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Giants go 4-1

"They played very well. The game started off like I hoped but we took a couple of chances and it didn't work out." – Cowboys coach Bill Parcells<BR><BR>

What went right

* A week after missing three field goals, Steve Christie hit all four of his FG tries – from 31 yards in first quarter, a 51-yarder right before halftime and from 47 and 26 yards in the fourth quarter.

* New York's defense twice came up with huge fourth-down stops. First, Kevin Lewis dropped Eddie George for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-inches in the first quarter. Then, Will Allen cut down Darian Barnes just shy of the marker early in the fourth quarter.

* Barrett Green forced and recovered a Jason Witten fumble late in the first half, stopping Dallas' momentum and setting New York up for a field goal right before the half.

* The Cowboys were flagged for 11 penalties for 74 yards in losses. The Giants were awarded five first downs via Dallas infractions, including three on their third-quarter TD drive that gave them the lead for good.

* Tiki Barber piled up 198 total yards, including two game-breaking plays, a 58-yard run and 55-yard reception.

What went wrong

* Will Allen dropped two sure interceptions, both of which almost certainly would have been returned for touchdowns. He had a chance to give New York an early lead on Vinny Testaverde's first pass of the game, but Allen couldn't come up with the pick only 10 yards from the end zone. Later on he also should have picked off a pass thrown by Keyshawn Johnson.

le in the second quarter, which was recovered by Dallas LB Dat Nguyen, set up a Cowboys field goal.

* The Giants lost two key players to injury – DT Fred Robbins and WR Tim Carter. Their status was unknown immediately after the game.

* The Giants run defense, which had been a strength, allowed Dallas to average 5.5 yards per carry. The supposedly washed-up Eddie George gained five yards a carry and former Jet Richie Anderson averaged more than six yards a tote.

* Penalties continued to be a problem for Big Blue. They were flagged nine times for 60 yards in Dallas.

Stat worth noting: The Giants continue to win the turnover (plus-1) and time of possession (32:12-27:48) battles that Tom Coughlin preaches religiously.

Stat worth noting II: The Giants came up with two TDs and two FGs inside Dallas' 20-yard line. Needless to say Coughlin still wants his club to work on its play in the "green zone."

Turning point: The Cowboys had a 10-6 lead and all the momentum after stopping New York three-and-out on its first possession of the second half. Facing a fourth-and-one from their own 23-yard line, Jeff Feagles punted the ball away. However, during his follow-through, Feagles' leg came down on the back of Cowboys safety Keith Davis. A flag was very generously tossed in New York's favor, the Giants rolled the remaining 72 yards for the go-ahead touchdown and Big Blue never looked back.

Play to remember: Midway through the third quarter, Tiki Barber, who had been given practically no room to run to that point, was able to break off a 58-yard gallop, moving the ball to the Dallas 14-yard line. Barber was penned in, but was able to bust through the line and break free down the left sideline. That set up New York's go-ahead TD.

"(Jim) Finn made a phenomenal block on a huge, 300-pound tackle," Barber recalled. "It was a critical play; we needed to make one and we did."

Plays to forget: During one sequence in the first period, LG Jason Whittle was flagged for a false start, Kurt Warner had to call a timeout because he couldn't get the play off and then Warner was penalized for a delay of game for the same reason. By the numbers

2: Plays the Giants were able to stuff the Cowboys on fourth down.

5: Numbers of Giants tying for the team lead with five tackles – Allen, Peterson, Wilson, Strahan and Lewis.

11: Years since the Giants last started a season as well as this season's 4-1 beginning.

13: Times in 16 tries that the Giants have won heading into a bye.

What they said

"It's great. Winning is great. To win the last two weeks in two of the hardest places for a road team is very satisfying." – Giants DE Michael Strahan


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