Cowboys Embarrassed in New York

Tiki Barber and the New York Giants wasted little time in getting back into the thick of the NFC wild-card race. Barber ran for 77 of his 81 yards and one touchdown in the first quarter as the Giants jumped out to a big early advantage and cruised to a 37-7 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

The NFC's leader in yards from scrimmage, Barber also caught three passes for 51 yards for the Giants (8-6), who moved within one-half game of Atlanta for the sixth and final NFC playoff spot with two games remaining.

With Barber on the bench for much of the second half, Ron Dayne rushed for a season-high 80 yards and a career-best two touchdowns as the Giants came within 1:56 of recording their first regular-season shutout since November 22, 1998 against Philadelphia and first blanking of Dallas since December 16, 1989.

Barber opened a 21-point first-quarter barrage with a one-yard run 6:24 into the contest.

On the Cowboys' ensuing possession, Dallas elected to go for a first down on 4th-and-3 at the New York 36, but linebacker Mike Barrow sacked quarterback Chad Hutchinson , forcing a fumble that defensive end Kenny Holmes picked up and ran 50 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown with 5:36 left in the quarter.

After the Giants forced a punt, Barber ran 60 yards to the Dallas 8, setting up a four-yard TD run by Dayne - just his season of the season - with 1:34 remaining in the period.

It was the Giants' most points in any quarter since December 23, 2000 against Jacksonville and most in the first quarter since December 20, 1986 against Green Bay.

New York's Kerry Collins completed 13-of-27 passes for 190 yards, including six for 99 yards to Amani Toomer , who surpassed 1,000 yards for a fourth straight season. Jesse Palmer relieved Collins in the fourth quarter and snapped a streak of 1,852 pass attempts in which Collins was the Giants' only passer.

Hutchinson was 16-of-40 for 161 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions for Dallas (5-9). Hutchinson got Dallas on the board with a nine-yard pass to rookie Antonio Bryant with just under two minutes remaining.

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