode should have recognized the defense and changed the blocking scheme before the snap count.

"That's why we have calls," Parcells said. "He could have made the call which he should have."

--While it looked as if the game was over when the Giants went up 17-0 in the third quarter, the Cowboys narrowed the deficit to 17-10 by the end of the third quarter.

They had ball five times with a chance to tie the game in the third and fourth quarters, but they could not get anything down on offense.

"It all goes back to the same thing," Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said. "We didn't block them well enough. Now that is the truth. You can say you are not passing enough or running enough. We just didn't do a good enough job. There was one spell in the third quarter when we got things going. We wound up getting some points out of it, and we came back and got the ball again.

"On first-and-10, we throw a little easy pass, wide open, it's incomplete. Those are momentum things that that didn't occur for us. Still, with the score 17-10 ... we had a chance."

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